Booking Hotel Rooms in Europe
ABOVE: Hotel Negresco in Nice, France.
Hotels, like any other
commodity, are subject to the rules of supply and demand. The more flexible you
are about where to stay (and when to stay), the more money you
can expect to save.
For lowest rates, use a consolidator.
managers know they'll seldom fill all their rooms at the published "rack rates,"
so they often negotiate discount rates with consolidators like our advertising partners,
Booking.com, which offer competitive rates in all hotel categories.
You might be able to match consolidators' rates by showing up at the last minute and
negotiating your own price for a vacant room, but you can't count on doing
so--and you might not find a room at all.
- Be patient. Computerized bookings aren't always in "real time," and
on rare occasions, it can
take up to 48 hours (sometimes longer) for the booking service to get a
confirmation from the hotel.
- Let the booking service offer an alternative if your first-choice hotel is
full. This will save time, and it may save money during periods of high
- Don't be surprised if you don't get your first choice, especially if
you're booking far in advance or during busy periods. (Hotels may decline
discount bookings if they think they can fill their rooms at standard rates.
To put it another way, discounted room rates are like bargain air fares: They
can be hard to get during periods of high demand.)
- Remember that rooms will be cheaper during low season, whether you book
through a service or on your own.
More booking tips
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