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Too early to book hotels for July in Amsterdam and Brussels?

Doesn’t seem likely that it is too early to book, but every hotel I check says “no availability”. We have travelled in a few other countries and always had great luck this far in advance...!
...Nancy

Posted by
469 posts

Over the last 10 days or so I've been booking rooms throughout Romania for mid September 2018 and have got the "no availability" message mostly on the calendars for larger hotels. The smaller hotels and B&B's seem to be fine. OK with me as those are our preferred types of accommodation anyway. I typically start my search with booking.com and if i see something I like, I search for it outside booking.com and try to book it there. Oddly enough, the rates are usually higher on the hotel/B&B website for the same room type on the same days than they are on the booking website.

I'll soon be looking at an accommodation in Hungary and Vienna for late September to mid October.

Peter

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks, Peter.
I have sent an email to my preferred hotel in Brussels. I will also check booking.com. I might try Kayak, too, since I have had good luck there with flights.

Nancy

Posted by
6487 posts

I may be an odd duck, but I've never booked hotels this far ahead unless it's somewhere special where it's recommended to book a year in advance - Nat'l Park lodges are one place that comes to mind, or if I want to make sure I get the same place every year. Otherwise I usually start looking 4-6 months ahead and sometimes closer to 3 months for some hotels. A lot depends on if you're trying to book from one year into the next because a lot of hotels don't book rooms until they have their new rates set for the following year. I really don't think it's necessary to book that far ahead for Amsterdam or Brussels unless of course you want a particular hotel that is really popular. I booked my rooms in Brussels in March for the end of June when I went and there was lots of availability in all areas of the city and all rate ranges.

Posted by
8987 posts

I really don't think it's necessary to book that far ahead for
Amsterdam

For Amsterdam I disagree. Hotel's rates for this city are sky high, in order to get cheaper advance rates you have to book as as you know your travel dates.

Posted by
6872 posts

The question is...why do you feel the need to book this far in advance? What's the advantage of doing that? I'm guessing peace of mind? There was a posting here recently of someone who forgot they double booked a non-refundable place because they booked several months in advance. I guess I just don't get what the rush is (unless you're dead set on some small property that's really in high demand). I think hotels are trying to actively go against this trend by putting more non-refundable fares out there to make sure someone's really committed to a room that far in advance. If a hotel says "no availability", that usually means it's too early or it doesn't have its pricing finalized yet.

Posted by
6487 posts

Michael, you may be right about prices for Amsterdam hotels, I don't know. But I'm quite sure that if the OP is getting 'no availability' on the hotels they are checking then the hotel has not opened booking yet for those dates because it's too far in advance. Just wait a while and try again. Personally for July, I would wait until after the 1st of the year. Most hotels would be open for booking summer rooms by then.

Posted by
25 posts

I appreciate all the input. I have always booked well in advance both in and out of the U.S. We wanted same places in Paris and London that we’d had before, so, that was my motivation those times. For Brussels I hope to get a place recommended by friends, but, so far no idea in Amsterdam. Would love a canal view, but, must be a reasonable price and not many stairs. B & Bs are a possibility, too. RS seems to recommend them highly.

Posted by
469 posts

I understand how it's surprising ( read "odd") to book this far ahead. For me it stems from the interest in a destination as I do my research. I get to a point where I know I want to be in a certain place for a certain amount of time and booking the accommodation is pretty much the end point of the planning process. Any additional research after that which reveals more interesting sites or things to do is added to the plan for that destination. We may not do or see everything the research reveals in the time we have. If the things not done are interesting enough, we'll be back.

Posted by
90 posts

Last month I booked our accommodations for Germany, Paris, Belgium & Amsterdam for June 2018. Two places hadn't put their prices out that far and a few places in Amsterdam were already fully booked (confirmed by direct emails). You may be getting no availability because they haven't set their calendar/rates yet or yes they might be booked, as was in my case. Since it seems you have very particular accommodations in mind, I'd suggest directly emailing or calling them. I did that with one B&B and not only did they provide their rates & availability but also offered a small discount!

I'm a planner too. I always book very early to insure good rates & I get the accommodations I prefer rather then what is merely available. Happy Planning!

Posted by
1353 posts

For our trip next June / July I have all my hotels booked. Some of them didn't become available to book til 10 months out or so, but some of the hotels I wanted were already completely booked. 2 of the hotels we are staying at are used for RS tours one of which showed it was completely booked. We had stayed there twice before and I really wanted to stay again so I emailed them, and sure enough they got back to me saying they had shuffled some rooms around and would be able to accommodate us:) The other I emailed also as it looked like their prices for 2018 were not up which they weren't, but she said they will have a RS tour at the hotel during our dates and better to set aside a room for me before prices were up. Now I'm completely booked:)

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks, Jill and hsico!
We, also, like to have our plans firmed up early so we can then sit back and enjoy the researching and planning for visiting countries that are new to us. We've done this only a couple of times before, so Belgium and the Netherlands are both totally new for us. We are doing 4 nights in Amsterdam, 2 in Maastricht and 6 in Belgium, with Brussels as our base. I know we can take a number of day trips from Brussels to more than fill the time, but, I have given some thought to a quick train ride into Luxembourg for 2 nights between Maastricht and Brussels. Am I nuts?
hsico, do you have great places booked in Amsterdam and Belgium? I am waiting for an email from the Aris in Brussels and am still wide open in Amsterdam. My eyes are crossing perusing websites... 8 )
Happy Travelling to you both!

Posted by
1353 posts

Good luck Nancy and happy travels to you too! We are spending 1 night in amsterdam (been twice before) followed by 1 night in Luxembourg (on our way to Metz France to start a bike tour). Those are the 2 hotels of the trip that I prepaid to get a great rate. We're staying at the Ibis near the train station in Amsterdam since it will just be 1 night. In Luxembourg we're spending the night at the Park Inn by Radisson. I use reviews on booking.com and Trip Advisor for areas not covered by RS to help with my choices. The one thing I like about looking on booking.com is you can sort by distance from city center.

You can do great day trips from Amsterdam:)

Posted by
90 posts

Nancy
We've booked the Eelhouse in Amsterdam. A small B&B in the Jordaan. We too have not visited Amsterdam before so fingers crossed we've booked a good B&B. The reviews have been excellent so I'm optimistic about our 5 night stay. Another I liked was the Posthoorn Amsterdam but they were already booked!
We haven't settled on our second base while in the Netherlands. Considering Delft. That's the only accommodation I haven't booked yet.
We spent 1 night in Brussels, Ibis Grand Palace, last time in Belgium. This visit I've booked accommodations in Bruges, Huis Konig, with a daytrip to Ghent.

Posted by
292 posts

In defense of booking this far out, most of the time I book well in advance as well. The main reason for me is that I work in public accounting and have absolutely no time for research, planning Feb - April, so I try to have everything booked for the next year before I get too busy with Thanksgiving & Christmas. So technically my "busy season" stretches 6 months from November - April. :p)

More than once I have been shut out of my 1st & 2nd hotel choices when I've waited until after tax season.