Question for Olda: Seville

Jul 19th, 2003, 11:17 AM
  #1  
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Question for Olda: Seville

Hi Olga!

I've been avidly reading your postings, as you so kindly and patiently reply to Fodorites' questions regarding Sevilla.

I'm still planning our trip to Spain for Feb-March 2004. Thanks to your advice, I'll be using Bancotel coupons for some of my stay.

Currently, on the Bancotel website, none of the Casas come up for availability for Feb. 25th & 26th. Is this because a) Intergroup does not list at all with Bancotel, b) mid-week stays will not be listed, or c) it's still too early to see any of the Casas/Hopederia to be listed for Feb. 04? If it's the last, when should I keep my eyes on the Bancotel site for availability for the Casas/Hospederia?

My first choice would be for the Casas de los Mercaderes (although the Hospederia also looks wonderful on the new website!).

In your informed opinion, is there any chance that any of the Intergroup properties or the Casas del Rey de Baeza would become available with the Bancotel vouchers?

Thank you so much!
dianeg is offline  
Jul 19th, 2003, 11:20 AM
  #2  
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My apologies, Olga - I misspelled your name right in the subject line!!
dianeg is offline  
Jul 21st, 2003, 08:45 AM
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Sorry, Diane,

The only Intergroup properties that works with Bancotel are Vereda Real, a newer hotel in a suburb of Sevilla -about 15 minute drive from the city- and Hospedería San Francisco, which is
in the town of Palma del Rio (Cordoba), half way between Seville and Cordoba.

The Casas del Rey de Baeza doesn't belong to the group anymore and they don't work with Bancotel either.

Both Juderia and Mercaderes do participate in a voucher program, though, it's called Ibercheque. You can't reserve it online. You could reserve directly with the hotels a couple of months before, mentioning you will pay with the Ibercheque vouchers and get them when you get to Madrid or Seville. Most travel agencies sell loose vouchers. They cost 47 Euros and you pay the 7% tax directly at the hotel at check out.

Since February is low season, there wil be lots of sales on the internet for Mercaderes, that should be published around November or December. You can try reservas-online.com, venere.com, ratestogo.com , but keep in mind that the good rates won't show up until winter.

Don't worry about waiting, it's a very slow time in Seville.

However, if you prefer to book rightaway, the best rates will be in www.hotelclub.com, but you have to prepay.
olga is offline  
Jul 21st, 2003, 08:59 AM
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Olga:

Generally speaking, how will hotel room availability be in Andalusia and Extremadura in the latter part of October? Many thanks. You are a real plus for the board.
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Jul 21st, 2003, 09:32 AM
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Thank you, Lweber!

Late October is high season, but if you book for middle of the week it won't be too bad. Weekends will be busy, though.
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Jul 23rd, 2003, 06:06 AM
  #6  
 
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Olga:

Many thanks re Extremadura busy season in October. Catches me by surprise so the info is very helpful!
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Jul 27th, 2003, 11:33 AM
  #7  
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Thank you Olga for the excellent advice. I'll wait and keep my eyes open later in the Fall.

Have a good vacation this summer!
dianeg is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2003, 12:57 PM
  #8  
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Hi Olga!

I checked hotelclub and they have the Judería and Mercaderes currently on offer for the dates we want for 81 & 76 Euros, respectively. Do you think that I should still wait or make the reservation now at these prices? Thanks so much!
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Aug 21st, 2003, 08:08 AM
  #9  
 
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Hi Diane,

I just came back from vacation and I'm reading all the past postings, so sorry this is so late.

Actually, when you consider hotelclub prices include breakfast, those prices are very good. If last minute offers pop up by the end of this year, I don't think they will be better than those. The only drawback is the lack of flexibility, they penalize changes and cancelations.
olga is offline  
Aug 21st, 2003, 03:57 PM
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Hi Olga!

Thanks for going through the trouble of responding this late. I figured out that you were on vacation (I hope it was a very good one!). I also thought that it was a good deal too, so I tried booking at the price they advertized for the dates I had specified.

Well, it was the beginning of my Sevilla-business-practices lessons...

Honestly Olga, for all the bookings that I have been arranging for a stay nearly a month long in Spain, this has NEVER happened with anyone else that I've tried arranging a booking with - except for almost *everyone* that I've been dealing with for Sevilla accommodations!

Hotelclub showed availability for my exact dates at 76 Euros for the Mercaderes. When I "requested" a booking, the quoted rate came back at 119E and 142E (1st & 2nd night).

Today was the latest in a whole string of quotes that come back anywhere from 70% to 400% (not kidding here...) more than rates published on the websites. Got another one today: 240E came back in an e-mail at 428E (this latest one from 2abookings). OK, I can understand a % increase from one year's rate to the next, but this Sevilla phenomenon is demasiado avaro!

So, I finally resorted to booking the Hesperia Sevilla through the Bancotel website as a "back-up" (a deal at 1 coupon!). I would have preferred staying in the historic center, but learned my "Sevilla" lesson.

We'd still like to try the Mercadores and we'll keep an eye out for any deals closer to the end of the year. Thanks for all your advice and we'll try to stop in and say hi.
dianeg is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 08:51 AM
  #11  
 
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Dear dianeg,

I don't want to defend the hotel business in Seville at any rate, but in my personal experience booking hotels on the internet for a few years now, it is sort of a hit and miss deal... A lot of hotel reservation sites prominently advertise the lowest rate possible in the hotel -sometimes not just the low season rate, but even the single room rate!- as a way to catch your eye.

This has caused me many dissapointments when I go deeper into the booking process.

It is true that hotels in Spain invariably raise rates about a 4% at the beginning of each year. It's the cost of living increase, in everything but wages...

Also, in Seville and other inland cities the high season starts March 1, which may account for the 2 different rates for each night you are getting.

Anyway, I'm sorry you are having so much trouble finding a good deal! Better wait for the last minute deals, then, you are right.

I hope it will all be worth your trouble and you have a fantastic time in Seville. Will be delighted to meet you if you can stop by!

Best regards,
Olga
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