Booking.com Hotels Review
• The most authoritative hotel booking site
• The biggest range of accommodation
• The ability to book different rooms in one booking
Ease of Use
Booking.com is the world’s largest online travel agency, and is owned by Booking Holdings. In terms of market capitalization, it is also the largest in the world. Booking is synonymous with booking hotels all over the world and also owns several other online travel agencies. Booking.com’s size and success along are testament to its overall good experience, relatively good pricing and good reliability. In addition, Booking.com partners with a lot of other small booking sites, so you might already be booking with Booking.com without even knowing it.
Almost all of the hotels on Booking.com offer free cancelation which is particularly important during thesefast moving times. As with all travel sites, make sure that you check the terms before you book but we find they tend to be pretty transparent on Booking.com.
In the past, Booking.com operates only on the “Pay at hotel” method, however recently they’ve also added some rooms which are “Prepay”, whereby you pay online before the stay. Once again this information is fairly transparent so you always know what you’re going to get. In actual fact, even though Booking.com sometimes displays a room as only accepting one type of payment, often when you get to the checkout page you’ll have the option to choose between the two different ones anyway.
One great feature about Booking.com is the ability to book two different rooms in the one transaction, e.g. A nice room for the parents, and a cheaper room for the kids. Most of the other online travel sites do not support this feature.
Booking.com also offers a strong price guarantee, whereby they promise the refund you the price difference if you find a cheaper price on another site. This is interesting as cheaper rooms can indeed often by found on different sites, and by taking advantage of this best price guarantee you can still enjoy the cheaper price while taking advantage of the reputation and reliability of Booking.com. Be aware though that as always, there is some fine print, so remember to check the relevant conditions before relying on this.
As with other sites there’s a good selection of filters and so you can filter only rooms with free cancellation, breakfast included and in a certain area. One area where Booking.com does a particularly good job with is their user reviews. Due to the huge volume of booking they get, they also have a large number of reviews, which means you can assured of getting an honest opinion. Furthermore, presumably due to volume once again, most hotels do a good job at replying to the reviews also.
You can filter by poor reviews also, which is a feature severely lacking on other online travel sites. In addition, you can check the type of room the reviewer stayed in for a review more tailored to your own circumstances. Another interesting feature is that Booking.com allows you to communicate with the hotel directly before you book, so if there’s any information which isn’t covered on Booking.com itself, you can contact the hotel through Booking.com and they’ll reply to you be email.
Their map experience is also pretty good and loads a good number of hotels on the screen at one time, unlike some of the other competitors. Unfortunately at the time of writing it didn’t appear to show the location of all attractions on the map, however it does have an interesting feature where you can search for a specific attraction and it will show you the directions and distance on Google Maps. Booking.com also offers satellite view on thei map, which although some people don’t find very useful, others swear by it to work out exactly where their hotel is sited in relation to other buildings, roads and natural features.
While dependent on hotel, Booking.com also features some images for the specific facilities within the hotel, however they didn’t seem as clear and nicely sorted as some other sites. If you’re reading this while the COVID-19 pandemic is still occurring, there is a section which details the relevant policies and actions being taken by each hotel.
Booking.com definitely has some sharp pricing, but they aren’t neccecarilly the cheapest in the market. If you want to get the cheapest prices you are still recommended to compare the site against a meta search engine to see where you can get the best price. It may also help if you are part of their loyalty program.
Booking.com features over 1.7 properties across the world, making it clearly the leader. This is believed to be made up of 1.3 million hotels and 400,000 rental properties. Booking.com’s coverage is best in Europe, however might not be as good as Asia as some of their competitors. When it comes to North America, their inventory is also quite strong.
Booking.com is very easy to access. It is available in over 50 languages, and can be accessed via their website, mobile website or their mobile app.
Booking.com accepts all major credit cards as well as PayPal. They aren’t known as a company which offers a lot of alternative payment methods, unfortunately if you want to use things like Apple Pay and Google Pay, or other 3rd party payment methods you’re out of luck. They also don’t accept any buy-now-pay-later type payment methods.
Booking.com, although by far the biggest player in the industry, does actually have a reasonable reputation. This is probably due to the fact that they offer free cancellation on most properties which tends to reduce complaints. Overall, their experience is also quite simple and straightforward since they don’t offer flights and other products, which tends to deliver a superior experience.
Booking.com is available by phone or email, however they don’t have any kind of online chat service. You can however contact the property directly through their website and mobile app.
Booking,com is a great solid option which is always worth a check. If you’re going to Europe they are probably one of your best choices. They are often not found on the comparison sites as much, so checking them out directly is always a good choice.