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Booking sites versus direct booking?

Toronto, Canada
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195 posts
134 reviews
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Booking sites versus direct booking?

I'm reading various stories of hotels on the island not honouring reservations made through external booking sites (Agoda, Asiarooms, Booking, etc). And I'm wondering if the hotels frown upon using these sites to book with them. Do they lose money if guests do this or something? I'm also noticing that many negative reviews on hotels I am reading are from people that have booked externally. I'm wondering if the hotels are using the less attractive rooms for external reservations, and giving the nicer rooms to people booking directly with them.

I'm also noticing that booking directly with the hotels is more expensive than using an external site.

Has anyone had any experience with this? I don't want to show up at a hotel's front door with cheap reservation in hand only to be stuck in a basement or turned away entirely. But, I also don't want to pay an arm and a leg for a room I could easily get for less by not booking directly.

Thanks in advance. :o)

Michigan
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110 posts
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1. Re: Booking sites versus direct booking?

bump. I am curious also since I just booked with booking.com and seemed to get a good discount.

Adelaide, Australia
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1,358 posts
62 reviews
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2. Re: Booking sites versus direct booking?

I havent heard of this before, these companies choose to be on other external sites but there isnt any harm in emailing or calling to find out if they are able to match the rate, most of the time they will as they would prefer to have the booking.

We always book direct as we find we can get a better deal :)

God luck

Regards

Sam

http://www.travellingking.com/

perth
Destination Expert
for Ko Samui, Thailand
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20,288 posts
64 reviews
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3. Re: Booking sites versus direct booking?

Hi

I have never heard of this before where the hotel not honoring the web agents they have agreement with. I always book with the web agents and never have any issue whatsoever. I have used Zuji, booking.com asiaroom, sawadee.com, Expedia all of them more than once.

Book directly to hotel own website sometime can be expensive unless you're repeat customer often they will give you a discount. Also some web booking agent will have different options for you to choose

- book now pay later which allowed you to have free cancellations

- book now and pay now with no refund ( this one to be the cheapest and the best if you have fixed dates)

- book now and pay with fee if cancel in certain time

- book now pay deposit and pay remaining money 2-4 weeks prior to arrive

I always go for the first options.

Cheers,

Vancouver, Wn.
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427 posts
4 reviews
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4. Re: Booking sites versus direct booking?

I usually compare the cost of booking direct verus using a site like asiatravel, hotels.com or agoda and go with the cheapest. The majority of the time I can get the better deal by not booking through the hotel. This upcoming trip to Thailand will be a first but I can not imagine that I would have a problem here when everything went smoothly in other parts of the world specially the Philippines and Hong Kong trips.

As far as getting a bad room by booking with a site , this has never seemed to be the case.

Edited: 12 July 2013, 15:58
newcastle upon tyne
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10,659 posts
152 reviews
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5. Re: Booking sites versus direct booking?

I always book in advance through a hotel booking website. Never had a problem. Directrooms.com compares the prices offered by all the different websites.

I like to be able to take my time to look at maps, photo's & read reviews of hotels before deciding where to stay.

Toronto, Canada
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195 posts
134 reviews
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6. Re: Booking sites versus direct booking?

Good to know, thanks for your input everyone. Maybe it was just a bit of paranoia on my part. :o)

Never heard of Directroom.com though - I'll definitely be adding that to the list of sites to check out for rooms - thank you!

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Thailand
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18,140 posts
3 reviews
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7. Re: Booking sites versus direct booking?

Many of these websites that 'compare' rates do Not include all of them, and also may not include many popular ones, you need to shop around , I always use Sawadee , Beachsiam or hotels2thailand for local bookings here

Italy
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39,487 posts
211 reviews
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8. Re: Booking sites versus direct booking?

We have had the experience of booking a room through a booking website and then it not be available, it wasn't Thailand but Vietnam. I always send an e-mail to the hotel before we leave, i usually inform them of our arrival time, this is to make sure they have our booking so did the same in Hanoi, we received an e-mail from the hotel saying that they were fully booked and didn't have an available room, I contacted the booking website and they told me that this happens often in Asia, sometimes it's because they forget to take the room availability off the website when they're fully booked and other times if someone walks off the street and pays more for the room they give it to them and deal with the guest on arrival, usually saying that they don't have a record of the booking, they told me that if this happens twice they take the hotel off their website and won't work with them again but it's usually small hotels and guesthouses that this happens with not the mre well known hotels. Anyway I would advise you to always contact the hotel before you leave even if you book direct as sometimes errors happen and it's best to know beforehand so that you can make other arrangements.

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73 posts
23 reviews
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9. Re: Booking sites versus direct booking?

We have booked with agoda for bkk and hau hin , last yr , beautiful rooms both places , no problems . :)

Vancouver, Wn.
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427 posts
4 reviews
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10. Re: Booking sites versus direct booking?

Pretty close to putting a 40+ day trip together for this comming April-May to the Philippines, Thailand and Maylaysia. All booking except one are going to be with trusted booking agencies I have used before as the price beats that of booking directly with the hotel. The exception seems to be the Holiday Inn Phi Phi who actually guarantee one free night if you can find cheaper rates anywhere else.