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Online third party reservations vs direct hotel booking

michigan
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176 posts
Online third party reservations vs direct hotel booking
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I read in article in Budget Travel that people who book through sevices like Expedia get poorer service from the hotel than if they had booked directly with the hotel.

Ohio
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1,557 posts
4 reviews
9 helpful votes
1. Re: Online third party reservations vs direct hotel booking
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I don't know if this is true or not but a fee is due to the booking company from the hotel. You very well will get a better price going direct to the hotel. Most hotels have websites or at the very least an email address. Just ask this forum and someone is likely to know the contact info.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
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28,420 posts
30 reviews
56 helpful votes
2. Re: Online third party reservations vs direct hotel booking
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You don't necessarily get better rates by going direct. Some hotels (especially chains) pre-sold a block of rooms to 3rd parties at wholesale prices and the 3rd parties may have to cut their rates for whatever reasons.

I do agree that these 3rd party agencies are less likely to provide good customer service if you have a question about the hotel, for instance. But you may have better luck on the large 3rd party agencies re. having clear refund/cancellation policies

Rome, Italy
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2,550 posts
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3. Re: Online third party reservations vs direct hotel booking
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I can tell you my experience with venere.com last Wed. I booked a double deluxe :) (a surprise for my hubby!) at the Bernini Palace in Florence and I had a junior suite instead. We are in low season I agree but was not bad having for 200 euros a room that in peak season costs 800 euros! I have to say that I was skeptical like you, so I tried to get in touch with the hotel, but the ph. no on the yellow pages was a fax...no way to call them directly. Now I am not regretting to have book with venere! hope it helped ciao daniela

coxs creek, kentucky
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4,310 posts
8 reviews
24 helpful votes
4. Re: Online third party reservations vs direct hotel booking
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Hi meijer and welcome to the forum ! From my experience, I have had good luck with both ways !! It is true that sometimes it can be cheaper to book the hotel through venere, for example, and other times you will get a better deal directly through a hotel's website. I always check venere and then go to the actual hotel site, if they have one, and ask if I can get their lowest available price. Every hotel is different. On my return visits I have booked directly through the hotel and received better rates, but for a new hotel to choose I would recommend trying both ways to see what is the best. And I have never been able to discern any differences in the way I have been treated!!! I can't somehow imagine why that would be???? I have been treated exceptionally, exceptionally well at all of my hotel choices, regardless of how I booked the reservation. BTW, I am only familiar with venere and have not used expedia or any of the others. Hope this helps !!!

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20 posts
5. Re: Online third party reservations vs direct hotel booking
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My experience with Venere and Hotels.com has been very good, got rooms for a lot less going thru them, and was ungraded in the Manhattan Hilton last August - which is high season. I am at the moment booking a trip to Rome for New Year and tried both booking direct with hotel and thru Hotels.com - the hotel rates were nearly 80 euro a nite more expensive than Hotel.com for same accommodation. Yes I am a little nervous about the room they will give us at such a busy time but it is worth the risk. The only drawback is that u have to pay the total amount up-front. But they do refund if u cancel on time minus a booking fee (14.95euros). The best thing to do is check prices both ways - then phone the hotel to check that u have a quite/good room.

Have fun.

Vancouver, Canada
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41 reviews
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6. Re: Online third party reservations vs direct hotel booking
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I think the OP (meijer) was asking if you get poorer "service" from the hotel if booked through a third-party agency, not whether 'rates' are better/not better.

In which case, I haven't really noticed any difference in service from hotel staff whether our rooms were booked through a third party or directly. We've used Expedia, Travelocity, Venere, Hotwire and Priceline as well as booked directly. No difference in service that I could tell. That being said, I've heard people on another travel forum complain about not being treated well by hotel staff when they booked through Priceline. Again, not my experience.

Ohio
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1,557 posts
4 reviews
9 helpful votes
7. Re: Online third party reservations vs direct hotel booking
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I have had the experiece on several occasions when booking through hotel.com and Expedia with rooms that are definitely not conveniently located ie. farthest end of the hall, next to the elevator. The worst experience was booking online through Expedia for a room with a major chain on St Pete's Beach. Yea, they gave me a room on the second floor with a nice balcony overlooking the parking lot and located directly over the main entrance. What a treat that was. Also I have learned that by contacting the hotel direct I have never been quoted a price higher than what is advertised online. You simply have to mention the price that is online.

8. Re: Online third party reservations vs direct hotel booking

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