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Booking hotels

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Lalad, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    I don't often stay in hotels but am doing some exam trialling later this month and need to book 4 nights accommodation. It's not straightforward, is it?

    When I was looking last night, I found what seemed to be a good deal, within the budget allowed per night, and reserved it until today - but when I logged back in, it had gone up by £40! Thinking I might get a better deal elsewhere, I looked on hotels.com and found the same deal at the original price, clicked through to book, only to find that had gone up too...went back to check the original reservation and found that in just over five minutes, that had now gone up by another £37!

    Why do hotel rates change so much from hour to hour (or as in this case, from minute to minute)?

    If I book at the current rates showing, I will go over the budget allowed and won't be reimbursed the excess, but if I wait, I suppose rates could go even higher - then again, they might go lower!!
     
  2. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    They only have a certain number of rooms at each price. When someone has bought it, it's gone - but the next room is more expensive.

    They do release rooms at different times - you may find more are released in a week.

    Which doesn't help, I know.
     
  3. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I've not experienced this but would suspect the booking agent has misrepresented the cost. Best thing to do is call the hotel directly and ask what the best deal they can offer you is.

    Like anything, the cost is negotiable. I once called into a Premier Inn, hoping they would have a room for the night but they were fully booked. The receptionist looked on her computer to see if there were any other Premier Inns nearby that could take me, then as there wasn't she called a competitor's hotel a quarter of a mile away and asked if they could take me in at Premier Inn rates. No trouble at all. It was an up market hotel with a room rate double that of Premier Inn, but an empty room isn't going to do them any good.
     
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I swear by booking .com. Not only are their prices really sharp, in most cases they don't take any money until the day of the booking and you have free cancellation up to that point.
     
  5. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Thank you for the helpful advice.

    So I rang the hotel directly and the best deal they could offer was £440 for the four nights, which is MUCH more expensive than the original price of £285 that disappeared five minutes after I found it!

    I also tried booking.com, Blazer, but when my quote came back, they offered two rates, and the one with free cancellation was £125 more than the non-refundable rate , which was quite a hike - and also way over budget!

    Lila, I think I am going to do as you suggest because if I put in next weekend, instead of two week's time, the prices drop to within the allowance, so it seems to be that the further away you are from the dates you want, the higher the rates - which makes sense because I guess they want to get the best price they can until they realise they are going to have empty rooms and then drop it.
     
  6. Jonha

    Jonha New commenter

    What you have experienced is happening more now as hotels realise and fear the power of the internet. Simply put, every business needs to be at the top of the search page or they know they are done for.....so they lie.Then hope you won't kick up a fuss or care about the price hike as the deal is almost done.

    Am in dispute myself with a respected insurance company who quoted me £50 cheaper than everyone else on a comparison site, then added £100 just before I was to give CC details. Worse still, the line for me to call was a premium number.

    I have found booking.com as mentioned by Lalad to be the best. No nasty surprises here but I do wonder if the hotels and B&B's do not like their strict ways (which benefit us, the customer). Nearly every booking I've made with them the hotel has made some excuse they only got the message I'd booked practically as I checked in, so would I mind waiting while they set up the room? (I book the day before) Or they moan and groan a little - mainly at booking.com. I may be wrong, just get the feeling booking.com do indeed tell them they will not tolerate price hikes at the last minute.

    Finally, even if booking.com or hotels.com et al give you a good price, google the hotel or B&B direct as it may be cheaper. Unlikely with B&B's which I find outrageously overpriced in the UK.

    Travelodge often have offers, too.
     
  7. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    It was worth a try. I bet it can be reduced by a determined negotiator though. I'll have a go on your behalf if you want to PM me the details, Lalad.

    To be honest, I've always found hotels that charge rates like that disappointing and preferred to stay in pubs, which usually offer decent accommodation with better company, better food and decent beer. Who in their right mind wants to stay in a dull place where everyone is afraid to talk to strangers and be forced to drink Boddingtons, pay through the nose just because the hotel has an onsite fitness centre that stinks of sweat?

    Give me real life, proper food and real ale, coupled with architectural character any day. It took me a while to train my secretary about the sort of places I preferred she book me into, but once we got there, it not only saved the company money, I had a better night's stay.
     
  8. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I think it's to do with algorithms - get me! The second you show an interest in buying something on t'internet, the prices either start to drop or increase.
     
  9. WaylonWu

    WaylonWu Established commenter

    You could also try Late Rooms. I have used them many times and never had a problem.
     
  10. I ,too, swear by Booking.com. I find the cancellation facility very useful.
     
  11. I also swear by Booking.com! Have never had a bad experience.......shouldn't have said that :(
     
  12. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    I'm waiting until the middle of next week to book - having followed the variations in the rates over the past few days, I'm pretty sure I will be able to get the hotel I'd like within budget by then but if not I will probably take you up on your kind offer, Modelmaker. Incidentally, the reason I'd prefer this hotel is precisely because it has a fitness centre and swimming pool - last time I did this it was total bliss to relax in the pool after eight hours sat at a desk!

    Booking.com was great when I used it last year, but this time they do seem to have changed their policy so that free cancellation only applies when you pay a much higher price, which effectively means you are paying for the privilege of being able to cancel - so it's not "free" cancellation at all.
     
  13. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Well, it was a bit nerve-racking, but the price fell yesterday so I managed to get it within budget on a non-refundable rate, and then took out a cheap cancellation policy just in case!
     
  14. DT - I kinda thunk u and me could maybe hang together after we bumped knuckles in London. But then you said Algorithm.

    We dun girl.

    *and B4 N1 wants to dub this racist, this is how the WWC speak at Hell High, when they aren't speaking Romanian or Czech.*
     
  15. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    As long as it's only knuckles we is bumpin' dats fine by me, billy!

    Were you able to understand that?
     
  16. WaylonWu

    WaylonWu Established commenter

    Amazing how kids think they're so cool talking like that.
     
  17. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Owner of the B&B we stayed in a couple of weeks ago always gives cheaper prices to people who book direct - the online agencies charge him a fortune.
     

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