Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Evaluation of hotel reservation sites

How to get the best bargains on the net

I'm a frequent traveller to the US and in Europe. Using hotel reservation services online have given me some great bargains. I've stayed on the old classic hotel Metropole in Brussel, on the 26th floor of the Helmsley Park Hotel by Central park and at the Roosevelt Hotel, both in New York. In large first class rooms - all for less than $200 pr. night.

Still it seems that this has been just luck. I've tried to book the same hotels on later dates finding that the prices had increased threefold. And I also discovered that some sites that really gave great bargains earlier does not give the same good results any longer.

I discussed my experiences briefly with my friends Per and Susanne Koch that runs
http://www.pandia.com/. They wanted me to do some research on the subject for Pandia. I gladly accepted the challenge. I will present the results here late September or early October

I will concentrate my quest for the great hotel bargain on the following sites.
- www.hrs.de
- www.venere.com
- www.hotels.com
- www.ebookers.com
- www.travelocity.com
- www.hotelclub.net

The search looks for the best hotel bargain, i.e. the hotel that has the best rating, the best location at the lowest price. I've made a search in two US cities (Boston and New York) and two European cities (Brussels and Paris). As looking for hotels in cities of different sizes pose different challenges, I've decided to present my findings in two articles, one on reservation Boston and Brussels and one on reservation in New York and Paris.

The search will be for a booking of double room on a central location for a two day period for less than $170 a night.

I will also write later articles on the following subjects:
- On the sites, how to make a search, and how (or if) the reservation services guide you to the best location at the lowest price.
- Twinkle, twinkle, little star - which site gives the best value based on the rating that the sites give and how to decode their different rating systems
- Location, location, location - how NOT to end up in the suburb or countryside, but be close to where it all happens.
- On payment conditions, membership advantages, and hotel discounts.

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