I need some advice about online hotel booking.
I've made a booking with a company called directrooms, but before paying decided to check up on them a bit. This has proved difficult. They quote a TAT (tourist authority of Thailand) registration number, but this does not appear in the directory at www.atta.or.th
Can anybody vouch for them (or otherwise?). Any recommendations for other reliable online booking services?
Most online booking websites use one of only a few actual unique hotel booking systems worldwide. The booking forms can often be integrated into another website quite easily and the actual booking therefore be processed by another third party. Perhaps that is the case here? It is strange that they quote a TAT number and then you can't find them though.
Reliable alternatives? Travellerspoint works with a few different systems depending on what you are after. These are all quality programs backed by big orgs.
In blatant promotion, here are the direct links:
(hostels, budget hotels, guesthouses etc. - booking confirmed immediately)
Last minute hotels
(bookings for next 20 days only - booking confirmed immediately)
(regular hotel bookings)
Hope that helps
[ Edit: Fixed incorrect link. ]
directrooms.com appear to be ok. I haven't used them, but, like Sam have a website that can sell hotel rooms for a modest commission for the website owner.
I did consider having directrooms links on my website and they certainly look very professional, and I believe that they give website owners good commissions. But for Thailand I found that Precision Reservations with their "lowest price guarantee" gave the best prices and service, and R24's reviews are useful. Any of them will be dramatically cheaper than just turning up at the hotel reception, particularly if you are looking at higher end hotels/ resorts/ spas etc.
Here's another blatant plug - for Chiang Mai Hotels see http://chiangmaihotels.chiangdao.com (other Thailand hotels are in the menu ) .
TAT and ATTA are two completely different bodies. TAT is the government run Tourist Authority promoting Thailand to visitors and potential visitors, ATTA is the Association of Thai Travel Agents, an industry body.
Someone quoting a TAT number will not appear on the ATTA website but in the most part TAT registered companies are reliable and trustworthy. Or at least more reliable and trustworthy than those that don't have TAT numbers.
Hope thats slightly clearer than mud!
Thanks for this information.
Stuart, the ATTA website lists both TAT licence numbers and ATTA membership numbers, as well as the names and address of registered companies in a searchable list. I searched using various name, address and number strings, but found nothing.
To add to my worry, I faxed the hotel directly to ask if the booking had been made (I was told I had a booking by directrooms) and was informed in a return fax -phrased in a way that made me wonder if they'd actually understood my enquiry- that they could not confirm my booking as they were fully booked for the period.
I'll have a look at the links you've suggested.
Hmmm, getting muddier!!
Ive used directrooms.com 3 times all with no probs. I also used precsionreservations.com who are fine, but I dont like their policy of hiding the service charges and tax (they do not show this on the hotel price pages). So I dont use them now!
i use hostelworld.com when im looking for rooms. i think it mainly caters for cities, but its worth a look.
You'll find anything you find on Hostelworld right here on Travellerspoint as well.. the same system is used in the budget accommodation area..
i find directrooms ok. i used them a number of times. there is another site, i just mention that as i booked with them previously and they let me down in a big way. i am reffering to phuket.com. what happened was that i paid online, upon check in though the hotel did not accept the rates, my voucher. very annoying this.
i contacted phuket.com twice. once over the phone which was a nightmare, the second time i contacted phuket.com by email. i was able to clarify all, but what an excercice.
after that eposide i tried directrooms and it worked very smooth and easy. good job!
[ Edit: quote formatting removed ]