These days there are many online comparison tools that will help you to find hotel accommodation anywhere in the world. But can you trust the information that they provide? Are they biased toward certain hotels or hotel chains? Are they truly impartial?
One of the biggest and most popular websites that offers comparison and hotel booking facilities is Booking.com. The website is one of the most technically sophisticated in this sector and they also offer a free app for mobile or tablet devices. Their head offic is in Amsterdam and they operate 135 offices in 59 countries.
So is their service reliable and are the prices quoted competitive? Over the course of the most recent spring and summer months we have carried out a number of blind tests wherein staff, friend and family were invited to use the Booking.com facilities and then to provide some impartial feedback on their experiences. Here are some of the most notable remarks provided by our reviewers.
The website is excellent. I spent a very enjoyable hour looking the at the various hotels that were presented for the weekend break in Paris that I was planning to celebrate my anniversary. The booking process was simple. The price for the hotel was fair and when we arrived the hotel surpassed our expectations.
And another traveler reported:
I found the website a little confusing at first, but quickly figured out how to get the hotel prices and availability information that I wanted. The booking process was simple and communications regarding my booking were very clear. However, when we arrived at our hotel we discovered that it had been overbooked. Luckily an alternative room was found for us at an adjacent hotel which had a higher star rating, so we were very happy.
However, not all travelers reported a positive experience.
We booked our hotel in Austria through booking.com and the process was very easy to follow. But we were very disappointed with the accommodation and the people managing the hotel. The images on the booking.com site made the rooms look light and airy but when we were shown to our room we were disappointed to find that it was dark and gloomy. The en-suite bathroom had not been cleaned properly and when we raised this issue with the hotel manager she proceeded to berate staff from eastern europe who she blamed for the poor cleaning standards.
Our conclusion is that the Booking.com service is extremely valuable and will save you a lot of time and potentially money. But you are advised to do your own research on the specific hotels which are presented from Booking.com.