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or Norway, Spain, Portugal, Turkey or even the UK come to that. Fancy something a little more exotic - like Africa or the Americas, well you could possibly do a lot worse than visiting this site.
www.bookings.nl has been around for quite a few years (1996), initially designed specifically for hotels in the Netherlands. During that period, its facility has become more sophisticated and expanded its beady eye to cover hotels throughout the world, although having not tried any other locations I can only vouch for Amsterdam at the moment.
I am sure however, with my wanderlust it will only be a matter of time. You can search in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Dutch and Japanese, although I am certain that the speed this site is developing, it will only be a matter of time before even more diverse languages become an option.
It apparently has a hotel database of 16,000 outlets ranging from decadent 5 star luxury to holes in the ground at affordable prices, although after what we paid for our 4 star luxury, don't give up without a fight.The site allows you to search for hotels all across Holland, allowing you to select a City or a region - you then get to chose a class of hotel:
4 & 5 Stars
3 & 4 Stars
2 & 3 Stars
1 & 2 Stars
And lastly, but certainly not least, input the dates you want to travel - travel can ONLY be booked up to 360 days in advance - long enough for most of I guess, and therefore no year is required on the site (less maintenance).BEFORE YOU PRESS THAT SUBMIT BUTTON, MAKE SURE THE SPECIAL OFFERS BUTTON IS CHECKED from this, you will then receive a list in reverse star order identifying the number of hotels available for your chosen dates, and how many hotels were actually searched. If you are looking to travel in winter, i.e. November - February, you WILL be assured of some very good deals.
The name, location, star rating and price range of the hotel will be shown in EUROS - do not be put off by these rates as they do not encompass special offers.
Click on the hotel you fancy, and you will be directed to a information sheet which providing pictures, size, colour brochures, range of facilities, credit facilities, check-in-time, check-out time, cancellation policy, Location Map, and quick description. The information will then proceed to room availability and prices, BE AWARE that in most Netherlands Hotels, city tax at 5% and Breakfast are generally not included.
Each brochure page also contains an up-to-date currency convertor from Dollars, Japanese Yen and GBP into EUROS as of the last working day.
MY EXPERIENCE I have been aware of this site for a long time, and frequently have looked for availability, but never been able to find affordable flights, or time enough to justify driving there, particularly when until recently my sister-in-law lived in Antwerp, and thus was easier and cheaper to visit - until of course Easyjet offers.
We searched this site many times, trying to guess what would be good and what wouldn't, and eventually landed on the SWISSOTEL, Amsterdam, usual price c£150/room per night upwards for c£64 per night - The Star ratings should tell you something really, and I would expect quality for 4 of the little critters, and boy did we get it.
BOOKING In most cases, it can be done through:
A Secure Server
Or in rare cases by special request via e-mail.
When you come to book, you will be advised of the individual rate for each night, usually be offered a choice of rooms, together with price and what is included.
My booking submission was carried out through a secure server and took approximately 2 minutes from start to finish and I was sent a confirmation e-mail within less than 5 after approval of my credit card. you will need some form of debit/credit card to book on-line.
The hotel staff knew immediately who we were when we arrived in the hotel, and the rest as they say is history. I have visited many other sites looking for hotels in the Netherlands over the years, but you will inevitably find in 9 out of 10 cases that if you try and check availability, you will end up on the bookings.nl site. For those that are interested, I have just done a quick search for hotels in Wales and it found me one, so maybe its skills currently remain in the Netherlands, but the way things are going, I can't see it staying that way for long.
So if you do fancy a trip to the Netherlands and are looking for somewhere to stay, you could do a lot worse than bookings.nl.
NB: If you are staying in Central Amsterdam, hotel parking is few and far between - the transport infrastructure in the Netherlands is far superior to ours in the UK, and trains run between Schipol and Centraal Station at 10 minute intervals, the jourbey takes around 15-20 mins dependent on stops, and the trains are double decker - a standard single fare costs 2.90 EUROS (c£1.80)
I've just booked with this site. Nice, clean layout and painless booking process as you described. Much better coverage than I could find elsewhere. There are offers to be had, but you need to get in early.
alflavor 24.01.2002 22:59
Interesting service! Great op, Al
belinda9 23.01.2002 21:20
great, I just love looking at travel sites. I'm always on the lookout for hotel sites.