My boyfriend and I are going to a wedding in Marco Island, Florida next year. The thing is they want everyone to stay in the same hotel which is waaaaaaay over our budget, so ive looked around on the web and there's sites where we can book the same hotel but for a bit cheaper. Are these going to be ok or are there dodgy sites like this out there, coz we dont wanna book it up and then get to miami and find somethings got messed up. Anyone used these sort of sites before?Thanks
There are dodgy sites around - use common sense to avoid them.
However, most travel agents/sites can offer hotel rooms at less than 'rack rate'. That's because hotels offer huge discounts to the travel trade, who then often pass on a part of them to their customers. Nothing dodgy about it.
Depending on the website, prices for the same hotel and rooms will vary. Places like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, etc. do get certain deals through the hotel chains. As an example, we needed to book hotel rooms in Chicago this past June. Most sites, including the hotel site itself, were running ~$154/night. We found the same rooms for $99/night through quikbook.com. We had not used them before and were unsure about the company. I called the hotel to verify our reservations and got a glowing review of the website at the same time. Everything was fine.
If you find a really good deal for the hotel - call them and ask about their relationship with the booking website. Most of the time, you can ask them to verify the rate the website is quoting you too. I find if I'm unsure about a company, a google search about them will bring up pages where someone has reviewed them - such as other customers. If there is nothing but bad reviews, steer clear.
Hope that helps a bit.