Booking.com is a website that helps travelers find discounted rooms in hotels, villas and apartments around the world. Members can place and cancel reservations through the site instead of contacting hotels directly.
On this website, you have standard sorting options like distance from attractions and guest rating. It’s common to see online hotel searches with an option to sort by guest ratings. However, Booking.com takes this feature a step further by sorting reviews based on different kinds of guests. Different people want different things from a hotel, and this obviously affects their reviews later. This unique option lets you search for the best-reviewed hotels from travelers in similar situations to you. You can find reviews from solo travelers, couples, groups of friends or business people.
Deals on all types of accommodations
In addition to hotels, Booking.com offers deals on a number of other places to stay, including resorts, vacation rentals, and hostels. Some of these lodging options can be found on a few other travel sites, but certain types of accommodations like bed and breakfasts and homestays are a little harder to come by on most major travel booking websites. If you’re interested in one of these alternative travel accommodations, definitely explore what Booking.com has to offer because you won’t be able to find a selection like this elsewhere.
Thematic search functionality
Booking.com enables you to search for travel accommodations by theme, some of which are based on locations or amenities like beach and spa hotels, while others are tailored to specific groups of travelers like family and business hotels. If you fit into one of these categories, this is a good place to start your search. Additional search criteria, including specific dates and hotel ratings, can be added to speed up the process of finding the perfect place to stay.
Account available on any device
Your Booking.com account is accessible from your computer, tablet, and smartphone, which facilitates the booking process considerably. For example, say you’re in the middle of looking at hotels online when you have to run out the door. Sign in to your account on your mobile app and click on recent searches. Since everything is synced, you can quickly return to what you were looking at without having to re-enter your search criteria. Credit card information is also stored across all devices so you can make a reservation quickly.
Powerful mobile capabilities
Booking.com’s app has garnered some of the highest reviews of any mobile app in the industry, earning over a 4.5 out of 5 stars from customers. Available on Android, Apple, and Windows phones, the app gives you access to all of the same search tools found on the company’s website. If you’re looking for a last-minute hotel, Booking.com’s mobile app shows you what’s available in your area with just a few clicks. Once you’ve made your reservation, the app even provides a map from where you are to the location using the GPS in your phone. Signing into your account from the app makes the booking process move even faster and all of your searches and payment information are automatically synced with your phone for future use.
Secret deals for members
Booking.com’s newsletters contain Secret Deals, which are half-price hotels and other travel accommodations available for a short time. These emails can be customized by selecting your favorite travel destinations. Booking.com keeps an eye out for any deals that apply and alerts you right away, so you can finally book that dream vacation at a price that fits within your budget. These newsletters are free to subscribe to and you can unsubscribe at any time, but they’re definitely worth a look if you want insider information on the best hotel deals available.
List prices don’t include tax
Like their parent company Priceline, Booking.com doesn’t factor in taxes when quoting prices, so the rate you see listed on the website may be slightly less than what you’ll actually end up paying. This is somewhat understandable, since taxes can vary significantly from hotel to hotel, but it’s still something you should be aware of while shopping for a place to stay on Booking.com. As long as you leave a little extra room in your budget to cover these taxes, though, you should be just fine.
With booking.com taking all these steps, how can hoteliers really trust that booking.com has their best interest in mind and is not their worst best friend?
When you view a hotel profile, the large, high-resolution images flip through as an automatic slideshow. Booking.com pads the large images with the most important information at the top of the page. Below the images, you can find a short hotel description that discusses the amenities and location. There are also property highlights to the side that show bed size, popular facilities and nearby points of interest. When distance is important, you can expand the map on the side of the hotel profile to see where in the city the hotel stands.
If you leave Booking.com’s site, you don’t have to worry about remembering which hotel you were considering – the site saves properties you’ve looked at on the top of the interface so you can return to the hotel page. Once you complete your reservation, you receive a confirmation email from Booking.com. This is a standard practice for hotel booking websites, but Booking.com makes it easy to resend a confirmation email in case you lose or accidentally delete the original.
The help section on this site makes it clear that tasks like changing dates and editing your guest or card details are easy. This is an appealing feature, because you may find yourself charged for any of these tasks on other sites. Other than live chat, Booking.com has all the preferred methods of support, and help is available in 40 different languages.
Booking.com finds a way to sandwich sorting and filtering features in a couple different areas, including its guest-review sorting feature. You are likely to pay more for a room at this site, though, unless you shop around and take advantage of Booking.com’s price-match guarantee.