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Hotel booking with third party sites-is Booking.com reliable

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Australia
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507 posts
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Hotel booking with third party sites-is Booking.com reliable

I try to book on hotel websites directly rather than using a third party but I have made a booking at the Rihga Royal Kyoto in November (busy autumn season) via Booking.com when the rate offered by the hotel directly was much more expensive.

A reviewer on trip advisor reports that they turned up at this particular hotel with a third party booking (it was with Agoda) and the hotel had no record of it.

Has anyone else had this experience?

How reliable is a booking with Booking.com?

Tokyo, Japan
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1. Re: Hotel booking with third party sites-is Booking.com reliable

Booking.com has been reliable enough with my past reservations, but I use Jalan and Rakuten for hotel reservations which are big in Japan and can be trusted more (there are English languages pages, too). I've booked dozens of times with Rakuten and Jalan, but never had anything to complain. JTB Japanican is the oldest in business, and can be recommended (although it might not necessarily be the cheapest).

The three majors in Japan:

http://www.jalan.net/en/japan_hotels_ryokan/

http://travel.rakuten.com/

http://www.japanican.com/index.aspx

However, it's your responsibility to see which site offers the best price. Some hotels offer the best price on their website. The Japanese sites include tax etc in their final price.

I have seen some English language reviews on tripadvisor hotel reviews criticising of the smoke smell in their rooms of a fairly reputable hotel. I doubt that the Japanese hotel side had made a mistake or cheated customers risking to be negatively reviewed; I suspect that a hotel booking site was either not careful enough to mention that the room was a smoking one, or the guests did not bother to pay attention to the conditions of the room. You'd have to read the terms and condition to get what you really want.

Edited: 04 May 2012, 14:10
Amstelveen, The...
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2. Re: Hotel booking with third party sites-is Booking.com reliable

Never had any problems with bookings.com. Used them many times, but not yet for Japan. You could call or email the hotel directly to confirm your booking.

Italy
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39,484 posts
207 reviews
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3. Re: Hotel booking with third party sites-is Booking.com reliable

I have used booking.com many times and have never had a problem, they are also one of the few that you pay directly with the hotel and only give credit card details as a deposit.

Kootenays, British...
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4. Re: Hotel booking with third party sites-is Booking.com reliable

I've used Agoda in the past with no problems. I have several bookings with Booking.com this trip and I expect they will come through too.

Guildford, United...
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5. Re: Hotel booking with third party sites-is Booking.com reliable

It is not uncommon for Japanese to smoke in non smoking rooms which makes it almost impossible for hotels to ensure that any room will be free of smoke.

Australia
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507 posts
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6. Re: Hotel booking with third party sites-is Booking.com reliable

Thank you all for the replies.

I do intend to confirm directly with the hotel via email.

Has anyone had any problems booking through third party sites with Rihga Royal Kyoto in particular?

Kootenays, British...
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7. Re: Hotel booking with third party sites-is Booking.com reliable

I just returned from Japan. The third party bookings all worked fine including booking.com. i'll use them again.

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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8. Re: Hotel booking with third party sites-is Booking.com reliable

Booking.com is definitely reputable and easy-to-use. I have used them a few times for European and US travels. Whether you find the best prices for your interested property is not a guarantee though, especially for Japanese hotels. Some hotels offer specials on their own Japanese or Japanese third party sites only. Also, booking on Japanese sites typically mean no need for credit card guarantee (although you should still adhere to the hotel's cancellation policy).

Therefore, if the goal is to save money, always compare prices on Booking.com(or similar third party sites) to the hotel's own website (even if it's in English) at a minimum.

Finally, I don't think it's necessarily true anymore that Japanese smoke in non-smoking hotel rooms, particularly for Western style hotels. I have stayed at many hotels and have not smelled any smoke in a non-smoking room for years. The possibility of smelling traces of smoke is a bit higher in ryokans or perhaps really old hotels. I would say that as long as you have booked a non-smoking room, you should be fine in most cases.

Sydney
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9. Re: Hotel booking with third party sites-is Booking.com reliable

I have used this website many times for trips all over the world and have never had a problem.

Australia
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10. Re: Hotel booking with third party sites-is Booking.com reliable

Redtrail, many thanks for taking the time to post an update.

Thank you to others too.

I got nervous when I heard of a TA member who turned up at the Rihga Royal in Kyoto with a booking from booking.com and the hotel had no record of it and said it wasn't the first time.