Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hotel Reservation Service (www.hrs.de) - good and reliable

A fellow bureaucrat recommended the Hotel Reservation Service. He used it to get hotels in Brussels, where he attended meetings two to three times a month for a long period. He was certainly no computerexpert, but he felt completely easy as he made reservations on his computer. This was around five years ago, and I still use it. It has actually grown to be my favourite.

Hotel Reservation Service is easy to personalize as you can choose from 31 languages and get the price of the hotel room in 17 different currencies. This makes it an easy site to use for those who does not write or read any foreign language.

You can also widen or restrict your search by choosing distance from the center of the destination of your trip. A wonder of warning, though - this does not reflect the distance on the ground, this is the distance "as the crow flies." If you want to get the exact information to your destination, you can get it when you click on the hotel of your choice. When you click on hotels displayed you can find pictures, specification of rooms and hotel, travel/driving directions, distance to subways or other public transportation and a good map.

The HRS displays a surprisingly large number of hotels at a very reasonable price. And the standards of many of these hotels are high. I have booked some of the best rooms on my travels by using this service. I got a large doubleroom at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel in New York three years ago, for less than $200 a night. It is situated between the Ritz Carlton and the New York Plaza at the lower end of Central Park. The last great hotel that I booked, was the Royal Windsor Grand Place Hotel in Brussels and I paid only €110 a night! The rate for the room was over €300.

If you choose a lower price hotel you can easily find uot whether it is good or not. HRS has opened up for feedback from their guests. This is relatively new. You can rate the hotel after you've stayed there, thus helping other people to choose the best hotel and stay away from the ones not choose.

I have however found that the HRS is best on Europe. A few years ago it was brilliant to book hotels in the US as well. Sadly, the site provides fewer hotels than earlier and the prices can not compete with american reservation services. So I have turned to other sites to book rooms in America.

HRS is one of the few sites where the hotel charge your creditcard when you have stayed there. If you arrive at the destination after 6 PM, you have to give your creditcard number to uphold the reservation, but you pay your bill in the reception when you leave. You can also cancel your reservation close to the date of your arrival. Check when you make you order.

So - enjoy!

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