Hotel bookings

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Hotel bookings

Postby Ratatouille » February 6th, 2019, 10:11 am

I was amazed to hear this so called news item this morning. The subject has cropped up several times in other places.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47141538

It has always been obvious to me that if you wish to book something you go straight to the source and deal with the place concerned. For example when Mr R booked for my birthday treat at Maison Pic last year he rang them and told them exactly what he wanted and it turned out cheaper than similar offers on the internet. I did the same in London last year.

Does anyone use sites like those mentioned ?
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby Badger's mate » February 6th, 2019, 10:24 am

We do both. Sometimes we get the same quote directly or through a site, in which case we go through the site to get a subsequent discount.

On one occasion we booked accommodation with a site and the hotel didn't put it into their booking system, so when we turned up they were fully booked but quickly realised we had a booking and put us somewhere else (of their choosing) for the first of the two nights. For that reason, if we're going somewhere for a treat or special occasion, such as a nice restaurant with rooms, we go directly.
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby earthmaiden » February 6th, 2019, 10:29 am

I have used them. I find them very useful for comparing hotels in a place I am not familiar with both in the UK and overseas. I would also look at the website of the hotel I liked the look of and compare the price and description before choosing how to book. Sometimes, as with flights, you can get a room on one site and not the other. I have had some really good deals and never been disappointed. A friend and I found a gem of a place in Paris which she has used regularly ever since.

If I was planning something really special at a specific hotel such as the birthday treat, I would go straight to the hotel.
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby StokeySue » February 6th, 2019, 10:35 am

I have use sites like Trivago for stopovers - if you want one night in an unfamiliar town and not to spend all day researching it they do efficiently list all available rooms for tonight or tomorrow night and let you book one in a couple of minutes. Job done, and when I’ve checked the price for B&B directly I’ve not been ripped off

I also sometimes use them simply as a listing app to give me an idea of what is available in a location - TripAdvisor is in the process of making itself useless, so many pop ups demanding you review a place you once looked at but decided against or insisting you book the place you are looking at, and the site has never been low vision friendly. Local tourist boards vary in efficiency and you can’t have all the print travel guides.

Having said which, having chosen my hotel I often go direct; but if you need Eurostar or a plane ticket to get there the whole package can be cheaper from a travel agent, and you get the advantage of ABTA and ATOL protection. But that’s a real travel agent or tour operator, not a comparison site

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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby Herbidacious » February 6th, 2019, 11:10 am

I am similar to Sue. I have booked through Expedia and Hotels.com but not for a while. I usually have an interplay of looking on one of these sites, Tripadvisor (for reviews, ignoring US gripes about room size...) and the actual hotel. More often than not I book through the hotel.Often £10 more. but that's usually because it's refundable if cancelled. In the (not so) old days. it would be the guide book and the dreaded phone call in a foreign language!

I've not used a travel agent since about 2000.
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby KC2 » February 6th, 2019, 3:09 pm

earthmaiden wrote: A friend and I found a gem of a place in Paris which she has used regularly ever since.


If it's still going, EM, do share please!

One of my friends is going to Paris soon and was asking me if I had any recommendations - OH and I used to go a lot a long, long time ago so we're not a very good source of info any more!

Thx :D
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby patpoyntz » February 6th, 2019, 5:55 pm

We have our favourite hotels in places we visit often, like Edinburgh, and book directly with them. But as others have said it is useful to compare hotels and exactly where they are etc and we use Booking.com for that. It the price is good, then we book with them, because you can cancel without penalty, until the day before, and of course you don’t pay until you are there.
We are going to our nephews wedding in Mallorca in the height of the holiday season, and we want to stay in different parts of the island and spend 2 weeks there altogether. We don’t know the island very well, and booking through a site has made the decisions easier.
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby aero280 » February 6th, 2019, 6:08 pm

I use a lot of booking sites for info. We've been driving around Europe on holiday from time before the internet! These days they do give a list of places that have the facilities you need and also have vacancies on the right dates.

In the early days of the internet, it was rare for small hotels to have a website, so a booking site was the only reliable way to book. You could phone the hotel but it was difficult if there was no common language.

These days, once you have found the hotel, a trip to their own site and direct booking is the usual thing.

If you are touring, I find it helpful to look at an area on www.viamichelin.co.uk and choose "Hotels". Then you add the dates and conditions and it only shows the hotels that are available. It doesn't have all the hotels, so Google Earth, with "Lodging" chosen, will show a slightly different map of places.

I'm currently looking at places around Copenhagen for the Swedish trip in June, using this method. :)
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby Zosherooney » February 6th, 2019, 7:23 pm

Have never used a booking website and would not as I have always found I get a better deal going direct and prefer to deal direct - less opportunity for things to go wrong with a 3rd party.

I am glad to hear that companies are being exposed for fraudulent claims of 'only 2 rooms left'. The sooner they go the better as far as I am concerned. I use TA to obtain information but try and book direct or find the contact details from them.
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby Amber » February 6th, 2019, 9:51 pm

We ‘use’ booking,com or tripadvisor for info, but usually book direct where possible.

Aero, hope you have as good a time in Sweden as we did last year. (Up the western coast, everything I wanted/hoped for, and more :D )

We’re possibly looking at France, the Black Forest, Switzerland and Holland this year.
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby Amber » February 6th, 2019, 9:52 pm

We ‘use’ booking,com or tripadvisor for info, but usually book direct where possible.

Aero, hope you have as good a time in Sweden as we did last year. (Up the western coast, everything I wanted/hoped for, and more :D )

We’re possibly looking at France, the Black Forest, Switzerland and Holland this year.
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby aero280 » February 6th, 2019, 11:43 pm

We drove up to Stockholm three years ago, it was fine on the way there and back, but the three August days we were in Stockholm were absolutely freezing!! This time we are really going to Copenhagen. We couldn't find a cheap hotel on the way back fro Stockholm, it was the European centre for the gay pride festival that weekend!! We go back this year for four nights, then pop-up to Gothenburg and Trollhattän for a euro car club festival.

If you are going to the Black Forest we had a very nice stay at Sankt Blasien in the Klostermeisterhaus. It's a small guest house/hotel linked to the Klosterhof Hotel. The owner runs a restaurant on the ground floor and is a superb cook! Breakfast is also very good but next door in the Klosterhof. Our room had a spectacular view across to the abbey. Only downside is that the rooms are on the second and third floors and there's no lift! An upside is that we got a free Baden-Wurttemburg tourist card with free travel throughout Baden-Wurttemburg. So we went everywhere by bus and train! :) We have a couple of regular hotels that we use on the way down, if you would like some more recommendations.
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby WWordsworth » February 7th, 2019, 4:29 pm

I use booking sites in the same way that others do, for research.
Always compare the price with the hotel's own site and book via which ever is giving the best deal.
We are going to a wedding in Shrewsbury later in the year. I don't know the place at all so the booking sites were very useful.

I started working for an airline in 1979 and haven't used a travel agent since - spent too much time sorting out the errors!
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby Amber » February 8th, 2019, 9:26 pm

aero280 wrote:We drove up to Stockholm three years ago, it was fine on the way there and back, but the three August days we were in Stockholm were absolutely freezing!! This time we are really going to Copenhagen. We couldn't find a cheap hotel on the way back fro Stockholm, it was the European centre for the gay pride festival that weekend!! We go back this year for four nights, then pop-up to Gothenburg and Trollhattän for a euro car club festival.

If you are going to the Black Forest we had a very nice stay at Sankt Blasien in the Klostermeisterhaus. It's a small guest house/hotel linked to the Klosterhof Hotel. The owner runs a restaurant on the ground floor and is a superb cook! Breakfast is also very good but next door in the Klosterhof. Our room had a spectacular view across to the abbey. Only downside is that the rooms are on the second and third floors and there's no lift! An upside is that we got a free Baden-Wurttemburg tourist card with free travel throughout Baden-Wurttemburg. So we went everywhere by bus and train! :) We have a couple of regular hotels that we use on the way down, if you would like some more recommendations.


Thank you, we’ve already booked three nights. We’re now looking at Holland and Belgium. It’s not easy :rolleyes: :D .
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby aero280 » February 8th, 2019, 9:57 pm

We've tended to drive through Holland and Belgium and get into Germany. We have a regular B&B on the Mosel near Bernkasel-Kues, which is an easy drive from the Channel. They make their own wine which is tasted in the evening around the communal table!!

http://www.weingut-egon-haubs-kauer.de/ ... 010001.htm

We did stay at a strange hotel in Holland a few years ago. The room was good and the food was fine, but the restaurant service was dreadfully slow. The evening turned into one of those ad hoc meetings where people chatted to eachother around the restaurant while waiting. A bit like those times when the motorway comes to a halt and people get out of their cars and walk around. Groote Zwaan at De Lutte near the German border. If you do get right up north, we had an overnight at the Mercure in Groeningen 18 months ago. Very good chef.
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby Herbidacious » February 11th, 2019, 2:53 pm

KC2 wrote:
earthmaiden wrote: A friend and I found a gem of a place in Paris which she has used regularly ever since.


If it's still going, EM, do share please!

One of my friends is going to Paris soon and was asking me if I had any recommendations - OH and I used to go a lot a long, long time ago so we're not a very good source of info any more!

Thx :D


I'd be interested too. I aim to go to Paris at least once a year :) Next trip in a few weeks. Hotel already booked, though.
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby dennispc » February 12th, 2019, 5:05 pm

Two years ago daughter and I stayed at Hotel Joyce, part of the Astotel group, couple of streets away from Montmartre - currently £113.00 per night double room. Good restaurant in same street.

Key card entitles you to soft drink bar in all of its hotels in Paris. Useful.
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Re: Hotel bookings

Postby KC2 » February 12th, 2019, 5:53 pm

dennispc wrote:Two years ago daughter and I stayed at Hotel Joyce, part of the Astotel group, couple of streets away from Montmartre - currently £113.00 per night double room. Good restaurant in same street.

Key card entitles you to soft drink bar in all of its hotels in Paris. Useful.


That does sound handy, dennispc :D
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