Booking.com vs Hotel Website – What’s Cheaper and Better?

There are numerous ways to book a room in a hotel. You may use any of them and eventually get a room. And any of them can glitch and you will not get your room when you come to the hotel. But let’s compare two of the main and the most popular ways to book a room in a hotel: Booking.com service and the hotel’s official website.

Today, we’ll tell you whether it’s cheaper and better to book a room at a hotel’s website or at Booking.com. Also, we’ll recommend some alternatives. It’s important to have an opportunity to book a room quickly wherever you are. So, you should remember some tips from this article and use them the next time you’ll be traveling.

Here are some points we’ll be talking about:

  1. What is the difference when you book at Booking.com or at a hotel’s website?
  2. What way of booking a room in a hotel is the cheapest?
  3. What’s the fastest way to book a room in a hotel?
  4. Some secret tips on booking a room through different services.

Let’s get started!

Booking.com and hotel website – what’s the difference?

So, let’s look at the technical difference of what happens when you book a room in a hotel through these two possible options: Booking.com service and the hotel website. First of all, it may differ in terms of convenience. If you are used to using Booking service, you will book your room faster with it.

Also, the hotel website will ask you to give a lot of information, while Booking.com may only ask you some questions with main details. But still, it’s interesting to know what happens after you push the “Apply” or “Send” button in these two cases.

In the case of the hotel website:

  • your application is sent directly to the booking system of the hotel;
  • the hotel receptionist or any other manager is notified about the new booking;
  • you are contacted by a person from the hotel;
  • the manager gets all the needed information and details, checks the booking information like dates and type of room;
  • you may ask your questions and after that, the booking is completed.

Seems a little long. But let’s look at what happens when you apply through Booking.com. Maybe, it will be faster and easier. Here you are:

  • after applying, your booking information is sent to the hotel on the Booking.com platform;
  • a hotel receptionist or manager gets notified via e-mail which is not always efficient;
  • the manager checks all the information and contacts you via phone to arrange all the details;
  • if you need to give any additional information, you give it via phone;
  • you ask your questions and the booking is completed.

Sometimes, hotels don’t contact you after you send your booking information. They will just send you an e-mail saying that your booking is successfully completed and they are waiting for you. But, in most cases, they will call you to arrange some things.

As you see, the process is very similar. The only difference is that in the case of the hotel website, a receptionist or a manager will get information about your request faster and will probably answer faster.

What’s a cheaper way to book a room in a hotel?

It’s hard to say what’s the cheapest way to book a room in a hotel, but we can see that hotel websites don’t often offer you discounts and promos. They usually offer a clean price and you can think it’s cheaper because it doesn’t include any Booking.com commission or something like that.

But, in most cases, things are different. Hotel websites offer clean prices with no promos which is usually more expensive than the price at Booking.com. Because at Booking.com this hotel needs to compete with hundreds of other hotels. And the price there depends much on the popularity of the hotel and the number of booked rooms. Also, the season can change something.

Here’s why booking a room at Booking.com is usually cheaper:

  • you can compare prices on the go without the need to enter hundreds of hotels’ websites;
  • you may use different filters and sorting options to show you the cheapest hotel in the area;
  • you may find quite a lot of discounts and promos, especially one-two days before the booking date;
  • you may just find “similar” hotels in the area and find a cheaper option in one minute;
  • you may visually see the discounts and think if this offer is good or not.

On a hotel website, you are isolated from comparisons. And you never know if this price offer is good or not. You will still need to open Booking.com or Hotels.com and keep on searching to compare the prices in the area.

But there is one case when booking a room from a hotel website is actually better. It’s when you are a member of a special club of a certain hotel chain. If you have a premium card or something and it gives you some discounts or special promotion options, you will need to book a room through a hotel website. This is how you will be able to use the advantages of your card.

Why are prices on Booking.com always changing?

You may see that a hotel has a certain price for a certain period. And its website will offer this price. But on Booking.com prices vary every single day. There, they depend on the popularity of the hotel, the season, on many other factors. And that’s why, before booking a room through Booking.com, you should still check the official website of the hotel. It’s possible that you will get a better option there.

Also, sometimes hotels have promos on their websites. You can get a discount or pay for two nights and stay three nights, etc. You should check that because at Booking.com these promos will not work.

What’s faster – Booking.com or the hotel website?

Sometimes, we need to book a room faster. For example, we are already in the city and we need a room in one hour. In this case, we don’t recommend Booking.com or the hotel’s website. We recommend calling the hotel via phone and arranging all the questions with a receptionist.

When you book via websites or online services, you will anyway need to wait until a hotel manager gets notified. If you don’t have this time, you should call the hotel. This way, you will get your booking right there on the spot, no need to wait for something. Also, you will not lose your time.

Sometimes, when you book a room through a hotel website, you can get an answer in one hour saying that there is no vacant room for this day. But when you are calling a manager, you are getting proper information immediately and will have some time to call another hotel.

Some secrets to always book hotels at a good price

You shouldn’t book a hotel room without checking any other options. We’ve been traveling for years and we now know how to book a hotel cheaper.

First of all, you should never agree with the first price you find on the internet. There are some other options to book the same room and the chances are big that these options will be cheaper, and sometimes much cheaper.

Here are some tips you may use:

  • always check all possible options of booking even if it takes you some time;
  • always compare prices in neighboring hotels (but check reviews, of course);
  • get a guest card of a hotel when you stay there, this may be a good reason to get a discount in the future;
  • find promo codes and other options that allow you to get a discount in a certain hotel;
  • talk to agencies that offer package tours – sometimes these tours are cheaper than booking a hotel by yourself;
  • call the hotel before you make the booking – sometimes, hotel managers can offer you a much better price than booking services.

These are some simple tips we use on our trips. And they always work. According to our experience, we book 50% of hotels in different online services like Booking.com or Hotels.com. Also, about 10% of the trips we book through travel agents that offer cool packages with tickets, excursions, etc.

About 20% of the rooms we book via phone and also about 20% – through hotel websites. We have guest cards and club cards for nearly all big chains of hotels and they often help us reduce the price of rooms.

Final words

We don’t like overpaying and we’ve decided to share our travel tips with you. It’s not obvious whether you should use Booking.com or a hotel’s website. You may use both options and see how much you will need to pay. But there is no one single best way to book a hotel room. You will still need to compare and choose the best option.

We recommend checking all possible options before you decide. Also, we highly recommend checking other hotels, don’t concentrate on a certain hotel because this makes your trip more expensive and less flexible.

2 thoughts on “Booking.com vs Hotel Website – What’s Cheaper and Better?”

  1. This is good information but I am charge a different price than I am told on check in by 50 dollars. I have been trying to get to Booking. Com and I have a machine. I talked with hotel casino and I am told I had a talk with who I made the deal. I don’t have any information from Booking. Com just my hotel.

    1. Yes, unfortunately, not all hotels are fair. You can still write a letter of complaint to booking.com and send them the bill. I think, they will gove you $50 bonus for your next bookings.

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