Online hotel booking portals do not always offer the best room rates and, in fact, booking directly with the hotel can often come more cheaply.
For this reason, a traveller should always compare a booking site’s rates with those posted on the hotel’s own website, advises German travel publication Reise & Preise.
In its latest edition, the magazine compared nine online booking portals. On one portal, in 13 of 20 cases, the offers made were more favourable than the rates posted on the hotels’ websites.
On the other end of the spectrum, another portal’s offerings in 17 of 20 cases were more expensive than if booking directly with the hotel.
Bottom line, Reise & Preise says, the results were fairly break-even between a booking portal and the rates posted by the hotels.
But this means that it does pay to study the offers and make comparisons between a portal and the hotel website based on such criteria as room category, breakfast and cancellation conditions.
It also is worth comparing the portals themselves.
In one case, the price for a room on one portal was found to be more than US$100 (RM422) cheaper than an offer made on another portal. — dpa