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booking directly w/ hotel pre or post tour

Can anyone tell me their experience with booking directly with pre or post tour hotel.

I have written to our start hotel in Palermo stating that i will need 2 rooms for 2 night pre tour. I assume this is the preferred method of booking as opposed to booking via their reservation system on website. i wanted to make sure that they associated our stay with our RS tour.
I suppose they will book me the same class of room that RS would reserve.

Thanks

Posted by
1225 posts

"I suppose they will book me the same class of room that RS would reserve."

When you correspond with the hotel you should specifically ask for the same room as you will have on the RS tour. You do not want to have to pack up and change rooms. I have been successful in obtaining this both at post and pre tour hotels by making my reservations via email.

Posted by
65 posts

Bob is correct. Be sure to mention you are joining a Rick Steves' tour and reference the date your tour begins. I've never had an issue and it really is nice not to have to change rooms. Like Bob, I communicate via email.

Posted by
1001 posts

I always contact the hotel by email, mention I'm on the tour, and write the date out to avoid confusion (Monday, May 9, 2020), and that I'm a single.

Usually, they confirm by email, some ask for payment, some say to pay when I'm there. Occasionally, they ask me to do the online registration.

Posted by
5967 posts

Cindy, we did exactly that in February (the Ambasciatori Hotel, right?). You said you wrote, but you mean e-mail, right? You should get a prompt reply back from the (check your spam filter). I talked to the staff while there, as to how they manage a continuous flow of RS tour groups. The booking website will show no vacancies, but they know to expect early arrivers and know to provide you with the same room as on the tour if they can. The rooms book fast (its a small hotel) so by all means follow up by email. Note the time difference.

Posted by
38 posts

I wrote an email directly to the hotel with dates and the fact that I would be joining a Rick Steves tour on October 4. Anyone else on that tour?

Posted by
3477 posts

We always contact the hotel(s) directly by email indicating our association with the RS tour. When needed, we secure the reservation with a credit card by telephoning the hotel. The call really doesn't cost that much.

Posted by
1173 posts

If you have not heard back from the hotel by email, write to them again and make sure you include your full name, dates that you want a room, that your on a RS tour, starting date of the tour for hotel that is prior to the tour, end date of the tour if this is the hotel for the end of the tour you need a room for, and ask how much is the room and that you would prefer to be in that room during the whole stay prior to the tour and during the tour, and the start of the tour ( so that you do not have to move rooms). If within a two day period you do not hear back from the hotel, call them. This is what I do to insure I get a room with the hotel. Ask them if you need to pay in advance and if so would a credit card secure the room.

If you are traveling solo, tell them that and that you will be in the room alone during the whole stay. If you have a roommate, then you will have a single room before and after the tour, but will be rooming with someone during the tour, then, you will most likely have to move rooms.

I hope this helps.

Posted by
73 posts

I agree with above posts. Sometimes if you just look on the hotel's website, I have seen no availability or just deluxe rooms for the dates I need. But when I email the hotel and mention I am part of RS tour (tour dates noted) they have come back with availability. Ask for a price quote. Replies come back with a price quote, type of room, and any amenities included such as breakfast. Most hotels reply promptly, but the Barcelona one took more than several days to get back to me( closer to a week?). All have asked for a credit card only to hold the reservation. I call the hotel to give the CC # which is a little work due to the time difference from the west coast. I call my mobile phone provider and they will give me limited overseas calling for a flat $5.00 for the purpose of contacting these hotels. Maybe I'm overly cautious, but I prefer to call with the CC # rather than email that information to keep it more secure. I then paid for the room upon arrival.

Posted by
145 posts

Thank you all...

I did email this morning and got a reply quickly. 90 euros per room/night including breakfast. Not bad.

They (hotel ambasciatori) will need a CC to reserve. I must wait until our inbound flight is reserved though. We are 11 months early so shouldn't be a problem

Posted by
1001 posts

Cindy,
Assuming the cancellation policy is good, you might want to reserve now. I seem to remember others posting that they were unable to reserve at this hotel because they filled up as it got closer.

Posted by
5967 posts

I would definitely go ahead and book. Lots of people will be wanting to do the same. If your flight itinerary changes +/- you can deal with that easier than not having it reserved.

Posted by
4594 posts

Cindy, they won't charge your CC; they just want the info in case you don't show up. (Double check this; some hotels do want payment in advance, but we've stayed at the Ambasciatori twice, and they have never done that.)

We love that hotel. Be sure to check out the rooftop bar. That's where you'll have breakfast, too.

Posted by
5967 posts

Yes, they wont charge it yet. I could be wrong, but I think if you click on the Best of Sicily 2019 tour from the Our Tour page, the photo that pops up, of a woman handing you a flower, and a guy with a basket of flowers, is on the rooftop terrace of the Ambasciatori.

Posted by
3386 posts

I wanted to point out that getting advance tour reservations at the hotel can actually cause you to end up with a nicer room during the tour. Most hotels will leave you in the same guest room that you are in prior to the tour(confirm this just to be sure). When my hotel offerred me a choice of rooms between standard and the view room with the balcony for a 25CHF upgrade cost, I went for the balcony. That upgrade not only covered the nights before the tour, but meant that I would be in the view/balcony room during the tour as well. It seemed like a good choice to me.

Posted by
2 posts

Contact them by email and mention that you are on the RS tour. Lots of problems with the online reservation system, as it's usually managed by third parties. Only once have I been told that there are no rooms available.

Posted by
97 posts

We've had no trouble requesting additional nights, even requested and received a discount. I agree that specific email direct to the hotel is the clearest and best approach.

Posted by
1 posts

For my upcoming trip in October (Munich, Salzburg, Vienna), I initially emailed with the first/last hotels to extend my stay - both responded promptly and both asked me to call with the credit card info, which was easy to do and more secure than including in an email. Speaking with them in English was no problem. (Just remember the time difference.) One hotel did charge me already for my extra nights; the other said they would charge when I'm onsite. All in all an easy process.