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Reviews of the Best Hotel Reservation Agencies for Online Hotel Booking

Updated on January 30, 2011

Rich or Not - We're all in search of hotel deals

As a travel consultant I can say for sure that hotels are a top priority for all travelers, whether they be backpackers looking for a cheap guesthouse, a family of 4 looking for a budget hotel in London or couples researching the perfect luxury resort on the island of Koh Samui for a honeymoon.

As a cheap budget traveler myself I know the importance of getting the best price possible for hotels. People always say a hotel room is just a place to rest your head after a long day of sightseeing. Is it? Maybe it's because I'm getting older and the thought of sleeping in a sleeping bag doesn't appeal to me anymore. I'd rather have a nice comfortable bed with clean sheets, an air condition if I need it and perhaps a nice pool for a dip. And I want it all at an affordable price at a prime location. No one likes to be overcharged, whether they are rich or not, especially when it comes to paying for hotel rooms.

After working in the travel industry all these years I have picked up a lot of good tips and insider industry information on how to get the best hotel deals. I do not get a lot of free room stays as most would think. And since I have to be fiscally fit I too have to watch how much I spend. So in a way I'm in the same boat as all travelers in search of that affordable hotel. And nothing is more satisfying then getting the best room rate for a luxury resort. Yes I did say I'm a cheap budget traveler but I do like to splurge once in a while. And if I can do it and still get the best price is just a big nice bonus.

Below are just a few tips and basic common sense on how I find the best hotel rates:

  • Book during low season (though sometimes there are discounts in high season)
  • Search for hotel rates on Internet based hotel reservation agencies
  • Compare rates. This only takes 30 minutes at most, a paltry amount of time if you end up saving money

Hurricane season in Cuba. At least the hotels are cheaper then.
Hurricane season in Cuba. At least the hotels are cheaper then.

Book hotels in low season - But don't give up finding hotel deals during high season

Every country has a perfect time or not so perfect time to visit. Just like it's not ideal to visit Florida's Disney World during October to November which is hurrican season in the USA. Though that's the time you will find the cheapest hotel rates in Florida. So there is a trade off.

Okay, so this one is an obvious answer for getting the lowest hotel room rates for almost any place you'll be visiting. But not everyone can visit a country's locale during low season if their work, school or other life priorities conflict with a hotels low season schedule.

So just to cover all bases, plan your trip during low season if possible.

That said, it is still possible to find hotel discounts during high season, especially if you book a room through an online hotel agency.

Rakuten Travel Website - Search here for the best hotel rates in Japan
Rakuten Travel Website - Search here for the best hotel rates in Japan
Agoda Website - Has low rates for hotels in Asia, though they provide discounted room rates worldwide.
Agoda Website - Has low rates for hotels in Asia, though they provide discounted room rates worldwide.
HotelClub Website - I use them exclusively for Western hotels
HotelClub Website - I use them exclusively for Western hotels

Internet based hotel reservation travel agencies

Japan - Rakuten Travel
Asia Region - Agoda.com
North America, South America, Europe and Africa HotelClub.com and Booking.com

You've probably come across commercials from priceline.com, orbitz.com, travelocity.com and so on. They are huge internet based travel agencies offering you the best rates for all of your travel needs.

They are all really excellent agencies. However their travel services are too broad and general. If you're looking for a good eye doctor you wouldn't go see a general practitioner. You'd go see an ophthalmologist.

The same basic principle goes for hotels. If you're looking for the best hotel rates in Tokyo you want to find a hotel reservation agency based in Japan or at the least specialize in the Asian hotel market.

This was a real eye opener for people who have been asking me about this subject. And it does make a lot of sense. And their next question is typically which Internet hotel agencies I use for room reservations for so and so country.

What about booking through a hotel directly? Aren't the prices supposedly better?

Sure you can book through a hotel directly. But that is often not the way to go if you want to save money. Booking through a hotel directly will cost you more, sometimes considerably more. Think about it this way. If booking through a hotel is cheaper than why are they contracted with hotel reservation agencies to help sell their rooms.

Here is how it works. A hotel in Singapore contracts the services of Agoda.com because Agoda has a wider presence on the Internet and have built a long reputation for providing discount hotel reservations. The hotel will sell a set amount of rooms to Agoda at a reduced rated, and part of this discount goes straight to you when you make a reservation through Agoda.

Though here is the real benefit of using Internet based hotel reservation agencies. Most hotels need to have their occupancy filled to a certain level to meet operational cost. And they need the rooms filled fast. Since they are unable to reach more travelers quickly about their hotel they rely on these agencies to get the word out by offering deep room discounts.

What I do is I look at a hotel's website and check how much they are charging per night. Then I compare rates with the hotel agencies I use. If your travel dates are flexible you may end up getting better rates, so compare, compare and compare rates, until you are satisfied about how much you are paying.

Compare rates with other hotel reservation companies, it's worth 30 minutes of your time
Compare rates with other hotel reservation companies, it's worth 30 minutes of your time

Comments

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      Richmond 2 years ago

      Nice insights! I know RoomHopper.com it is an online booking site as well but I have known it from a friend and since then have been booking my hotels with them. I am happy to say they are not affiliated with Expedia.com (relief) and so far for me they offer better rates. I am not trying to advertise or something don't get me wrong, but I would just like to share another option, as for me booking through a travel agency is still better compared to booking a room directly at the hotel.

    • balihq profile image

      balihq 7 years ago

      Nice info! I couldn't agree more, people should check out the web for the best deals they can have.

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