Please sign in to post.

Booking.Com--is it safe to use?

My husband and I are planning our first trip to Italy in September (two big birthdays!). It seems that everywhere I search for hotels I always end up on Booking.Com. I'm a little reluctant to use a third-party booking site; wondering what your experience is with using this site. Any trouble? Better to try to book directly even with small hotels? I have sent several e-mails to hotels as RS suggests but have not received any responses.

Thanks.

Posted by
6236 posts

I've used it over 50 times with no problems. I don't rely on guidebooks for lodging recommendations because they're too limited and skewed toward very small properties. Always read the small print and pay attention to payment and cancellation policies and you'll be fine. It's a great website, very easy to use.

Posted by
6087 posts

I have used it many times for several trips to Europe. Perfectly safe and the easiest one to use, in my opinion. Do a search here for booking.com, there have been a few threads about it.

Posted by
484 posts

OP , you will find that people here on this forum love that site.
I will only use it if I can not book direct with the property. In fact, when we left a great property in Portugal the owner told us she doesn't use any booking websites to get bookings.
I also find if I book direct with the property I mostly get better rooms and perhaps even a perk or upgrade.
Once you use them be prepared for almost daily emails.

Posted by
974 posts

I prefer to book directly with the hotel. On our last trip, we used Booking.com to reserves a hotel in Nice, France because the hotel website booking engine was not working, I had to change the reservation at one point. When we arrived at the hotel there was some minor confusion about the number of days we were staying, it the issue was resolved quickly.

Posted by
2484 posts

I use a mix of booking direct and booking.com. Last I looked, Booking.com was the #1 booking site in used by Europeans (maybe 2 years ago when I checked?). I've never had a problem with booking.com. I use all sites for the reviews before booking. I don't receive regular emails from booking.com.

Posted by
2060 posts

We've had good luck over the years with Booking.com. Recently booked an Apartment in Lubljana with Booking.com. It was the only option. Very pleased with quick responses and needed information. I have to say I like to compare pricing with the hotel website. I recently booked a hotel in Venice that was €200 less for the week on the hotel website. Many Forum contributors use Booking.com. The comments have been favorable.

Posted by
67 posts

Just used it on a trip to Italy. I actually prefer it over AirBNB cuz the latter demands that I upload a picture of my passport or drivers license. I try in this era of hacking to minimize what these large sites keep online about me.

Where I can, I use booking, RS, trip advisor etc to help narrow choices and then contact the accommodation directly. Always get a better rate over booking and Usually no deposit required; all they ask is for some warning on changes.

One more advantage of booking over Airbnb is that booking gives you an exact location but Airbnb doesn’t. In places like Ravello or Positano that can mean the difference of 100s of stairs!

Posted by
6438 posts

Oh yeah if you use it regularly they try to protect your personal info by offering two factor authentication

Posted by
20718 posts

Booking.com is fine as is hotel.com and hoteltonight.com. In fact we live and die with hoteltonight.com

Posted by
7 posts

Such a helpful group! Thanks so much; I will begin my long weekend of pouring over the multitude of great places to stay in Tuscany!

Posted by
11700 posts

Yep, another vote for booking.com. Used it a lot without a problem.

Posted by
2746 posts

Never had a problem with it. When booking via TripAdvisor, even it takes you to booking.com. Reserved a couple hotels through it for an upcoming Sicily tour. The others are booked through Expedia or the hotel itself. For airlines however, I prefer to book directly through the airline rather than 3rd party sites.

Posted by
3481 posts

You will love Italy! If a small hotel has a website, I will use their website; otherwise, I use Booking.com and Expedia. Never had any issues in the several years I’ve booked with them.

Posted by
1878 posts

I nearly always use booking.com. Trying to go direct, a lot of times the hotels do not respond or when they do, they don't answer fundamental questions such as "what's your cancellation policy?" Very safe in my experience. The risk of a site specific to a hotel having security issues is a lot higher than anything going wrong with booking.com. Italy is probably not one of the better countries for responsiveness to direct email inquiries.

Posted by
14014 posts

I usually compare booking.com with hotels' direct reservation system and with hotels.com. Sometimes I find a better deal on one than another. I've never had a problem with either agency. I also pay attention to their customer ratings and comments. Unlike tripadvisor.com, where anyone can post a review, booking.com and hotels.com ask people to take a short survey and make comments only after the stay is over, so the reviews are more reliable.

Posted by
2898 posts

As one poster noted, sometimes hotels don’t respond in a timely fashion, or at all, to direct requests. One great advantage of using booking.com is that you get immediate confirmation. However, if you get a “no availability” from booking.com, it can mean something other than what it appears to say. One possibility is that the hotel has not released rooms yet. That can happen near the end of the year, when rates have not been set for the coming year. Or, high season rentals haven’t been released. Or . . .? In that case it’s a good idea to check directly with the hotel.

Posted by
120 posts

I always use booking.com to look for hotel rooms. Then I go directly to the hotel to compare prices & find 90% of the time booking direct with the hotel is cheaper. The first time I went to Italy, I accidentally booked using booking.com, it was very late, in my defense, lol. But it was a very happy mistake. Happy planning & booking!

Posted by
62 posts

I have used it for years without any problems. BOOKING.COM has gotten me good rooms in: Italy/ France/ England/ Spain/ Ireland/ Scotland. You can use them without any worries.

Posted by
5010 posts

As they say, "Booking dot *YEAH!*"

I use it frequently (used it last night, in fact, to book a room in a small town in Latvia).

I've never had any problems with their bookings.

Posted by
3307 posts

Like the others here I use booking.com almost exclusively. Their cancellation policy is generous and they have far more types of accommodation to choose from than any other consolidator I am aware of. Don't hesitate!

Posted by
1539 posts

I always book directly with the hotel - Booking.com rates for the hotels are a bit higher and sometimes much higher. I do use Booking.com for research, but book directly. Would it be possible for you to phone the hotel you are interested in?
If it is in the RS book, I'm sure they would have English speaking staff.

Posted by
5378 posts

Booking.com is my go-to site -- reviews can ONLY be filed by people who actually stayed in the hotel, you can get instant confirmation of availability on your selected dates (or alternate available dates or nearby properties if the requested one is booked.) Cancellation deadlines and penalties are clearly spelled out.

Just make sure you read and understand the description, property rules and reviews. Note that some properties have different prices for cancellable and non-cancellable reservations of the same room.

Posted by
1562 posts

I had a bad experience using a hotel's website. I made a booking on the hotel's website and it took me to a booking engine called Avvio. The website stated that the property took cancellations made 24 hours in advance. So, since that is a requirement for me, I went ahead and booked. Later, I found another place I wanted to stay and so I cancelled the booking. Later, on my visa bill there was like a 12 dollar charge that I didn't recognize. When I investigated, it was a charge from the booking engine Avvio. Yes, not the hotel, but the booking engine they used. Very sneaky in my opinion. After many emails back and forth they finally removed the charge, but now I pay attention to who the hotel uses for their booking engine.

Posted by
9 posts

Never had a problem with booking.com. Also use Trivago.com, which compares multiple sites including Booking and shows the best deal. Good luck!

Posted by
301 posts

I have used it in Italy several times and many times in America. It has been great for me.

Posted by
5 posts

I recommend it's quite safe. I use it to book my hotels in Rome as well.

Posted by
1023 posts

Whatever site you end up using, remember to check the room description. Last year we looked for a room on Trivago (I cannot remember which hotel site) and it was fair priced and described as "Cosy". I checked it on the hotel website and discovered that "Cosy" = "Small".

Posted by
24 posts

My husband and I are going in Sept for my “big birthday” (and his not so big a deal Birthday)... I booked hotels in April. Compared prices on multiple sites and even called the hotel directly to talk pricing. After doing the currency conversion with what they quoted in Euros - we found the best pricing on Expedia for 2 of our 4 hotels, 1 thru Priceline & 1 direct with hotel. (I used trivago for my search). I’m praying all goes smoothly! I’ve used Expedia with many hotels in the U.S never had a problem.