Hotel.com vs. hotel booking

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Jun 23, 2016
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#1
Hi Everyone,

I have a hotel in Kensington, London, UK, that I am considering staying at during my two-week trip. I have never used Hotel.com and the extra night free would be nice. There is an offer through their site offering a single for a non-refundable rate and a refundable rate (right up until the day I arrive). I have been emailing the hotel directly to see how their rates compare to Hotel.com. They are only offering a non-refundable rate and it is a little higher than the one posted from Hotel.com. Should I be concerned if I book it through Hotel.com that my reservation might be cancelled? Would appreciate any feedback.

Thank you,
Carolyn Masini
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#2
Carolyn from the experience of posters on this Forum I can say you are almost Always better off booking direct with the hotel.

Often what appears to be better pricing turns into headaches later on when things go wrong.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
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Dec 27, 2014
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#3
If a hotel is oversold, the first people that get walked to another hotel are the ones who have paid the least. Guess who that is? People who book through an OTA. If this should happen good luck getting in touch with Hotels.com to put you somewhere else. The hotel won't do it for you.

Why don't you just go online to the hotels website and book?
 
Likes: SierraRose 49

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#4
I assume you are referring to HotelS.com, right? The reason they put out those little extras like a free night is to blind you to reality. Reality is that, as my colleagues have pointed out, you are their least important customer. When you check in, you are dealing directly with the hotel, not the OTA. The hotel can do anything to you that they wish, including giving you a room that used to be a storage closet.

In order to negotiate the "same rate" directly with the hotel, you usually have to call them. But I'm told it's often effective. By all means, use an OTA to do your research, but if you make every effort to book directly with the hotel you'll have a much better trip.

Add up all the costs of this trip. Balanced against that figure, how important is the cost of a "free night"?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#5
Carolyn, paying in advance for a hotel room is a real gamble. If there's a glitch, you wave goodbye to your money. We have had posts here from travellers who have been charged the cost of the entire reservation when the could not make the trip. And what if you absolutely hate the place? People say that a hotel doesn't matter because you never spend any time in your room. I think they have no idea what they're talking about! For many reasons, we advise people to only book refundable rooms, cars and the like.
 
Last edited:
Aug 28, 2015
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#6
I agree with the others but will take the other position just for the sake of completeness. Only you know the likelihood of your cancelling, whether it is something you do often or if you find a better deal, etc. Also consider the totally unexpected like waking up sick and not taking the trip. Then you must value the savings in light of the risk that you will cancel. If it's much cheaper and it's relatively soon (like in the next month) I may go for it. I probably wouldn't worry about them cancelling you unless it's supremely popular place or a special event is going on.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#7
When I choose to make reservations via an indirect source (online TA, etc) to get a better price I acknowledge and accept the possibility that something may go awry and I will have to deal with it and make the best of it.

I booked a groupon to Greece for cheap and, before I clicked submit to pay for it, I acknowledge that the hotel might be a little less than clean, or that I might get bumped from the flight, etc. I imagine all possible 'worst scenarios' and decide prior to committing if I am willing to deal with them.

Just be realistic about the situation, be honest with yourself, and you will be fine.
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
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Director
Jan 7, 2015
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#8
I used Priceline a couple of times and got a great deal. Although I did actually get double charged one time, I got that resolved pretty quickly. I would say the same things probably apply to Hotels.com. These days when getting points and status credit are more important to me than price, I am more likely to book with the hotel chain, since Hotels.com bookings are unlikely to give points, status credit or elite benefits.
 
Likes: Patina
Jul 22, 2016
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#10
I have felt very comfortable using Book.com for the flexibility it gives me. I often make travel plans almost a year out in order to use my airline miles. I always choose the refundable price category and usually one of the upgraded rooms. If I change my itinerary it is very easy to cancel. I bring copies of my paperwork with us and have never had any problems.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Mar 18, 2016
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#11
Carolyn, paying in advance for a hotel room is a real gamble. If there's a glitch, you wave goodbye to your money. We have had posts here from travellers who have been charged the cost of the entire reservation when the could not make the trip. And what if you absolutely hate the place? People say that a hotel doesn't matter because you never spend any time in your room. I think they have no idea what they're talking about! For many reasons, we advise people to only book refundable rooms, cars and the like.
We (husband and I) have travelled extensively in both U.S. and abroad. Always, always, book directly with hotel. Mostly chain properties (Hilton, Hyatt, Intercontinental, Starwoods.) Whenever we have had problems not of our making, they have been wonderful. The Hilton Park Lane in London was especially good when the Eurostar had a massive failure. Hotel extended our stay (using points!) and called the Hilton in Paris to explain why we would arrive a day late, but not to cancel the rest of our stay.

It is because problems like this do arise that we are members of hotel loyalty programs. The points are good, but the loyalty has gotten us wonderful, extra, service.
 
Likes: Patina

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#12
I have felt very comfortable using Book.com for the flexibility it gives me. I often make travel plans almost a year out in order to use my airline miles. I always choose the refundable price category and usually one of the upgraded rooms. If I change my itinerary it is very easy to cancel. I bring copies of my paperwork with us and have never had any problems.
And the key is you book changeable rooms. Just about every complaint here is because people do not book changeable or cancelable rates and then whine and think they were screwed over by the company.

Sometimes I just want to scream "you had an option and you chose the cheap rate! How was saving $30 on you room offsetting having to cancel?"
 
Nov 1, 2017
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#13
[I recently inadvertly booked a stay at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee through reservations.com thinking that it was the Hyatt Regency reservations link. It was listed right under the Hyatt we site link. This was a business trip and I needed a hotel receipt to get reimbursed. The Hotel refused to provide a receipt since I had not booked it directly through Hyatt. Lesson: when traveling on business it is best to make sure that the reservation is made directly to the hotel chain reservations desk.

BTW there is no parking available at this hotel. There was a commercial parking garage next door not affiliated with the hotel at a rate of $28.00/24 hours.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,403
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www.promalvacations.com
#14
[I recently inadvertly booked a stay at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee through reservations.com thinking that it was the Hyatt Regency reservations link. It was listed right under the Hyatt we site link. This was a business trip and I needed a hotel receipt to get reimbursed. The Hotel refused to provide a receipt since I had not booked it directly through Hyatt. Lesson: when traveling on business it is best to make sure that the reservation is made directly to the hotel chain reservations desk.

BTW there is no parking available at this hotel. There was a commercial parking garage next door not affiliated with the hotel at a rate of $28.00/24 hours.
Thank you for the information. However, this thread is over a year old and whoever wrote it is no longer checking the information.