I am looking to book a 12 night trip for April 2015. I understand this is quite far in advance, but I figure I can do my research and book things once we are 1 year out, as to not be foreclosed from anything.
We are looking to do 5 nights on Kauai and 7 nights on BI, either Kohala or Kona.
My question is whether booking through a travel site is a bad idea. For example, for April of this year, for a Ocean Front at the Manua Lani, hotel price is 690. On some sites it is listing for 535 or 500. Another example, the Hapuna Prince Beach website rate for an ocean view is 600$, but online it's 299. These are the refundable rates, not the no cancellation rates. I know that hotels sometimes give the 5th night free, but these price differences are quite large. I know that sometimes they may not give you the service that they give guests that book directly, but the hotel is placing their hotel on the website, so why would they do that if they didn't want to sell to these customers?
I thought about a travel agent, however, it seems as they only do free breakfast or free parking, or a free upgrade if available. It looks as though the rack rate price is the price you pay with a TA.
Any advice on this is much appreciated, thank you!