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A common question is "who offers the best price for hotels"?
The answer depends on many factors such as the specific hotel you have chosen and the booking agent you are using. Obviously to use any online agent you must have a valid credit card. Note that some sites may allow the use of debit cards. Be sure to check with the booking site to determine if the credit card or debit card holder must be present at time of check-in.
Many popular and long established booking agents have different requirements and cancellation policies do vary.
Cancellations and Refunds: It is very important to take a moment to familiarise yourself with the individual cancellation policies of each booking agent. Some agents will permit you to cancel without penalty and then refund your payment within a month or so. Others clearly state that the reservation and any pre-payments are strictly non-cancellable, non-refundable and non-changeable. Check before you click!
The following are the most commonly used agents and those which historically offer good deals. Remember once you have selected the specific hotel you want, it is best to check the going rate with as many reputable booking agents as you can. Be sure to take into account each agent’s individual payment and refund policies before making a final selection and parting with your cash. Also take into account any extra's that may be offered like spa treatments, meal plans and airport transfers. It is also advisable once you have found the best deal, to contact the hotel directly and give them an opportunity to beat your quoted rate.
When considering cancellation and refund policies, bear in mind that often times each hotel may have it's own policy pertaining cancellations/refunds and may seek a refund from the booking agent - who will pass those costs on to you for reimbursement. These conditions will almost always be outlined in the fine print during the booking process.
Most hotel booking agents provide options during the payment process for specific preferences like bedding preference, smoking preference and floor requests. Note that these are *requests* and the hotel will do their best to accommodate them at time of check-in.
NB. Hotel prices shown for Thailand hotels are almost always quoted on a per-room basis, and NOT on a per-person basis. Note that most hotels have maximum occupancy limits for each room category. If you plan to use the room for capacity beyond typical levels, you should inquire about any imposed limits. Some hotels also charge extra for late "joiners" irrespective of whether the room is booked as a double.
To better insure a smooth check-in process, be sure to print out and present a copy of your reservation and payment receipt for presentation at the time of check-in.
What about security when I book online?
Ensure the site you use is secured (indicated by the small lock symbol) and uses SSL technology. Make sure this small symbol appears on the payment page before providing credit card details for ultimate security. The address bar will also display https://... as opposed to the regular http://... heading to indicate secured status.
NOTE: These website are displayed in alphabetical order only, no implied preferences should be inferred.
http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand.html Agoda, also a long running online booking agent which normally offers instant confirmation and requires full payment in advance. *NB the "total" price (including taxes and fee's) are not shown until the final stage of booking (but BEFORE you have to entered any credit card details). Their cancellation policy mentions a US$15 fee if done within the allowable parameters and the equivalent cost of a one day stay for late cancellations.Some deals are strictly no refunds, changes or cancellations.
https://www.asiahotels.com AsiaHotels (by HotelClub), requires full payment in advance. Cancellations after the confirmation voucher is issued attract a THB500 fee. Cancellations after two weeks or so of booking cost one full night.
http://www.asiareservations.net Asiareservations normally requires full payment in advance, but can be flexible - 1 night deposit and the balance 1 month before check-in. Cancellation policy is set by the hotel, plus (if less than 100%) US$25 plus 4% of booking total by asiareservations.
http://www.asiatravel.com/ Are one of the few online booking agencies that DO NOT take full payment OR a deposit in advance. They do still require a credit card to secure the reservation. Their cancellation policy states that if cancelled over 3 working days before the check-in date, there is NO penalty charge. If cancelled within 3 working days, (and in the case of a "no show") cancellation charges equal one room night.
Asiatravel also maintains a hotline in Bangkok which can be used for same-day bookings if your travel plans suddenly change. Call +66-2-6797185.
http://directrooms.com/thailand/hotel... Another well known booking agent which generally takes full payment up-front.
http://www.expedia.com Expedia, the parent company of Trip Advisor. A long running and trusted USA online booking agent.
hotelatm.com/ has been based in Phuket since 1998. It offers it's own unique deals of long stay free nights and early bird deals for 4,5,6,7 and 8 nights throughout Thailand. hotelatm.com offers "on request" confirmation depending on availablility and hotel policy. They require full payment in advance for specail deals.In addition, it has defined the Phi Phi Island accommodation, transfers and tours market with it's flagship website; phi-phi.com.
Hotelssuvarnabhumi.com, is a Thai based company that offer deals on Hotel rooms in and around Suvarnabhmui Airport. They give instant confirmation on all their offers, and require full payment in advance.
http://www.hotelthailand.com/ HotelThailand offer both instant confirmation and "on request" confirmation depending on availablility and hotel policy. They normally require full payment in advance.
http://www.hotels2thailand.com/ Hotels2Thailand sometimes offer good rates and expect full payment in advance. *NB the "total" price (including taxes and fee's) are not shown until
the final stage of booking (but BEFORE you have to entered any credit
Hotels2Thailand cancellation and refund policy can be viewed here
http://krabirailay.com/ Has been recommended by a Krabi Destination Expert (DE) as a great site for comparison if looking for hotels around the Krabi region of Thailand. Bookings are by request, and secured by credit card. Booking total is debited to your credit card three days before check-in. Cancellation fee's start at 5% of total.
http://www.latestays.com/thailand/ Latestays, has also been around a quite while and can usually offer very good deals for hotels booked within 30 days of your intended arrival. Latestays usually take a 10% deosit on confirmation of booking availability. The balance is then payable to the hotel upon arrival or at check-out. Their cancellation policy is set by their hotel suppliers and therefore differs from hotel to hotel, as well as by deal, and sometimes even by date.
Sawadee, another well established hotel booking site. They accept
booking enquiries and then make swift contact by return email with
availability, cost, and specific cancellation policies of that establishment.
If your choice is available you will normally be required to secure
your reservation with 10% - 30% of the total reservation cost. The
balance to be paid directly to the hotel on arrival or within two weeks
of arrival. Cancellations must be made as early as possible although
deposits are usually non-refundable.
http://www.thaihoteldiscount.com/ Thaihoteldiscount, has been around for years and offers good deals for major cities of Thailand. Payment is normally done on a first night deposit basis. The balance is collected in person duing your hotel stay by one of their agents (by arrangement). They are operated by local Chiang Mai company, http://www.chiangmai-online.com/ Full American & Thai breakfast is regularly included in the rate. Hotels booked in Chiang Mai City also include complimentary private transfers from the Airport to the hotel.
http://www.wotif.com/hotels/thailand-... Wotif, is a highly respected Australian based company that offer "last-minute" type offers on world wide hotels up to three months in advance. They give instant confirmation on all their offers, and require full payment in advance.