Here’s why you should book directly with the Rapids Lodge….
Today the travel websites like Expedia and Booking.com tend to dominate. Google anything and their websites will pop up. Did you know that Expedia owns Hotels.com, Trivago, Homeaway, Orbitz and Travelocity? Booking.com owns Priceline, Kayak and Agoda. Most hotel software programs automatically post exactly the same prices to all these different websites. Some hotels will post “a deal” or offer a bit more off to a frequent booker.
The truth is that hotels have to pay a third party booking site a commission and so many hotels offer a lower rate on their own websites or price match. Expedia.com and Booking.com are a great way to find out what your options are in a particular area but it’s a great idea to call the hotel directly or visit the hotel website. For example rapidslodge.com is where you can get the best rates here at the Rapids Lodge.
If your reservation is booked directly with the hotel, it is immediately recorded in the system. Using a third party website relies on good internet service which can be a factor if you are making a booking from the other side of the country, or from another country. Additionally each hotel software program connects with these third party sites at preset intervals. Some of these intervals are not as frequent as you would expect. This lag in communication can result in a double booking just because the hotel website hasn’t received the information from the third party website at the time they take a direct booking. In this case, hopefully the hotel will be able to accommodate you in a different room but that is not always the case and you might end up at a property you didn’t want to book at simply because that is all the hotel can find.
There is definitely more flexibility when you book directly with a hotel. Let’s say you book a one night stay with Booking.com and then decide you would like to add on a night. You call the hotel directly to make a change to the reservation only to find that they can’t help you. So you have to wait on hold with Booking.com or try and sift through the third party website options to find a way to make the change. This can be very time consuming.
Some hotels, like the Rapids Lodge, have a non-refundable deposit requirement and this makes things even more complex. If the Rapids authorizes a change to your third party booking verbally, there is a great deal of time sending messages back and forth, the guest speaks with Expedia.com for example and then Expedia has to call the hotel to verify or visa versa. Frustration levels increase on all sides!
Similarly, even if you arrive at a hotel and want to make a change while you are standing at the front desk, they will direct you to contact the third party site.
If you had booked directly with the hotel, it’s easy – the hotel can solve any problem for you!
Third party sites offer reward programs but programs like Expedia Rewards or the Booking.com Genius Loyalty Program are hard work. You have to book a LOT of rooms to get a night free. If some of these rates are higher rates than the hotel would have offered you, then it’s a wash.
It’s certainly convenient to have all your bookings for a trip in one place, but with just a little extra work, you can create a filing system on your phone or computer to keep all your confirmations nicely organized.
So the big questions are …. is it better to book through a website like Expedia or Booking.com/ is it cheaper to book through a third party website?
Well, here at the Rapids Lodge it is definitely better and cheaper to book directly with us at rapidslodge.com or over the phone! Call us today….