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Accomodation

Travel Forums General Talk Accomodation

1. Posted by The Jones (Budding Member 44 posts) 5y

Hello all,

I am due to set out on my RTW trip in a couple of months & although I have researched some good accomodation I was wondering if anyone has booked accomodation through Travellerspoint?

How did it pan out of for you? Did it actually work?

Thanks again,

Nick.

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 5y

I might be considered biased as I do development work for travellerspoint from time to time (including a security review on the accommodation booking system here), but yes, booking accommodation through travellerspoint works perfectly, and I can highly recommend it. You get a booking number to show when arriving at your ho(s)tel/guesthouse, but generally that's never needed, as the place will just know about your booking by your name.

One or two times a year I see a thread come by from someone who had bad luck and had to deal with a property not following the guidelines of the accommodation booking provider with which travellerspoint deals, and ended up being left without a room or somesuch, and what impresses me in those cases (which could happen anywhere) is how extremely active Sam and Peter are in following up on the case, getting that person at least a refund, with action being taken against the property owner. (And one or two cases out of hundreds of thousands (?) of bookings a year is basically nothing.)
The confidence that gives me is probably the chief reason why I book through travellerspoint myself.

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Mar-2011, at 10:00 by Sander ]

3. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 5y

I have booked accommodation several times through Travellerspoint and it has always been fine.

4. Posted by tourdeflor (Budding Member 7 posts) 5y

I never booked through travelerspoint, but I did some couchsurfing and booked often through hostelword. On my RTW. Where all are you headed?

Peace,

Mike

5. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 5y

I booked last year on TP for a hotel in Hanoi. TP uses a private hostel booking engine which requires a 10% deposit + a $2. booking fee. All went well except that the hotel was only mediocre, and I could have made out better by booking direct at that hotel's website. I do not plan on using this service again anytime in the near future. There are 100% free hostel booking sites out there.

For SE Asia, I like the hotel recommendations at Travelfish.org - because all properties are researched personally by staff members, and all reviews are followed up and deleted if not verified.

6. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 5y

Quoting Daawgon

I booked last year on TP for a hotel in Hanoi. TP uses a private hostel booking engine which requires a 10% deposit + a $2. booking fee. All went well except that the hotel was only mediocre, and I could have made out better by booking direct at that hotel's website. I do not plan on using this service again anytime in the near future. There are 100% free hostel booking sites out there.

I'm sorry to hear the hotel was charging more through our system than on their own site (or was the difference purely the 2$ booking fee?), and that you don't plan to use the service again in the near future. I did however want to correct a misconception about the system, which is probably based on how it historically was, as the system has come a ways :)

We actually currently pull in reviews & ratings (all from existing customers, so verified), availability and pricing from two different budget/hostel booking systems (and a third less budgetty provider is being planned). One of them is Hostelworld and the other is as you say a '100% free hostel booking site', which also require 10% deposits (Hostelbookers). We did a LOT of testing beforehand when trying to decide if we should offer the prices from each provider on the same page when researching pricing, or if we should default to one of the providers in the cases where they both have an agreement with a property. We uncovered some very interesting stuff in our testing.

  • there's several thousand properties (5000+) that are served by just one of the two, so if you are booking a hostel anywhere other than Travellerspoint, you will have less choice = less availability = less flexibility/worse pricing. In other words, by combining the two largest systems out there, we created the largest hostel booking system :)
  • in the cases where a property has an agreement with both providers, prices fluctuate, sometimes a LOT... there are cases where prices were double on one compared to the other, and vice versa. These huge price differences quickly cancel out any booking fees.
  • rooms available on the same night differ vastly from one to the other. Sometimes one system has a better agreement with more availability, other times it's the other one. In general however you can safely say that the largest of the two systems has quite a lot more availability and thus better prices for customers. They have also been around longer and have more history with the property owners, so properties are a lot less likely to overlook a booking, which unfortunately does happen from time to time like Sander pointed out.
  • it is sometimes impossible to compare the room types. Especially for hostels where there doesn't seem to be any standard naming, you will find rooms that you think are the same, but don't know for sure. In other words, technically it becomes impossible to say "for this property, this is the cheapest price for this room after checking all providers"
  • performance from a technical point of view for one of the providers was superior.
  • the time it takes to return the pricing for two providers on a property page (or on a city page like Rome where something like 600 properties have to be checked with two providers), is a LOT worse than if there is one default provider for each property. All testing on the web indicates that speed of page loads is a huge influence on whether or not someone chooses to use that site to book or not.

I admit it was a hard decision, but based on the above and some back end/customer service considerations, in the end we decided to give one provider preference in those cases where we are 100% sure the property is served by two providers. In the cards for this year is that if that provider doesn't have availability, we also check the other provider(s).

To Nick, I hope this answer didn't get too complex given your question. Just thought I'd clarify this, as we actually never really announced the changes when they were implemented last year But as you can see, we do pay attention to our users!! I am obviously pretty biased myself, but I've used the system to book several times and have always ended up satisfied. I tend to stick to properties with at least a few ratings, and a 70%+ average, which helps ensure that. With regards to if the system actually works, between the two providers we use, I know there are several hundred thousand bookings going through each month. Whilst that is no guarantee for success with every single booking, I think it's testimony to the service actually working.