Agoda hotel descriptions warning

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buksida
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Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by buksida » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:57 am

We're currently on a little sojourn through southern Thailand. Have stayed at a lot of different places, many of which I booked through Agoda.

This is probably only for those on holiday or that travel but be aware that a lot of what Agoda displays about a hotel or resort is not actually the case. You may have to call ahead to confirm. We have had several issues on the trip from booking places on Agoda and getting something different on arrival.

One place in Khanom the bungalows were actually across a road, outside of the resort grounds - no mention of this on Agoda. A second in Ao Nang had no parking whatsoever when the Agoda listing said there was a car park. There have been all sorts of problems when staying with kids and how many are permissible in the rooms, what ages etc. So to avoid this now, despite what Agoda says we can do, we book two separate rooms and don't bother with family ones as the hotel usually quibbles it or who can have breakfast.

You will also often get a better rate at some places if a Thai calls up to enquire, this way it is negotiable and the resort does not have to pay Agoda commissions. This approach has worked for us a couple of times. That said, there are some great low season last minute deals for 3-4 star resorts about right now.

Photo trip report coming soon - its good to be back on the road!
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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by Big Boy » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:14 am

Another problem we've found, when booking 'budget' accommodation is the photos were often taken about 10 years ago, and in the actual room you can find evidence that the room once looked like the photos, but are certainly not in the pristine condition the photos suggest.
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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by Blacky » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:24 am

Most of the times you will get a better rate if you book directly with the hotel. Hotels have to pay between 15-30% commission depending on listing, inventory, positioning etc. so there is room to negotiate.

Furthermore, if you find information wrong on Agoda, complain directly with Agoda, they will take it up with the hotel for you. Hotels are responsible for all content and liable for any wrong information given.

Anyway, enjoy your trip and I'm looking forward to the photo trip report.

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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by Gregjam » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:59 am

While agoda and other online agents are useful it is always better to check using other methods. I recently spvisited Chiang Mai and a Thai family member tried to arrange our preferred resort accommodation. Our choice was not available and another was sourced prior to our travelling but had I been consulted (the wife hates the way I research these things) things would have been very different.
It is obvious that larger places keep rooms for online bookings as there was space in our first choice but not available to walk ins, and cheaper online also.
At the hotel we used the staff told us that we could have saved a third by booking online and would have got breakfast included in the package too!
It is worth the cost of a phone call to check things out and also an online price check as this may save money and get a room that is not available if you ask.

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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by Nereus » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:38 am

I use "Booking.com". Never a problem like you have posted. The only thing that I do not like is using a credit card, as mine is an Australian card and it costs me in exchange rate and bank charges. One place that I use in Hua Hin did have the option of paying cash on arrival, but they have now changed that because of no-shows.

Recently had a stuff up where I booked for 4 days but when I arrived I received a message that meant I could only stay 2 days. Booking.com called me from Singapore and changed my stay from 4 to 2 days so the hotel did not lose out.
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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by brianks » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:10 am

I know the "resort" you are referring to in Khanom (my place or residence. The hotel is both on the beach and has rooms across the street which are considerably less costly than the rooms on the ocean side. 700 baht against 1,200 baht is the difference. Worth the walk across the street to the ocean for that price.

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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by pitsch » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:26 am

Agoda and booking.com are actually the same company. Usually they have also the same prices.

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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by Nereus » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:44 am

pitsch wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:26 am
Agoda and booking.com are actually the same company. Usually they have also the same prices.
Well, I would not call them the "same company". The group owns numerus travel related sites, which are all directed at different market segments.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booking_Holdings
Booking Holdings Inc. is a company organized in Delaware and based in Norwalk, Connecticut that owns and operates several travel fare aggregators and travel fare metasearch engines including namesake and flagship Booking.com, Priceline.com, Agoda.com, Kayak.com, Cheapflights, Rentalcars.com, Momondo, and OpenTable. It operates websites in about 40 languages and 200 countries. In 2017, 89% of its gross profit was made outside the United States – most of which used Booking.com.[1]
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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by HuaHin61 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:47 pm

buksida wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:57 am
We're currently on a little sojourn through southern Thailand. Have stayed at a lot of different places, many of which I booked through Agoda.
. . . . . . . .
You will also often get a better rate at some places if a Thai calls up to enquire, this way it is negotiable and the resort does not have to pay Agoda commissions. This approach has worked for us a couple of times. That said, there are some great low season last minute deals for 3-4 star resorts about right now.

If hotels apparently have to pay commission to the travelagents, such as Booking.com,
the more incomprehensible it is then, that a direct contact to the hotel, I have rarely or never got better prices.

Maybe hotel-owner want to consciously do without the administrative overhead of booking / cancellation, etc., because it also binds staff and costs.

when i tried directly contact to the hotel, i did it via e-mail or fax from germany (so a farang is inquiring)

maybe a telefon-inquiry from thai-speaking people will reduce the price ?
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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by pitsch » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:51 pm

Agoda does not allow the hotel to offer cheaper prices by direct booking.

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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by HuaHin61 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:02 pm

pitsch wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:26 am
Agoda and booking.com are actually the same company. Usually they have also the same prices.
i know, that several travel-companys are collected in the same owner-holding company,
so i tried to compare search and travel-info from different owned companys,

and some web-sites delivers some value additional information (for me) so i compare hotel-info from different web-sites:

e.g.
booking.com (i already know that same owner owns agoda.com, kayak.com, momondo.com see wikipedia)
and
de.hotels.com (owner holding is expedia.com, owns more eg.trivago.com, orbitz.com, ebookers.com and more)
and
hrs.com (group) e.g. hotel.de, hrs.de - but only few hotels in asia/pacific region.

value information for me:
de.hotels.com shows the total number of hotel-rooms (which i did not find on booking.com or agoda.com)
so i am able to decide if i want to spend my time in small hotel or mid-size hotel or big hotel.


wiki:
priceline group inc. => https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booking_Holdings
and
Expedia-Holding => https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expedia_Group
and
HRS-group => https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/HRS_Group
Last edited by HuaHin61 on Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by Blacky » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:18 pm

pitsch wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:51 pm
Agoda does not allow the hotel to offer cheaper prices by direct booking.
That is not correct, all major hotel chains offer best price guarantee and the TPI rates are structured in a way that the lowest direct booking rate cannot be undercut.

I think it's worth to differentiate between stand alone hotels and chain hotels, who have their own booking engines.

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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by buksida » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:11 pm

Room rates aside, this thread is about misrepresentation on Agoda and the like.
brianks wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:10 am
I know the "resort" you are referring to in Khanom (my place or residence. The hotel is both on the beach and has rooms across the street which are considerably less costly than the rooms on the ocean side. 700 baht against 1,200 baht is the difference. Worth the walk across the street to the ocean for that price.
Agoda also doesn't tell you that this particular resort is packed with weekend warriors that have hotel commissioned karaoke parties. They allow large groups to stay in the same room (but not if you book via Agoda) and they can make as much noise as they please. Never staying there again but liked the area so if you have any accommodation recommendations send them my way!
HuaHin61 wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:47 pm
If hotels apparently have to pay commission to the travelagents, such as Booking.com,
the more incomprehensible it is then, that a direct contact to the hotel, I have rarely or never got better prices.
We, evidently, have the opposite experience as we have got better rates by calling direct on at least two occasions on this trip alone. But yes, I believe it is because a Thai is making the call.
...

Another gem from Agoda today as we've just arrived at our fifth destination on this trip. Booked four rooms for six adults, two children. One couple has a baby (4 year old) which stays in the same room. On check-in the hotel presented them with bill for 600 baht extra for the baby's breakfast for two days and put it down to 'hotel policy' - nice welcome. No mention of this whatsoever on Agoda and I'm looking forward to seeing a 4 year old eat 600 baht's worth of food!
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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by HHTel » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:22 pm

Nereus wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:38 am
I use "Booking.com". Never a problem like you have posted. The only thing that I do not like is using a credit card, as mine is an Australian card and it costs me in exchange rate and bank charges. One place that I use in Hua Hin did have the option of paying cash on arrival, but they have now changed that because of no-shows.

Recently had a stuff up where I booked for 4 days but when I arrived I received a message that meant I could only stay 2 days. Booking.com called me from Singapore and changed my stay from 4 to 2 days so the hotel did not lose out.
I've always used Booking.com. Although you post your credit card details, nothing is taken until you show up. In every case, I've opted to pay cash when checking in. Never a problem.

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Re: Agoda hotel descriptions warning

Post by Big Boy » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:34 pm

buksida wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:11 pm
Another gem from Agoda today as we've just arrived at our fifth destination on this trip. Booked four rooms for six adults, two children. One couple has a baby (4 year old) which stays in the same room. The hotel presented them with bill for 600 baht extra for the baby's breakfast for two days and put it down to 'hotel policy'. No mention of this whatsoever on Agoda and I'm looking forward to seeing a 4 year old eat 600 baht's worth of food!
This interests me regarding a recent experience My son is getting married next year, and the evening reception is in a decent Hua Hin hotel (I won't name the hotel). Some of the guests (some with kids) will be staying overnight. As part of the wedding package, staying guests receive an excellent room rate with breakfast. I know this because I double checked on Agoda. On Agoda, kids can stay for an extra 600 Baht and breakfast is included. The hotel said kids could stay for exactly the same 600 Baht, but breakfast would be an extra 300 Baht per kiddie. This was almost a deal breaker, but the hotel saw sense in the end.

A completely opposite experience to yours. As you say, how much breakfast will a kiddie eat at breakfast time?
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