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When booking my most recent holiday, I made sure I literally checked every website possible to find the best deal on accommodation. I like to book my holidays online as I have done it frequently and never have I had any issues. I always check review websites such as tripadvisor.com just to get general feedback as well as Expedia to see what others have said before booking a hotel. I normally check well trusted websites with a good reputation which is why when the hotel of my dreams came up on ebookers.com at an amazing price for what was included I just couldn’t say no and after discussing with those I was travelling with I booked straight away and on with the holiday it went.
So, the overall website colour is a turquoise and white theme. It is very easy to navigate around with you just needing to enter typical details in such as destination, travel dates, duration of stay, rough star rating required and if it is flight and hotel or just hotel. Once this is all entered you click search and after a few minutes of their systems searching for the best deals out there, the results are displayed which you can view in order of star rating or by price. I normally change it from lowest to highest first to see the best deals. I usually search for bed and breakfast as I am not too bothered about full board depending on the country. Also when going away I never go below a 3 star as this is usually recommended.
Once the results were displayed I started to look through them by price narrowing it down by star and what was included. Some do look good but once clicking for more information can either be eliminated by distance away from the city centre or overall general facilities as did not want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere. I was travelling to Morocco for the first time so being unaware of the country and what its standards were like I really wanted to stick to a 4 star which is what most offered anyway. I also wanted a hotel even though a lot of low budget Riad’s were coming up which are basically like bed and breakfasts over there which are lower cost but offer a cheaper alternative to stay at.
The hotel I had found was not coming up on any other holiday booking websites which meant it must be exclusive to ebookers.com and for the price what was being included was great for 7 nights. It ended up being a 4 star hotel, in a rich part of the city of Marrakech which had 2 pools, 3 restaurants, bed and breakfast included, for Ł260 for two was just brilliant. The good thing about ebookers.com is when paying you pay the full balance upfront as in the past I have had many websites only take a deposit until arrival which is always irritating having to keep a large sum of money aside in another country as well as having spending money and so on.
The website also displays many photos of the hotel and information about where it is near what the hotel includes. It then gives a list of the facilities so that you know exactly what is included. The website also listed flights available on the days travelling which at first were the cheapest with quite good airlines although they do show low cost airlines as well in their results. However I found within different searches in the space of a few hour gap it made quite a difference as flights wouldn’t show up anymore meaning they were changing their deals regularly which meant booking quick was a must. Also the hotel sometimes showed up in the search options and then for days the hotel wouldn’t show up which panicked me but once it came up again I booked it. The deals do go quick though as only a slight allocation of rooms are given to websites so they will go quickly. For a small fee more I could have received full board but decided not to as I really wanted to explore the food abroad and see what they had to offer.
So, once going ahead with my booking, I received my e-mail confirmation which was like my ticket with all of my details and within the next few days the money came off. I was all set to go and ready but upon arrival at my hotel the staff had puzzled looks and then handed me over my card for the room key. I thought everything was fine for the first few days until I received a phone call from hotel staff claiming that they had not received a booking from my agent and that if I did not organise something that I would have to pay the full amount on their rates which I can assure you was almost 7 times what I paid through ebookers.
Obviously I was not happy as booking with a website I expected them to take care of everything as they had taken the money. The hotel staff did not seem to want to help and overseas calls are not cheap so once I phoned ebookers.com from my holiday they were passing the blame on to their sub agent who take care of bookings but eventually after persisting with this dilemma they got someone from the agency to deal with my issue. Basically someone from the agency was meant to fax over my booking to my hotel they had gone on holiday themselves and this was their excuse. Luckily this was sorted but of course they did not apologise barely and it did make me change my mind slightly about ebookers.com I have booked with many online travel agents before and have never had a worry like this abroad well apart from with a flight agency previous.
Overall as a website I do think ebookers.com gives a good range of hotels and deals. They have brilliant prices and apart from my incident they did resolve it and my hotel was lovely. Not only is hotels but also flights, card and insurance they do as well. For more information just go to www.ebookers.com