Hoping not to look too ignorant here with this question, but I'd rather be safe than sorry! I've been making lodging arrangements for our trip to Spain and have used booking.com for a few of them. I have been paying the full amount at the time I make the reservation, but I've noticed on the confirmation document on a couple of them, it says we'll be charged for the first night 24 hrs prior to check-in with the balance due for remaining nights at check-in. I did email one of the hotels to ask about that but their response left me just as confused. "The charge for the stay was charged by booking." I have had a live chat with a rep from booking.com and they reassured me that they are the ones who pay the property management. So I guess I'm just looking for more reassurance that we won't be charged for full payment again upon our arrival at the hotel. Thank you!
We've used them for about the last eight hotels in Europe and they have been very efficient. Even with cancelations.
We’ve never had a problem with either Booking or Expedia. We always select pay at the property so that if plans change we don’t need to deal with getting our funds back if we cancel. Occasionally, a hotel will charge a deposit at booking, but it has always been properly deducted.
I will add that if you are staying at a Parador you will get the best price on its website and if you join its free Amigos program.
I've used booking.com for years and made dozens and dozens of reservations without any issues.
I always book REFUNDABLE rates- pay at property- the little savings you might get for paying in advance is not worth the stress/hassle/expense if things don't happen and you need to cancel anything. (Hello 2020 and 2021!)
If you use them frequently enough you gain higher Genius Level with some really good discounts. Also compare online rates both on your desktop and on your mobile phone- they often have very good Mobile Only discounts. Usually better than what the hotels own website offers.
I’ve never had an issue with a payment for a hotel through Booking. Some of them have been prepaid, some where they pull the money like you mentioned about a week before the stay, and others where I pay at the hotel.
Okay, I do remember one, but I am very sure it wasn’t an issue with Booking. I stayed at a hotel in Paris, and when I checked out, the lady wanted my credit card to pay the bill. I always bring a record of our credit card bill history with hotels paid ahead of time highlighted. When I showed her that statement, she suddenly changed to say it was already paid.
I've used Booking.com several times and have not had any issues. I agree with the previous commenter that the pay at the property option saves a lot of issues. On one of my first trips to Europe I decided to pay in advance and then had several changes. It was kind of a nightmare trying to keep track of the refunds etc. but everything did work out in the end.
The posts above describe good experiences, and I'm sure yours will be too, but I try to book directly with the hotel to avoid any possible problems -- and to save them the hefty commission booking.com charges them. I have yet to see a hotel fail to match booking.com's rate. And I agree with others that a reservation that can be cancelled without penalty up till shortly before the first night is worth the added cost.
I am a real fan of booking.com and recommend it frequently. They are very reputable and legit.
However i always book refundable and "pay at hotel".
Why did you pay in advance? Did you book free cancellation or refundable?
I have found it real easy to cancel my hotel when I found a better deal or my plans changed.
Just within the last 10 days or so I was looking for a room in Rome, starting on March 4. One of the hotels that fit my basic requirements had a special discount that brought the cost down enough to be noticeable. When I reached the payment page, it developed that I would only get the discount if I prepaid for the room, though the reservation remained refundable. So I agreed to prepay. I did end up cancelling, and I immediately got a response saying a refund had been authorized but to allow x-y days for it to show up in my credit card.
Booking.com tweaks its website a lot, and if you're a frequent user, discounts pop up frequently on selected listings. In some cases I've seen weird breakdowns of costs on follow-up web pages. It can be confusing, but I just watch to be sure the total on the payment page and on the confirmation match the initial listing. I trust the company, but when you make a lot of changes to your user interface and push them out quickly, stuff can happen.
I've used booking.com and have noticed that the price on their app is sometimes less expensive than if I would make the reservation on my desktop. Several times I have had to cancel a reservation and there has not been a problem, and I always book the refundable option.
I'm with Dick from Olympia. I try to always book directly with the provider - car rental agency, lodging, or airfare. Our credit cards offer 5X or more for booking through them, but I believe the provider is much more receptive to helping resolve a problem if the service is booked directly. (And usually the rate is less than or equal to what the aggregator is charging...)
That said, I'm comforted by the positive experiences of people on this forum who have used Booking.com. We booked lodging for our walk along the Camino Frances, and it seems the small properties along the route only rely on booking.com. Many seem to not have their own reservation systems -- presumably because of the cost of deploying one.
This was my first time using that company, and I'm less concerned now having read about everyone's positive experiences.
I'm not sure if this is still the procedure, but a few years ago when, mid-trip, I needed to change a 4-day hotel reservation to a 3-day, booking.com said I had to cancel the entire reservation and rebook for three days. At this point the price per night was higher, so it cost extra money. Since then, if I am not sure how long I want to stay in a place, I make a couple of reservations, with the first for the nights I am sure I want and the second reservation for the nights I'm not sure about. I also book through the actual hotel itself and often the price is cheaper than booking.com. But sometimes it is not (this was true recently in Mexico City). In smaller hotels in Europe sometimes they don't even provide an option to book through them but only use booking.com. All in all tho, as long as I know what the rules are, I have never had a problem with booking.com.
I have used them more than ever this past year for travel in India and Costa Rica.
I wanted to shift dates on one hotel and I too had to cancel and rebook.
I also prefer to book direct, but for Costa Rica, many wanted full payment sometimes a month in advance. Since Covid, I am not yet ready to do that so I booked via Booking in order to have better cancellation dates.
I appreciate the details that you can pay ahead but it is still refundable. One will need to ensure they read all the fine print, however.
I first go to kayak.com which has all the hotel booking sites, including booking.com
booking.com frequently comes up the best deal, so I use them and never had a problem.
We most use the hotel website. That said, for one hotel in Turkey, Booking.com was the only online way to book. No problems, no trouble and we had fine accommodations.
I have never seen the hotel called directly be cheaper than booking.com. In fact, on occasion I have shown the booking.com price to the hotel and their price was more and they said just book it through booking.com. So I did, right from their lobby.
Every time I have tried to book directly with a hotel, they tell me to book through Booking.com.
Hi. I have used booking.com for both domestic and international trips for years and have never had any issues. As an additional benefit, if you have a Capital One Venture card and use their shopping portal to access Booking.com, you will receive a percentage of your cost back as a credit on your Capital One statement. Right now (4/23) the credit back is 4%. It may not be a huge amount but it's
certainly helpful! I'm not sure whether it applies to other Capital One credit cards as well.