Another article for those who are starting to discover the world of independent travel. The site already has a post-instruction, how to search for hotels through RoomGuru. And, if you still do not know what a hotel search engine is, and how it differs from a conventional booking system, such as Booking, Agoda or Ostrovka, then you urgently need to find out. You can save a lot by being able to quickly compare prices and get all the discounts.
Well, now let's consider a popular, especially in Europe, online booking system - Booking.com or, in Russian, Booking.com.
The content of the article
- one What is Booking.com
- 2 How to book a hotel room
What is Booking.com
Booking.com is an online hotel reservation system, one of the most popular online services for self-searching and booking hotel stays around the world. There are more than 200 thousand hotels in the Booking database in 164 countries of the world. That is, in almost any country you can find a hotel through Booking. True, there are regions that are not very widely represented in this system. Most of the CIS countries, for example. But if you are planning a trip to Europe, then Booking will be out of competition in terms of the number of offers and the quality of hotel descriptions..
An important advantage of Booking is that it is a well-known booking system that inspires confidence, therefore, reservations are accepted from it for a Schengen visa..
The peculiarity of Booking is that it is only an intermediary between the hotel and the client, he does not take commission from clients, hotels pay it. That is, Booking provides a platform where owners and managers themselves come with a description of their hotel. The downside is that very small hotels in small and not very popular settlements are not often added to the Booking database.
Since it is hotels that post information on the Booking, they always strive to «show product by face», it happens that they embellish reality a little. Usually hotels post photos taken by professional photographers and immediately after the construction of the hotel. It should be borne in mind that in reality everything can change, especially if the hotel is already old. In addition, the description of the hotel is always colorful and tempting, even if it is written that the hotel «well located», in fact, he may be on the edge of civilization. So, in principle, you can skip the description of the hotel without reading it, it will still be the text of the advertising booklet. It is important to always watch live reviews and hotel ratings on the Booking website. Alive means from former guests who have already booked this hotel through Booking in the past. All clients automatically receive letters with an offer to leave a review. Ideally, there should be a lot of reviews for the hotel..
Another important detail: Booking is not responsible for the quality of hotel services. If the hotel has not provided all the service declared on the Booking website, then claims must be made to the hotel managers. For example, there may be no free internet or parking, although the website will say that all of this is included. It is better to clarify important points with the hotel managers in advance, in a letter or by phone..
The hotel receives your credit card details, so you need to carefully read about its reputation and not take risks with newly opened hotels, for which there are still very few reviews. Also, for security reasons, it is better not to use a credit card with a large limit or a card with a large amount of money for booking..
Pros of the Booking.com booking system:
- Large selection of hotels, especially in European countries;
- Hotel reservations on Booking.com are quoted by embassies for a Schengen visa;
- Booking immediately shows the final price for the hotel, with all fees and for the entire number of days of stay;
- It is not necessary to pay the hotel in full when booking, you can pay only for the reservation, the rest is paid in cash upon arrival. You can choose how much and when to pay;
- The site is convenient to use: fast search, well-thought-out interface, pleasant color scheme;
- Many filters for faster search, including the filter by price range per room - a very handy tool;
How to book a hotel room
Filling out the form
What does the process of finding a suitable hotel on the site look like? First, open the main page of Booking.com, select the language at the top - Russian. Standard search form on the main page of the site:
We fill in the form. For example, let's look for a hotel for a week, from 7 to 14 August, in Paris. We select the dates of arrival at the hotel. The site also offers to choose the purpose of the trip from two options: Business or Leisure..
Click Find. The site offers to clarify the location. We select the object we need from the proposed list. If it is not obvious what you need to choose, you can see on the map where it is. For example, the beach Paris, not at all near the capital of France:
After specifying the location, click Find and see the search results. As you can see, Paris in August is a popular destination, 38% of all properties have already been booked at the moment. But still there are a lot of options available - 2,021. It will be too difficult to choose from them.
Filters and sorting search results
To narrow the search, apply filters. They are on the left, the column is called Select by Criteria. We choose what we need: price per night, number of stars, rating 8+, etc. We will choose a location, for example, in the city center. We sort the results by price - in the line with an orange background, in the center, above the list of hotels. Now there are only five results.
IMPORTANT: An important nuance that you need to pay attention to is the hotel's rating. Since, as mentioned above, photographs and hotel descriptions can embellish reality, the most reliable quality criterion is reviews of real guests. It is best to always choose hotels with a rating greater than 7-8. They are more likely to be okay. If the rating is 5-7, then you need to read the reviews very carefully, well, or be prepared for the fact that everything will not meet your expectations.
Notice in the screenshot, at the very top, you can see a long list with links. It reflects the sequence of our choice of search criteria. You can always «rewind» both one step and several steps. You don't need to look for everything again if you change your mind at some point.
Brief information on hotels can be viewed directly on the search results page. If you hover the cursor over the line with the address, a small hint will appear about the area in which the hotel is located.
By hovering over the hotel rating, you can select the group of those who left reviews about the hotel and go to the reviews page:
In the column to the left, among other blocks, there is a small map. By clicking, you can expand it to full screen and see how the hotels are located in the area. It is convenient to use the hotel search on the interactive map if you need a certain area. For example, if you are looking for a hotel near a certain train station or point of interest.
On the hotel page, you can also open a detailed city map and see where the hotel is located. You can also look at and choose other hotels there. Available for armor - with a green circle in the middle of the marker.
On the page with hotels filtered by our criteria, click on the first hotel in the list, Hotel de Sevigne, and see its page with detailed descriptions and photos. On the left is a small window with a map, you can roughly estimate where the hotel is. To get a better view, you can enlarge the map by clicking on it. In the orange rectangle under the map - what we entered on the main page in the search form, this data can also be changed at any time. In the center - photos of the hotel, you can also view and sort reviews. Below is detailed information about the hotel and accommodation features, and a list of rooms with their characteristics and prices..
IMPORTANT: Booking immediately shows the price for all days of stay, with all taxes and room fees included in the total amount.
Below you can find important information about the services and conditions of staying at the hotel.
If you click on the rating by reviews, a page will open where you can read in detail the reviews of those who stayed here. You can choose the language and groups of those who left the review.
Payment for booking
After we have studied all the conditions, reviews, found out for ourselves the location of the hotel and everything was fine with us, we can start choosing a specific room. Next, select the number of rooms we need and click Book Now:
We check the information, carefully read all the conditions and dates, proceed to filling in the personal data:
We fill in all the data in English or the language of the hotel.
After submitting the form with the data, a confirmation email should be sent to your mail..
It is better to print out the reservation in English or in the hotel's language (for example, in China, the reservation must be in Chinese only), for presentation at the hotel itself. For the embassy when applying for a visa - in Russian or English.
Also, see very carefully whether you pay under the terms immediately or upon arrival. If payment is made on arrival, then nothing should be debited from the card.
There are regular discounts on Booking. If you want to keep abreast of the lucrative offers from Booking and follow the promotions, you can register and subscribe to the newsletter of special offers. Also, if you log in to the site, it will remember your data and when booking, some of the fields in the form will already be filled in..
I decided to take it to a separate point, otherwise they ask. Regardless of the currency you have chosen in Booking, this is only an approximate cost. Payment by bpunk card will be made in the hotel's currency. For example, if this is Thailand, then the payment will be in Thai Baht (THB). This is not a scam, this often happens with foreign purchases, and there is a warning about this on the payment page. And in general, I advise you to always read everything that is written when paying, so as not to be surprised later..
See screenshot below. I chose rubles, but the service still warns me that for this Thai hotel, payment will be in baht. Therefore, it is very relevant my selection of maps with good conversion, so that when paying in currencies of other countries you do not pay additional commissions and have a good exchange rate.