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Careful of hostelBooker

Discussion in 'Las Vegas for the Frugal (not Cheap)' started by dewey089, Mar 5, 2014.

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  1. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Palace Station was advertised at $13 a night.
    I knew that did not include the $17 resort fee.
    BUT
    It also was "per person" and no booking for one person was possible.

    So this advertised price of $13 a night, really meant $46 a night.
    This has got to be the most misrepresented advertisement I've yet to see.
     
  2. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    They charge per person, but there's no option for a single? That makes me crazy. There's a place that gets me in British Columbia with their ads of rooms "starting at $89" per person, based on double occupancy.
     
  3. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Back in the 1990s there was a billboard for a while advertising the Stardust (my fave at the time) with that deceptive low price in large letters and "per person, double occupancy" in teeny-tiny letters!

    This was on route 15 leaving the El-Lay area.

    I mentioned this a number of times to them when we checked in and remarked that it was deceptive and was not giving the public a good impression and such. I saw the billboard on a few trips but it did eventually go away.
     
  4. joshrocker

    joshrocker VIP Whale

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    Not to go way off topic, but resort fees have me really paying close attention now to deals like this. You really have to research the price to make sure that the advertised rate is really the final rate. The hotels are gonna force someone's hand like the airlines did and force some kind of regulatory intervention.

    Thanks for the heads up Dewey.
     
  5. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Starting with Hotels Combined in left column, and doing the same search, I found I got a much more user friendly breakdown from HostelBookers.com that spelled out the prices per person more clearly and did allow single bookings (for a raised price)

    However, they take 15% up front directly from us and we pay the other 85% to the hotel. If we cancel, the 15% is not refundable. I generally want flexibility from the discounters, so I never end of booking when I can't get a full refund.
     
  6. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Okay. I went directly to their website and got that more user friendly breakdown. That seems much more fair. I don't know how I was led to the other experience. Perhaps it was just an advertisement popup with that price.
    I'm not seriously looking anyway, just playing around with fantasy trips that probably won't be possible. This HostelBookers.com was new to me.
    Plenty of the deals I see now do not allow cancellation without some penalty, so this %15 might not be such a bad bet, especially when prices are dropped low because they are going to be boosted at the hotel with the resort fee. The discounter does not get a cut of the resort fee, so in four days I have been playing with for Palace Station, the upfront and not refundable payment is only $10. Sometimes that might be a good bet.
     
  7. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Well, sorry it is perhaps a confusing warning. I seem to be confusing lately.
    I don't think you are off the topic I intended at all. I agree.
    I keep Sonya's resort fee site bookmarked and up on my computer whenever booking so I can bounce back and forth.

    With discounters, these issues have to be addressed:

    *What is the cancellation policy? If at the last minute I get a freebie offer, can I back out of the discounter booking for free?
    *Even when the cancellation is free, often it is impossible to cancel just one night and keep the booked price for the others (as it is with a direct booking.) So how much flexibility do I need?
    *Are there better deals directly. For example, Eastside Cannery will always give me $10 off rack rate just for being old, so is the discounter price lower than that? Some other places offer freebies. LVH will give me $10 off for not taking housekeeping.
    * Will they take all the booking money upfront? That meant one time that I had over $300 Hotels.com owed me, and I rebooked for different dates for another $350 and refunds on the cancelation can take a month or more. That tied up my funds. I like it when they just take one night.

    It is not easy to plan the perfectly frugal trip.
     
  8. DjZZeRo

    DjZZeRo Tourist

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    Wow that's crazy :/
     
  9. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    They have it down to as low at $7 per night now. If I wanted to stay at Palace Station, I would jump on it, haha.
     
  10. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    So that is $14 plus tax $15.75 plus resort fee $17 or $32.75.

    Compare to the suites at Arizona Charlie's when booked on expedia that even adds up the tax for us, $36 a night buys more than a basic room, it buys a suite with two rooms including a fine couch for watching TV.
    Of course, for many that is too far out, but for bus riders it is not really a problem.
    For my next trip, however, I am being tossed so many freebies that I don't think I have room in my schedule, and I'd rather be at Sam's Town than Arizona Charlie's.
    However, I'm going to see if I can see one of these suites on my next trip.

    At any rate, any search will show you why resort fees and tricks like this per person price are attractive to the hotels. Put in a low to high filter and Arizona Charlie's should come out on top, but because they do not have a resort fee, they come out way down the list.
     
  11. booker

    booker High-Roller

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    Fitzgerald's in Reno used to run a per person ad back in the day. What a shady practice!
     
  12. billyinpg

    billyinpg Low-Roller

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    I would be interested to know there where and when of this. I've said it before and now again that I can do 7 nights in Vegas way cheaper than 2 or 3 nights in my home province.

    If I was to guess it was Vancouver and probably not down town.:thumbsdown:
     
  13. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    Thanks Dewey. My eyes were not wide open yet, I should have been able to tell when the total was $42 for 3 nights, haha. A lot of the hotels in Mexico that I stay in are priced this way, but you DO have the option of booking 1 person, and it is 1/2 of 2 people many times.
     
  14. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    The other place I encounter this is in bus trips with hotel included. I completely understand why a solo room is more expensive to put in a travel package than a double; however, I want both prices in the come on advertisement.
    One other fine print bit popping up much more than it used to is cancellation rules. Many more places have a charge for any cancellation, not just late cancellation or no show. Some places give a bit better rate and offer no refund for cancellation. This happens at one of my favorite spots in Vegas, the Super 8 at Koval near Ellis Island.
    Generally, for just a few more dollars I can get a AARP rate close to the advertised bottom line rate, but I have to keep my wits about me when booking. Sometimes I have just called and booked with a person directly.
    On all searches now I see that we pay more for the ability to cancel without penalty. It is yet another reason to book whenever possible directly with the casino where cancellation fees are not applied and there is greater flexibility in adding or dropping a night from what has already been booked.

    So, I am puzzled too about the policy of this booking place. Here is what it says:

    Cancellation Policy
    Customers can cancel their reservation free of charge up to 2 days before arrival (local time). Payments made to HostelBookers are non-refundable.

    So it is free or is a deposit non-refundable?
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
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