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Hotel Booking fees and XL Fees.

WEBWORLD
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Hotel Booking fees and XL Fees.

I have seen a variety of motels that charge a one night (lowest), a fifty % of the entire stay or 100% of the entire stay XL fee, if bookings are XLD some even if XLD 7 days before the reservation date.

I also have seen a 20% booking fee that is non ref once the booking is done.

This is something I don't often see other than at resorts in high season. I am not going in high season. I am not booking resorts.

Do most travellers book rooms in advance? I have serveral things I want from my lodgings (like washer/dryer in some of them) and there are not too many that have them.

However, if I book everywhere and am not able to go or need to change dates, the fees will be rather high when all added together.

By booking ahead, I feel like I might be limiting myself and have little flexibility if I love somewhere and want to stay longer.

I generally always book rooms in advance to avoid wasting time looking for a room at night when I am tired. However, most of the time the XL fees are only 1 nights stay and only if XLD less than 24 hrs before the intended stay.

Being charged for several nights stay when a reservation is XLD a week ahead of time seems high.

Any advice on what is commonly done in NZ?

Are these fees strictly enforced?

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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1. Re: Hotel Booking fees and XL Fees.

Hi BK

If you book accommodation then cancel the booking you will be charged whatever the cancellation policy stipulates. You should always read the fine print before booking.

You can avoid this by not booking ahead. And, as always, you should have travel insurance to protect yourself in case a flight is delayed or a car breaks down and you are unable to reach your intended destination.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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2. Re: Hotel Booking fees and XL Fees.

Depending on when you are coming to NZ, there may be no need to book rooms in advance. If you are travelling in peak tourist time and school holidays (mid December to end of March or July and August), it is advisable to book accommodation in towns where rooms are likely to be filled quickly (particularly Franz-Josef and Fox Glacier, or other small or busy towns). If you are travelling over Xmas and New Year, you will definitely need to pre-book.

How about earmarking 2 or 3 hotels in each town you are visiting, and then booking them the night or two before you plan to get there. That way you retain your flexibility, but don't have to worry about cancellation fees. If by chance, the hotels you have picked are full, ask them for those in the area they can recommend with the facilities you are looking for, or ask for the phone number of the i-site who will be most helpful

WEBWORLD
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3. Re: Hotel Booking fees and XL Fees.

Thanks for the good advice.

Te Anau
Destination Expert
for South Island, Te Anau
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3,155 posts
39 reviews
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4. Re: Hotel Booking fees and XL Fees.

Cancellation policies are set by each establishment independantly, and as you have found, can vary widely. As a general rule you should be able to cancel 24 hours before arival with no penalty, however at peak times some accommodation requires a longer lead time.

The problem from the accommodation providors perspective is that some people will book months ahead, to ensure they have accommodation, then closer to the time will find a cheaper room (on Wotif, or similar last minute sites) and will cancel the accommodation which has been booked for months. In the meantime the accomodation providor will have turned down numerous legitimate requests for the room. This is unfair both on the motelier, and on the legitimate guests who are unable to book at their first choice of accommodation.

Unfortunately this is a growing trend, and because of this you can expect to see more properties with a "No Refund, No Cancellation" policy. Just the way the world is, I'm afraid.

Te Anau
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for South Island, Te Anau
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5. Re: Hotel Booking fees and XL Fees.

BTW, most accommodation providors are very understanding if the reason for cancelling is legitimate, such as due to an accident, delayed flights, sickness etc, but you should be able to back up your claim. Unfortunately not all people are as honest as you and I.