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After getting tired of booking hotels with some larger corporate companies, I decided to give a smaller internet based company some business. I soon discovered hoteldirect.co.uk and instantly noticed some great and competative deals on hotels. I had planned on taking out my partner (now wife) on a romantic holiday to Paris and snapped up one of the special offers for a charming little Parisian hotel. Unfortunately, the trip fell through and I had to cancel. The staff at Hoteldirect were very courteous and understanding when they handled the cancellation, unlike some other services I won't mention. The cancellation only incurred a 10 pounds administration charge which is pretty reasonable and the rest of the money was refunded pretty quickly.
Feeling bad that I didn't give this company a shot, I considered it for my next hotel booking which was in London and got a good deal in the Ramada at Marylebone Station. Again the service was excellent and very fast, I got my receipt and a nice little calling card in no time. They even left a message on my answerphone to confirm my booking which is very professional. This is something that a lot of other companies neglect to do.
Since I already had a lot of confidence in Hoteldirect I decided to use them once more to book the hotel for my honeymoon when I recently got married. I opted for a historic landmark in Edinburgh and booked into the St James Court Apartments at a fantastic rate of only 32 pounds a night if I stayed there for 4 days. Hoteldirect handled the booking in their usual professional manner but accidently overcharged me the normal rate for anyone booking under 4 days. I gave them a call and they couldn't be more apologetic and refunded the difference within 5 days which was very impressive.
However, the hotel/apartment itself was another story and was extremely disappointing. Although it seemed good on the outset, there was many issues which fell on deaf ears when I complained to their management. Also, hoteldirect failed to respond to an email and offer any kind of apology or check into the matter so they might strike St James Court apartments off their list. I guess ensuring the quality of the hotels on their porfolio is not one of their top priorities. This is the only reason why Hoteldirect loses one star in my overall rating. Nevertheless, it is a very good hotel booking service and I'd recommend it to anyone.
I would like to make just a quick mention about the layout and design of Hoteldirect's website itself. It is very simple and easy to use. The hotels are broken down in city categories and each one usually has quite a few special offers displayed. The search facility is easy and is simply based on your preference on either price, rating, location, specific hotel name or it's facilities. There are a number of cities to choose from such as London, Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Madrid, Rome and others.