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Book through hotel or third party?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by papillon, Jul 2, 2013.

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  1. papillon

    papillon Tourist

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    Is it better to book a hotel through the hotel's website directly or through a third-party website such as Expedia, Hotwire, Priceline, etc? Are you treated any differently when you check in? Better chance at using the $20 trick for upgrades when you book directly with the hotel?
     
  2. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    The biggest issue is that if you gamble, it's generally much more difficult (if not impossible) to have your room comped after-the-fact if you booked with a third party, plus the fact that third party bookings are generally pre-paid, which means not only can you not cancel, but if the price goes down later, you're stuck with what you paid. And on top of all that, I've never personally come across a situation where booking with a third party was cheaper than going through the hotel directly (I've had friends tell me that they saved money when booking a airfare/hotel package, but I'm not even convinced of that, because often times those packages are per-person, whereas Vegas hotels are paid for per-room).
     
  3. gerry53

    gerry53 VIP Whale

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    If you book thru expedia the cancellation policy is identical to the hotel policy
    for a full refund.

    I would never book a room and air package as then you are locked in and airfare portion is never less than booking the air seperately.
     
  4. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    If the prices are close its always better to book with the hotel.
     
  5. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    Good tip, thanks.:peace::beer:
     
    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  6. atom

    atom High-Roller

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    It sometimes pays to book through a third party. My Tower Room at the El Cortez was half the price ($21) that the hotel was willing to offer me (I called and asked them to match), so I booked through the third party. Their refund policy would have allowed me to cancel up to 72 hours before check-in and receive a full refund.

    On another occasion I was able to book a hotel plus airfare package (with a room at Bally's, pre resort fee) for less than the cost of airfare alone.

    These are rare instances, but they DO happen. Just double check everything, especially the fine print, and book the best deal you can find.
     
  7. kubbball21

    kubbball21 Tourist

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    I think your best option would be to go to a Vegas hotel's website and signup for their guestbook. You will then be receiving emails daily with really good rates. I just signed up at Aria and was offered a $100/night with a complimentary view upgrade and $50/day F&B credit. Since Aria is an Mlife property, I get emails from NYNY, MGM Grand, Mirage, Bellagio, Luxor daily. I think these are where the best hotel deals are.
     
  8. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    I always search through Travelaxe and Hotels.com and book the cheaper rate if it's refundable (through 1-3 days before check-in).

    If the price difference is negligible, and/or if it's a hotel where I may gamble and have some/all of the charges comped, I will book directly with the hotel. Hosts/players club personnel sometimes have the ability to comp rooms paid via third party, but it is typically a harder process, it's treated as a hard comp and you may get less then you would have booking directly.

    If I am willing to gamble, in Vegas I will bid (priceline or hotwire) on a hotel if I can reasonably identify the hotel (based on amenities, resort fee, etc.) and/or it is in a zone which I am comfortable with any of the possibilities.

    I can book completely comped stays but I typically stay at a hotel I haven't stayed at every trip. I will typically seed a future comp offer during the previous stay, but I am not averse to paying for a stay as well. The Venetian, Palazzo and Downtown Grand are the only Strip or Downtown casino hotels I haven't stayed at, as well as the rebranded Quad and The D (though I stayed at the previous dumpier versions). I am staying fly-in evening for 1 night at The Quad as my only "new" hotel this upcoming August trip. I may leave most of my luggage with my brother to avoid carrying various insects and other creatures along for the rest of my trip in more civilized accommodations.
     
  9. mlsoregonhills

    mlsoregonhills Tourist

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    After checking airfare and hotel prices, I booked a package through Southwest. It worked out a bit cheaper total, than if I had booked directly. As this is my first visit, it was just easier for me to use SW, my preferred carrier anyway. After I get to know the town, I hope to find better deals for future trips. And I'll try the $20 trick once I get there, to upgrade my basic resort room to fountain view.
     
  10. mlsoregonhills

    mlsoregonhills Tourist

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    :confused2:
    What the? Bugs? Oooh, guess I better read up on that. lol
     
  11. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    I can get a better deal 90% of the time through an Online Broker. For example, Orbitz just ran a 25% off coupon on Facebook. I was able to book my hotels for 25% off what their websites were offering, plus Orbitz gives you another % towards future bookings. I saved a couple hundred dollars for 2 trips. I would not have gambled enough to get this comp (one is a non gambling hotel) and cancellation is identical.
     
  12. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I agree with the comp thing. If you gamble enough to get comps then it is best to book directly through the hotel as you might be able to get your room or a portion of your room comped (not available if you booked through a third party). I don't gamble much ($5 to $10 on the craps tables) so don't get comps at all.

    I have to disagree with your third party not cheaper claim. I usually book through a third party (booking.com or hotels.com, etc.) and I usually find them to be much cheaper than booking directly with the hotel, sometimes over 50% cheaper. Lots of times I check regularly (daily) and am able to cancel and rebook to get the lower rates. Some sites like booking.com also don't charge you (maybe they just charge you the first night but some hotels do that now) until you get to the hotel, others like orbitz, expedia, hotels.com require you to prepay your entire stay. They are easy to cancel and get your prepayment or deposit back and a few like hotels.com and booking.com have a price matching guarantee, if you find a lower price they will match and refund you. Hotels.com also has a deal, stay 10 nights and get a free night on your next booking (equivalent to the average cost of the 10 nights) so you get even more discounts. Make sure you use tripadvisor or google searches to check that the third party site is reputable (some sites aren't very reliable).

    Yes, if the rates are similar it is best to go through the hotel (no middleman) and book but if rates are different and you want to save some $$ then going through a third party isn't bad either.

    Be aware, with third party sites, it depends on when they put in your payment or reservation, when you check with the hotel to verify your reservation some third party sites don't put you into the hotel system until a few days or a week before your stay. I normally use booking.com and they usually put my reservation in with the hotel within a day so I can call the hotel to confirm my reservation.

    For the OP's question if you are treated differently (booking through a third party) over guests who booked through the hotel, while there is no "official" claim from the hotel I do notice when the hotel is booked (such as when there are big conventions) the people who booked through the hotel might have an easier time to get "upgraded", while the third party bookers might possibly get the smaller rooms. I haven't seen this in vegas but I have seen it in cities like San Fran, when going through a third party site I sometimes get the smallest (dumpiest, etc.) rooms.

    I think a lot of this is a personal preference thing, many like to go directly through the hotel (feel safer, more comfortable, etc.), others looking to save a few bucks go thorugh third party sites. I usually check with kayak to check on hotel rates for the dates of my stay and then check the hotel sites to see if they offer similar or cheaper rates. For instance, at the El Cortez I have found low rates on their web sites so have booked directly through the hotel.

    btw, I stayed at the quad earlier this year and didn't have any insect problems. I think YMMV though, other than 5 star hotels I always check the bed and look for infestations. Never encountered one in vegas, even at the quad.
     
  13. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    Getting an upgrade when you went through a third party is harder than if you went through the hotel.

    For comps, you won't get your room comped if you went through a third party, but that's not a huge deal unless you really play a ton. You can still get meal comps and show tickets comped...just charge a bunch of stuff to your room and see what you can get at the end.

    So when people talk to you about room comps not being available to you if you book through a third party, that's true, but if you're not betting $100 a hand you probably don't need to worry about it.
     
  14. atom

    atom High-Roller

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    Yeah, backend comps are harder to get anyways. When I pay for my room up front, I see that as an opportunity tqo work on getting some comps for a future visit... And it doesn't have to be at the same place I'm staying.
     
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