If a holiday is in your future, you may have already done some research on properties and found one that appeals to you. The next step is booking the room. If you do decide to book online, here are four considerations that might help you with that booking experience.
Benefits of Booking Online
The Internet has made it easy to book every aspect of a trip, from airline flights to that absolutely divine hotel you've heard so much about. The web has turned many people into armchair travel agents. Hotels have responded by introducing detailed descriptions of their properties along with convenient online booking engines. As long as you have a credit card or debit card, you can research and book your entire trip with a few clicks of a mouse.
Important Things to Remember When Booking Online
The most important thing is to read everything. Make sure you understand what you are reading. If you are unsure, it's wise to call the hotel directly and ask. Note the person you spoke to, along with the date and time. Some of the items you may need or want clarified direct include those listed below.
When you visit a travel agent, that agent will advise you of cancellation fees, which are fees that you would have to pay if you cancel your reservation. Most cancellation fees are in effect by a certain time--usually a month or so before the date you initially reserved. If you cancel your plans early, there might not be a cancellation fee.
When you do the booking yourself, you are responsible for knowing this information. Be particularly careful if booking around a major holiday, such as Christmas and New Years. Hotels often charge penalties much further out from your arrival date. They also tend to charge higher cancellation fees.
Non-Refundable Room Rates
Some of those bargain room rates look tempting. Before you book, read the fine print. Some of these low rates are non-refundable, no matter when you cancel. Some hotels will allow you to change your reservation dates without penalty, but a total cancel will probably have you forfeiting your money.
Minimum Night Stays
Most hotel booking engines won't allow you to book a special unless you are booking the correct number of nights. But suppose you book a four night stay at a property that has a 4th night free special. You check in, but you leave after only two nights. Most of the time you won't get the money back for that third paid night. If you're leaving because of an emergency situation, check with the hotel manager. This same scenario applies whether you're booking online or through a travel agency or hotel. The difference is, unless you read the fine print you won't know that such a policy exists.
Even if you book your hotel online, call the property direct if you have any special requests. This can be anything from a welcome gift being placed in the room to making sure the pillows are non-allergenic. If you've stayed at the property before and know the layout, you can request a certain room and/or location in the hotel. Do that in person as well.
Even though hotel rooms are not usually assigned until just before arrival, you'll have the request waiting. No guarantees of course, but hotels do try and accommodate guests. You can sometimes put your request in the hotel's booking engine, but the personal touch is always best.
Keep these tips in mind. This will help you find hotels such as Hougoumont Hotel Fremantle that will strive to accommodate to your needs.