Am I writing in the wrong language?

Aug 3rd, 2010, 09:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 52
Am I writing in the wrong language?

Hi guys. This may be a dumb question but I've been emailing various hostals asking about price and availability. I havent gotten a single reply and some I have written over a week ago. Is the problem that I'm an impatient American that expects them to check their email every day or so or perhaps do I need to try writing in Spanish?

Anybody else have this issue?
IronBenderII is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2010, 09:50 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 44
Just call them. I'm in the middle of making hotel reservations myself. So far it's worked out great and it takes only a couple of minutes.......don't forget to ask for discounts even if the rates seem too good to be true.
Nina3500 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2010, 11:41 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,294
We stayed in hostals all over South America had similar problems but Peru was worse than most countries. Not sure whether the problem was down to poor internet connection, poor business service or language (or probably all three!). In the end we gave up and simply found a place on arrival in a town (OK if you have the time and are not on a tight schedule) or used one of the following sites:

These were very efficient,offered good rates and bookings were secured usually by a 10% deposit. Nina makes a good point re phoning being easier although if booking smaller or more remote places, you will need some basic Spanish.
crellston is offline  
Aug 4th, 2010, 05:23 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
best to use

EM response in the best places quite random

their/your servers spam a lot of reponses out

fax/phone best for direct contact
qwovadis is offline  
Aug 4th, 2010, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,646
Yes it is true that the smaller hostals are not likely to reply to emails. They may be more likely to respond if there is a booking link on their website, AND you follow up with an email. BTW using a website like Hostelbookers may not get you the best rate, often IF you can get a direct response and are traveling during a slow time, you can get a lower rate direct from the hostal.

There were a few exceptions in Peru that did respond to me...Hostal El Balcon (Cusco) and Second Home Peru (Lima). I think I asked Hostal El Balcon to prompt El Albergue in Ollantaytambo and they finally replied.
There is now also a Second Home Cusco.

BTW Chile is even worse! For Chile I needed to call.
mlgb is offline  
Aug 4th, 2010, 06:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 52
So, we're traveling from September 12 - 26. I think that's a medium/high season, right?. I kind of like the idea of having a few hostals listed out per city and finding the one we like best. For most of the locations (minus our first night in Lima), we would have time to find a place. Traveling w/ 6 people means lots of $$ so a penny saved is a dollar earned.
IronBenderII is offline  
Aug 4th, 2010, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,885
Even the ones that do respond -- don't expect immediate response.

It isn't just a SA thing -- in Europe, Asia lots of places, they don't place the same importance on e-mailing back right away. They just don't tend to answer immediately like in the States. You say some haven't answered in a whole week - a week would be fast IME.

Plus - I've found that if you are asking about availability - and they are booked up - they may not answer at all.

Plus plus - sometimes the owner/manager doesn't monitor the e-mail. They have an off site webmaster who handles techy stuff.

I'd give them a week-ish and then phone
janisj is online now  
Aug 5th, 2010, 05:37 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 52
Do you guys think I'm asking for trouble by just showing up?? How often do these things fill up in September??
IronBenderII is offline  
Aug 5th, 2010, 08:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,646
You should really reserve ahead with 6 people some of the places are on the small side. Keep trying. Also don't expect a response over the weekend.
mlgb is offline  

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