I am going to be traveling around europe and I wanted to know if anyone had any good sites to find and book hotels in Europe? Is a site like hotels.com going to be able to give me agood rates or is there a better site? Im just looking for decent hotels near amsterdam, Munich and Prague that have bathrooms in the room and not a shared bathroom. Thanks!
I prefer using www.hrs.com to find my hotels. Once I find some I like, I check their own website to see if it is cheaper or not. Then I read reviews on Trip Advisor if available. No reason to share a bathroom if you don't want to. Most hotels have them in your room.
For all but large towns, www.town_name.de will give you a website with a listing of accommodations in that town. Sometimes the town website has an English side, sometimes it is only in German, but most of it can be understood with knowing just a few key words. I find that the town websites will have 50%-100% more listings, and those listings are the more economical ones. Note, most booking websites charge a commission of about 15%. That has to get rolled into the price somewhere, and the really economic places just don't have the margin to pay commissions. Unfortunately, if you have to stay in major towns, the booking websites have actively recruited bigger towns, so sometimes you can't avoid them. My advice, if a town like Munich is a captive of one of the high margin booking sites, like HRS (it is), avoid it completely. Stay outside. The saving from not using booking websites are substantial.
Patrick, what I have done is read the RS guides for each city in which you are going to stay, and read the descriptions of various areas of each city, to help you figure out where it most interests you to stay. Many of Rick's recommended accommodations will have a website and you can book directly with them. I don't think you can get good well-explained recommendations on the pros and cons of areas of hotels to help you figure out where to stay from a website. I don't think you can depend on any one website to consistently give the best rate, so I like to go directly to hotel's site.
For Amsterdam, Munich, and Prague, have a look at http://www.eurocheapo.com (scroll down to the list of cities on the left). Not only does it have hotel listings (not all of them "cheap"), but it also has descriptions of the various neighborhoods, so if you book a hotel they don't list, you can know where you want to be situated. While hotels.com, booking.com, venere.com, hrs.com, and others are all good for research, I prefer to book with the hotel directly, unless there is a better offer with another website. More and more hotels use booking engines on their websites, so you can check availability and prices in real time. However, if you don't find what you need by doing this, don't hesitate to e-mail a hotel directly. I once got a room this way, when the booking engine said it sold out. Reviews of hotels can be found on tripadvisor.com, but beware; anyone can post a review. The websites in the paragraph above restrict postings to those who've booked the hotel through that website, so they're harder to manipulate. And read reviews carefully, to see if what mattered to the reviewer matters to you.
Hi Patrick, In Munich, I love the Hotel Jedermann. It's right by the train station and the staff is fantastic. In Prague, I love the Cloister Inn. It's a converted convent and the rooms are big and the staff is great also. Prices are also reasonable.