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Top six reasons to book your next stay direct

Posted April 28, 2011

Over the last decade, travellers have become increasingly attached to using online travel agencies (OTAs) when shopping for hotels. While the ease of location, features and price comparison while checking availability across a range of dates has added convenience to booking stays, the habit also means that travellers aren’t getting the most from their hotel stays.

If you’re planning to stay at the St. Regis Vancouver, here are six reasons to book your next stay direct with us.

1) Rate Matching

It used to be that you could find the best rate by booking through OTAs but hotels have developed their pricing policies to offer the same rates. In fact, nowadays hotels are contracted to offer matching rates and many offer a “Best Rate Guarantee” on direct bookings.

Smart travellers shop for their hotel choice using the wide range of available online tools to get maps, reviews, photos and video, then book direct with the matching rate. This way, they get all the benefits of direct booking with the knowledge that they’re also getting the best price.

2) No prepayment

One of the biggest inconveniences of booking with OTAs is that they typically require full prepayment at the time of booking and that money is paid to them, not the hotel. That’s why, when you call the hotel for a refund, they send you back to the travel agent--the OTA processed the payment and they’re the ones who’ll have to process the refund.

When you book your stay directly, most hotels will not make you pay until the time of your stay—a credit card number is all that’s needed to secure the room. Wouldn’t you rather have that money in your bank account than in the account of the OTA?

3)  Easier to make reservation changes

Have you ever tried to make an itinerary change once you’ve booked it with a major OTA? Often, it means cancelling your whole old itinerary and rebooking then waiting for a credit to be issued to your credit card.

It’s so much easier when you book directly with us. You won’t have to wait for credit card refunds and will be able to talk directly to someone at the hotel who’s getting a real-time look at availability.

4) Easier cancellation policy

To avoid unwanted surprises, it’s always important to know the cancellation policy for every aspect of your trip. If you look into your hotel’s cancellation polity you’ll find that, unlike OTAs who enforce cancellation fees up to the entire cost of the stay, many hotels provide a number of ways that you can avoid cancellation fees if you’re forced to make a last-minute cancellation or shorten your stay.

We’re very proud our unique cancellation policy which offers guests the ability to deal with real-world problems like delayed or cancelled flights and other emergencies. We’ll waive cancellation fees providing guests can give us proof of itinerary change or other personal emergency. This is just one way that the St. Regis Hotel works to provide the best possible service to our guests every time.

5) Easier to make special accommodation requests

Do you have specific room preferences? Do you like different pillows? Do you have other special requests which will make your stay more pleasant? A directly booked room means you’re already in touch with the hotel to make those requests while you’re booking your room. The sooner you make requests, the easier they will be to accommodate. For return stays, you need just give us your new dates as we’ll have all your preferences on file.

6) The real traveller’s secret: easier upgrades

One of the insider’s travel secrets is that hotels make less money when you book your room through OTAs who receive a commission on every booking. When upgrades are requested, hotels notice this and may be a little more flexible on upgrades. Even if a free upgrade is not offered, it’s not unusual for hotels to offer extra-special on the spot deals on available suites.