Questions About Booking Paris Hotel

Nov 27th, 2012, 04:05 AM
  #1  
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Questions About Booking Paris Hotel

Before my last visit to Paris, which was several years ago, I contacted each hotel I was interested in by email to check prices. Now it appears that almost every hotel has online booking. Is it possible to get a better price by emailing the hotel, or do I just go with the online price? We will be visiting in high season (June) so I don't want to wait for last minute prices. Thanks!
Digbydog is offline  
Nov 27th, 2012, 05:23 AM
  #2  
 
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I'm speaking generally, but most hotels offer their best rates on internet bookings that are nonrefundable and paid in full. This is especially true of international chain hotels. Smaller, family-run hotels rarely if ever offer discounted rates. I have seen instances where big international chains offer different rates if booked directly, but I think that's becoming more rare and is more likely to happen with franchised brands or loose federations of hotels like Best Western over big chains like Marriott.

But the years of writing to a hotel directly by email or fax are almost over.
doug_stallings is offline  
Nov 27th, 2012, 05:43 AM
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I have found that the online systems of many small hotels offer the best rates available. You can check that against booking systems such as www.venere.com and www.booking.com.

If the prices are the same, I prefer to book directly with the hotel, especially if I have special requests, such as a room with a view or one facing a quiet internal courtyard or a corner room or a room whose bathroom has a bathtub, etc.

Some small hotels still offer a discount if you pay in cash because of the cost to them of using credit cards.
IdyllicItaly is offline  
Nov 27th, 2012, 06:24 AM
  #4  
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Thanks for your quick replies. We are looking at smaller, family run hotels. That's why I was surprised to see online booking for nearly every one.

I would prefer to book directly with the hotel, but I will check prices against the online booking systems. We used cash to pay most hotels in Italy to get a discount, but I've never tried that in France.
Digbydog is offline  
Nov 27th, 2012, 06:35 AM
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If you search down the list that appears, you will often see that the booking sites tend to show up farther up the list, i.e first, but keep scrolling down. Many hotels---even quite small ones!--have their own personal booking websites that are not booking sites that have other hotels on them....Is that clear? I am not explaining so well.....
socialworker is offline  
Nov 27th, 2012, 06:40 AM
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We just got back from 2 weeks in Europe and I booked all our hotels online, using *only* the hotels' *own* websites. You can usually distinguish these rather easily as the hotel's name is directly preceding the .com in the website designation without any other words in the site name like booking, lodging, etc.
socialworker is offline  
Nov 27th, 2012, 07:12 AM
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I almost always book directly with hotel on their own website. I did book one of our hotels for this past summer online through an agency, problem arose and it was ( and generally is) more hassle if you book through someone else, I finally got issue dealt with but it involved extra steps, much easier to deal direct with hotel.
justineparis is offline  
Nov 27th, 2012, 07:53 AM
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I find smaller hotels have a limited number of rooms offered at generic websites. If the generic website says the hotel is full or if you want the one of the hotel's better rooms, email the hotel.
Mimar is offline  
Nov 27th, 2012, 08:44 AM
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It is the norm for most hotels to have online booking, regardless of their size (only a few small quirky ones do not nowadays). And they won't give you special rates because you email them, in fact, one hotel gave me worse rates and specifically said you can only get the special rates if you book online.

I am not clear what Mimar is referring to as limited rooms on generic websites, I use the hotel's own website.
Christina is offline  
Nov 27th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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As noted above, emailing a hotel can sometimes work to your advantage, especially with a smaller hotel. It also works with larger hotels and some chains, but it's often more convenient for most people simply to book online, either directly with the hotel or through a booking agency. If you do email the hotel you're interested in, don't be surprised if they don't answer right away, even if you're a professional.
Robert2533 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2012, 09:25 AM
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digbydog,

they ought to give you a better rate if you book direct [because of the % they pay to consolidators like booking.com] but strangely it appears that many don't.

to try to get the best hotel at the best price i start off by going to trip advisor and get all the rates for the top rated hotels for the dates I want. then i look at their own websites to check that I really like them. then i compare the hotel's own rate with that available on booking.com etc. finally i look at the cancellation terms - booking.com etc. [and some of the hotels' own websites] offer free cancellation up to 24 or 48 hours before the booking is due to start.

after all that I make the booking - hooray!

the best way of getting the best rate IME is booking early - for example when we went to Paris last spring, we booked in September - and when I checked the hotel's website just before we left, the rate for the same room was double what we were paying. and this wasn't pre-payment, which I won't do on principle.
annhig is offline  
Nov 28th, 2012, 07:22 AM
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I specifically remember a hotel in Dinan. If you wanted to get a nice quiet room in the back overlooking the garden with a view of the walls, you had to deal directly with them. The rooms on the booking sites overlooked the street or a side alley.

I usually make email contact first because I have questions to ask. Often I just follow through by email. Smaller places seem to appreciate the personal touch.
Mimar is offline  
Nov 28th, 2012, 07:48 AM
  #13  
 
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I also contact hotels directly via email to inquire about availability, rates & special requests. About 3 or 4 weeks prior to departure, I email hotels to confirm our bookings. Small hotels seem to appreciate this. They know we are coming and we know they are expecting us! It's a win-win situation!
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