The Biggest Mistakes Made When Booking A Hotel

by : Victor Epand

When people book hotels, it is remarkable how much control the hotel has over the whole process. This really seems quite strange when you consider the vast number and range of hotels on offer, particularly in popular tourist locations, and that tourists themselves, especially those who plan well in advance, should have far greater bargaining power, since they have such a range of choice.

By and large, hotels use a number of tactics which encourage potential customers to make a reservation or purchase without knowing the full story. For example, let us take the price of a reservation of a hotel room. If you have ever booked a hotel room yourself, ask yourself what price you paid. Was it the price the hotel listed? Or did you manage to achieve some kind of discount?

The chances are you simply paid the price they advertised, and yet when you consider the fact that they are providing a service, there is much room for negotiation. You have little to lose by trying. Hotels have their prices based on the assumption that some visitors will barter and get the price reduced. Sometimes this can be as much as a 40% discount. In other cases, free upgrades from a standard room to a luxurious room can also be achieved. The fact that most customers don't bother, or don't realise that there is room for negotiation is simply an advantage to the hotel.

It is also worth considering that in the same way estate agents look for the selling points of a property, and gloss over any of the negative issues, hotels will ensure they present to you all of their benefits without revealing any drawbacks. If the hotel declares that it is conveniently situated in the town centre, does that mean that it is sandwiched between the late night clubs that will prevent you from ever getting any sleep? Perhaps it is a stone's throw from the beach? This can mean that it is indeed very close to the beach as the crow flies, as long as the crow flies vertically downwards. There may be no mention of the fact that the hotel is as the top of a cliff, and to reach the beach will require a significant hike.

Hotels offering views of the beach are most likely hiding the fact that they are miles from the beach, but high up enough to be able to catch a glimpse.

So when booking a hotel, the first mistake to avoid making is to assume that the price is fixed, and look to try to pay no more than 60% of the asking price, although you may need to rise to 80% or even 90% in some cases.

The second mistake to avoid is to accept the glossy descriptions of the hotel, and instead ask incisive questions if necessary, and try to locate customer reviews, especially if you have located the hotel through an online website. A quick search online for the hotel name may provide example reviews from previous residents. This will give you a much more honest impression of the value for money, the convenience and level of service.