Hotel Bookings

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Jun
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Hotel Bookings

Post by Jun » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:41 pm

I would be interested to know how everyone else goes about it these days.
I am using Booking.com and Hotels.com more & more, although if I have the hotel contact details, I will often contact them directly.

However, in some cases I book via one of the websites. Then I decide to extend the stay, but the front desk tells me they can only offer the walk in rate & I would be better off using Booking.com. How insane is that ? Voluntarily giving away 15-25% of my payment to a booking agent.

Booking.com
Seems to have the widest range of hotels.
Website not the best. The price bands are totally inappropriate for Asia. For example, the lowest price band in Thailand is 0-1700 baht per night. In Isan, I can get clean spacious new or refurbed hotels for as little as 700 a night. In Laos, I clicked on the lowest price band and every single hotel was inside it. Same thing for a search I just did in Isan.
Still has pay at hotel options.

Hotels.com.
Smaller range of hotels. Has a scheme where you get a free night after 10 bookings. Unfortunately many bookings require prepayment. Filters work, with fully adjustable price limits.

Incidentally, why do these sites not have a 1-click option to eliminate dorm rooms from search results ? I am after a room with en-suite, never a dorm room. Or even something to save my preferences.

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Re: Hotel Bookings

Post by fountainhall » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:20 pm

I usually plan my travel well ahead of time - often 6 - 8 months. And since at the same time i lock into and pre-pay air tickets, rarely have I ever extended a stay.

I also am generally happy to pre-pay accommodation for a better rate. i fully accept that in the event of cancellation I could lose the hotel and air fare charges. So far, this has happened only a couple of times and my travel insurance covers most reasons other than a decision just not to go. I also accept that rates can occasionally - but in my experience not often - fall nearer the date of travel. But they can just as easily go up. So it's all rather swings and roundabouts IMO.

With lots of business travel, I used to be registered as a member of several hotel chains' loyalty schemes. Since I travel a lot less now than before, as with airline miles I have used up the points on all of them expect the Marriott chain. This does give a better rate when booking direct. But like all hotel and airline schemes, Marriott changed its earning/spending requirements last summer. So I decided to blow all those points on a trip to Vietnam later this month.

Very occasionally I will call a hotel direct. Whenever I have done so, I have rarely managed to find a better rate. I also regularly use the search engine route. For years I have used hotelscombined.com which provides a list of the rates offered by a variety of booking sites. Recently, though, I have found the deals are not as good as before. I looked at Trivago a few times but never booked through them. Since we now know that Trivago is a bit of a scam thanks to law suits in Australia, I won't go near that site.

Generally I found agoda pretty good for hotels in Asia, although its practice of not including the tax and service charges is the initial price it offers - you only get that when you are ready to book - is maddening. Now I do more bookings with hotels.com. I was never sure if the free night was worth it but having done comparisons several times before booking, in most cases it does save me overall.

In Japan I have had better deals on Japanican.com. For Europe and the Americas, I look at other sites and generally get better deals.

Travellzoo used to come up with some incredible deals. In 2013, I got 70% off the Four Seasons Hotel in Tokyo (thereby paying less than a business hotel with a tiny room), 60% off a six-night stay at the Marriott in Khao Lak and another 60% off a 5-star hotel on Nevsky Prospect in St. Petersburg! Nothing could match those discounts. I still get their weekly newsletter and they often have good discounts at 3- and 4-star hotels in Bangkok. But they do not get involved at the lower end of the market.

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Re: Hotel Bookings

Post by deanagam » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:25 pm

I use mostly Agoda and for certain dates and properties I get the option to cancel my reservations before a specific date without incurring charges. After a stay I get rewarded with monetary credit to be used for my next booking.
Only when I'm not able to get my favorite hotel from Agoda's list that I look at what's available at Booking or Expedia.

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Re: Hotel Bookings

Post by Captain Kirk » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:59 pm

I have my flight booked for mid March and still currently researching best options for Pattaya accom. I'm screening all the comparison sites as well as contacting hotels directly to check all the prices. On top of that I've got my Thai friend approaching the hotels in person to ascertain whether there's any prospect of further discount or room upgrade at no further cost. Can only try.

While I'm on the subject, anyone got any recent recommendations in the budget'ish range? Not really looking to pay much more than 1200/1350B a night.

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Re: Hotel Bookings

Post by fountainhall » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:53 pm

I was about to reply to a post from Trongpai - but it disappeared! It basically referred to hotel discounts offered at the Travel Fair in Bangkok at the end of February. I hope he'll repost. I only wanted to note that this has also usually been a time when several airlines - notably the Gulf carriers - have special limited email discount offers. Not sure if they have booths at the Travel Fair but it is worth keeping an eye out for them on their websites if you do not automatically get email offers.

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Re: Hotel Bookings

Post by Gaybutton » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:54 pm

fountainhall wrote:I was about to reply to a post from Trongpai - but it disappeared!
For the record, I never saw it and I did not delete it.

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Re: Hotel Bookings

Post by Trongpai » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:10 pm

I deleted it because I may have had the dates wrong. I'll check and post again when I can confirm the correct dates and location.

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Re: Hotel Bookings

Post by fountainhall » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:18 pm

Seems it will be on this coming week-end from 13 to 17 at the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre.

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Re: Hotel Bookings

Post by Asia Traveler » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:45 pm

http://Hotels.com is my choice for on-line booking. The rewards program is generous and if reach Gold status I have found they will work with you on bending the rules on your bookings if something comes up.

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Re: Hotel Bookings

Post by gerefan » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:30 am

Jun wrote:
However, in some cases I book via one of the websites. Then I decide to extend the stay, but the front desk tells me they can only offer the walk in rate & I would be better off using Booking.com. How insane is that ? Voluntarily giving away 15-25% of my payment to a booking agent.
Hotels can be severely penalised if they are caught selling rooms cheaper than Booking website prices, having registered with them. They just don’t do it.
That’s why when you extend a stay they will only offer a rate higher than their Booking website.

I find Expedia UK very good for booking rooms in BKK.For example their rates are often lower at the Tarntawan than any Booking website, and even the Tarntawan’s own website.

Additionallly they take the money direct from my Debit Card so no messing with credit cards etc and it is in my own currency too.

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