We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Word of caution re: Hotel Beaubourg, Paris

Wiscasset, Maine
Level Contributor
34 posts
27 reviews
Save Topic
Word of caution re: Hotel Beaubourg, Paris

On January 30, 2011, I booked a 4-night stay at the Beaubourg for July, six months in advance. To my surprise, I discovered that a "hold" for what appears to be the entire stay, $735.98, was placed on my VISA card the same day. While it's reasonable for a hotel to place a one-night "hold" on a guest's credit card to guarantee payment, I think doing this nearly six months in advance is out of line. Furthermore, the hotel insists they only charged me 135 euros. Regardless, the amount of the pending charge or "hold" for Hotel Beaubourg appears on my statement as $735. I made the reservation through Booking.com. Complaining to them did no good. Booking.com insisted that I send them a copy of my bank statement (!) to prove that the "hold" is truly for $735 rather than 135 euros. Yesterday, I emailed a copy of the transaction as it appears on my online VISA statement, and the response from Booking.com was that they didn't get what they asked for (the statement), so they couldn't help me. I canceled this reservation on February 2, so I hope this pending charge drops off after the close of the current VISA billing cycle. In the meantime, however, $735 in credit is not available to me, and my VISA balance looks substantially higher than it really is. The hotel gets very good reviews, and Booking.com has worked well for me in the past, so I hope this poor experience is an exception. I suggest watching very closely how much the hotel "holds", and for how long in advance, as it will affect your credit card balance and available credit until you actually check in if you reserve several months in advance, as I did.

Eiffel Tower Summit Priority Access...
490 reviews
from US$73.20*
Likely To Sell Out
Moulin Rouge Show Paris
3,167 reviews
from US$109.90*
Likely To Sell Out
Eiffel Tower Priority Access Ticket...
585 reviews
from US$51.80*
Special Offer
Luxury Paris Day Trip with Champagne...
464 reviews
from US$301.60*
US$335.10
Level Contributor
5,896 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Word of caution re: Hotel Beaubourg, Paris

What was the booking policy? I really feel that third party booking sites are good when everything goes well, but if there are any problems then it can be quite risky since they are just middle men. I know you have used this particular booking site without problems in the past, but do consider booking directly with the hotel in future though this hotel doesn't seem to be helpful either. You can check with Visa to get an idea of how long it would take for the hold to be released from your account once the hotel cancels and processes the transaction.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
1,818 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Word of caution re: Hotel Beaubourg, Paris

I hope this gets solved satisfactorily in your favor, and soon.

But it looks as if your problem is with booking.com, not with the Hotel Beaubourg. For the same reason mentioned by paris_1204, I try to avoid third-party booking sites. Even if they offer cheaper rates, you are likely to bepre-paying more, or putting down more of a (refundable) deposit. Also, you don't have direct access to the hotel management in case of a problem.

Tokyo
Level Contributor
378 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Word of caution re: Hotel Beaubourg, Paris

Good advice from everyone. In Asia the booking sites are substantially cheaper than the hotels' own but this week I have been searching for a hotel in Paris and found that without exception the hotel's own site was much cheaper. Also booking conditions were far less stringent.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
25,540 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Word of caution re: Hotel Beaubourg, Paris

Because I check things on line I sometimes see things that never appear on the final statement and they are of concern, but usually disappear after a week. I have had holding deposits appear then disappear, like for a HK hotel I booked recently. On one occasion I had a double charge for something where the first attempt had failed on the in-store line and a few other similar things. They appear to be account keeping things rather than actual charges. Whenever I have rung the bank they have indicated they will disappear when the final account comes through and they have.

Edited: 14 February 2011, 23:57
Wiscasset, Maine
Level Contributor
34 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Word of caution re: Hotel Beaubourg, Paris

Thank you very much for taking an interest in my predicament. Actually, Booking.com does not ask for any kind of payment from the would-be guest. They are easy to work with online, and they publish lots of reviews for each property. I find this, in conjunction with TripAdvisor, really helpful when considering places to stay. Their customer service staff (and I communicated with four different folks within a couple of days, until I finally gave up talking to them as a lost cause) reminded me of what I already knew: that the hotel may ask for a monetary hold on a reservation, and that was fine with me. My cancellation confirmation of Feb. 2 states that nothing is owed to the hotel, as my cancellation was made almost immediately for an unrelated reason--well in advance of the date where I would owe the hotel for one night's lodging. The Beaubourg reservation page makes it clear that they have the right, at some point, to place a hold on a guest's credit card to 1) ensure that adequate credit is available, and 2) secure against a last-minute cancellation. However, I expected the hold to be placed closer to the trip date (30-90 days in advance, perhaps) and that the amount held would be for one night's accommodation. The disagreement is whether they charged me 135 euros or $735.98, and also why they charged it nearly six months in advance. As for the amount they claim they held on my VISA, I can only go by the figure that appears on my online credit card statement. In a nutshell, it was too much, too soon, and for no reason that I can fathom.

During the past 30 years I've traveled all over the world, and even in the pre-computer era, when I reserved overseas with regular mail and faxes, I've never faced a situation or misunderstanding like this. I'm genuinely baffled as to why it happened. I have to add that I think Booking.com asking for a copy of my bank statement was, well...outrageous. I supplied a snapshot of the transaction, which should have been adequate to support my claim that the pending charge is for $735.98. Hopefully this glitch will clear itself up; if not, my bank (which has corroborated the amount of the hold) has assured me that they will reimburse me for the entire amount and file a claim against the hotel, so all is not lost. With luck, it won't come to that. Besides, any online purchase requires a leap of faith that all will go well, and, in my experience, the current difficulty is the exception, not the rule.

Singapore
Level Contributor
682 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Word of caution re: Hotel Beaubourg, Paris

Hi all, how about venere.com? Do they hold reservations?

Tokyo
Level Contributor
378 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Word of caution re: Hotel Beaubourg, Paris

I totally understand Over 14 years ago when this annoying practice first started I was in Singapore. The hotel put a block on my card for triple the amount of the stay. I only discovered this when I tried to buy something andmy purchase was rejected!!! I returned to the hotel and to make a long story short, I called the police and they came(bemused they were I would say) and we all ended up at the police station at 2 in the morning. Quite frankly, I agree with you. I have been travelling since I was 16 and this holding the credit card is really anti-hospitality. Every business has a risk, unfortunately nowadays businesses refuse to take those risks. One might say such behavior lowers losses hence better prices for all consumers. But a look at prices over the last20 years would point to the contrary.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
25,540 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Word of caution re: Hotel Beaubourg, Paris

My HK hotel booking put a one night hold on the account which lasted about a week and was listed as an unspecified transaction. I rang and was told it was an hotel company and it is gone from my statement now. The bank said it was to check that it was a genuine credit card. Might have been tough if I wanted to purchase up to my limit in that time frame though.

Wiscasset, Maine
Level Contributor
34 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Word of caution re: Hotel Beaubourg, Paris

Every hotel will put a hold on your credit card at some point, regardless of which booking agent you use (Venere.com, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity, etc.). Booking.com makes it clear that their hotels do not bill a credit card until checkout, which is a plus. Hotels usually just take a credit card number to use if you don't show up. At most they hold an amount equal to one night's stay, unless it's some sort of special rate where the requirement for full payment is stated up front. That's certainly fair. In this case, though, the hotel "hold" on my card was for a whole lot more than the hotel claims, perhaps because of an error someplace along the line when the euros were converted to dollars. The hotel insists the hold they placed was for only 135 euros, which is about $185. My VISA statement says otherwise, and that's my beef.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
25,540 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Word of caution re: Hotel Beaubourg, Paris

Hope it all works out for you