When it comes to booking a hotel, many Filipinos will probably surf the web for the best deals. However, instead of checking official hotel websites, most are most likely looking at third-party booking sites, travel agencies, and other intermediaries, thinking that they can offer the best value for money.
Given the prevailing misconception that booking directly with a hotel is somehow disadvantageous for guests, this move is not surprising, especially for those hoping to save their hard-earned money. But did you know that nothing could be farther from the truth? Whether you plan to stay in one of the many hotels in Pasay City or elsewhere, booking directly with the hotel of your choice is your best bet. Here are several reasons why:
When you book through intermediaries, you have no choice but to accept what they offer–nothing more and nothing less. Although you can always request special arrangements, there is no guarantee that they can accommodate them since they have no control over hotel operations. Remember that they will merely convey your request to the hotel staff. Who knows? They may even forget to relay specific details regarding your booking.
On the contrary, you can arrange a stay fit to your liking when booking directly through the hotel website. For instance, if you are planning a surprise event for your loved one, you can request a romantic room with a view, candlelit dinner, flowers, or other things you need to make the occasion more memorable. You can also ask for special meals during your stay if you have dietary restrictions. Ultimately, direct booking allows you to arrange your stay according to your preference, down to the smallest detail.
Best Rate Guarantee
Perhaps the only reason you are booking through third-party websites or travel agencies is the price. You probably looked through different hotel sites and found that their regular rates are higher than what intermediaries offer. While this may be true, you are most likely unaware that the majority of hotels are willing to match any publicly available room rate on other websites.
All you have to do is show them the lowest price you found somewhere else for the same stay, and they will gladly honor it. As a matter of fact, some hotels even guarantee that they will accept the lowest rate found and provide further discounts to make the room rate even more affordable.
What if you already arrived at the hotel and discovered that the third-party booking site or travel agent failed to process your reservation or got some of the details wrong. What will happen to you then? You will probably end up in the wrong room or without any accommodations at all, especially if there’s a special event and the hotel is fully booked. You may get mad and leave scathing comments on the booking website all you want, but it will not change the fact that your vacation was ruined.
This is far less likely to happen if you will book directly. Hotels take reservations seriously as their reputation depends primarily on guest satisfaction. Essentially, you can avoid reservation issues since you communicate directly with the concerned establishment instead of going through an intermediary.
Once you reserve a hotel room using a third-party site, the date is practically set in stone. If you need to cancel a reservation, you have no choice but to pay a cancellation fee. On the contrary, hotels offer more flexibility. They can make adjustments if you need to rebook or even cancel for sincere reasons without charging additional fees.
Moreover, hotels can do more in terms of compensation should something unfortunate happen. For example, suppose the hotel agreed to pick you up at the airport but failed to do so. In that case, the manager can readily provide a discount or a room upgrade to make it up to you. If a booking site fails to deliver, the most you can receive is a generic apology.
Better Room Options
Intermediaries only offer room choices allotted by hotels. Naturally, hotels will keep the best accommodations for themselves to market to their guests directly. That means there is a significant chance that a standard room, for example, can be subpar in terms of size, window view, and overall condition when you book through a third-party site. If you want a wider variety and better room options, you should always reserve directly with the hotel.
Since hotels encourage direct bookings, you will most likely receive better service and additional perks if you transact with them directly. You may enjoy free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, free lounge access, and other exciting benefits. The service staff will also be more attentive to your needs since the business benefits more from direct booking. More importantly, you can rely on the hotel to help you with whatever problem may arise during your trip, like a sudden illness.
The advantages discussed above are just some of the top reasons you should always choose to book directly with a hotel instead of relying on intermediaries. As you can see, direct booking offers the most pleasurable overall hotel experience—not merely saving money. So, the next time you plan a staycation or a business trip, skip the third-party sites and make your reservations directly.