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Booking.com is a popular way to find accommodation on Koh Phangan. Many of you will use the website for trips all over the globe as well.
Booking.com started in a tiny office space in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with one man. A tech guy with an entrepreneurial spirit wanted to put together Dutch travellers and the places they wanted to stay. In its first few years, this little start-up expanded quickly, jumping from its first employee in 1999 to 50 employees by 2002.
Koh Phangan originally became popular for the Full Moon Party, but there is so much more to give on this beautiful island in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is a stunning postcard image with soft white sandy beaches, clear turquoise oceans and a lush green jungle mountain interior complete with many waterfalls to discover and some great hikes to beautiful viewpoints.
Koh Phangan is a good place not just for party people (there’s a lot of great nightlife on Koh Phangan and so many more parties to enjoy even if it's not full moon time) Koh Phangan is also a spiritual island with lots of beautiful, world-class yoga and meditation retreats and is also a great place for digital nomads with an exciting digital nomad community and co-working spaces, some including Beachfront ones.
For most spaces, booking.com provides free cancellations. That's a huge advantage, basically giving you more choices when it comes to some last-minute adjustments. You might find other hotels or properties with a better location or a better price, so you have great flexibility to be able to cancel without penalties.
The rates offered on booking.com are very affordable and when you book directly, you will always find no mark-up compared to your hotel's prices. You also get a better understanding of the fare costs to pay by comparing rates from nearby and similar hotels. You will also get to get a better understanding of the property with feedback from actual users instead of depending on the hotel's own general definition.
Booking.com provides its own smartphone app to make it simpler for consumers, allowing you an easier way to scan, book, and keep yourself updated on your booked accommodation. The app can also provide users with access to free city guides for where they are going.
Trying to make a decision about where to stay can be overwhelming, with so many hotels to choose from. Reviews can be an incredibly helpful way of deciding if a specific accommodation is a good choice.
You get to see what real guests were thinking about their stay, not just the overview of the facilities by the hotel.
Take into consideration the ranking of the place, sometimes a star system. A higher score means that previous hotel guests typically liked the hotel and enjoyed their stay with few if any issues. You have a better chance of enjoying your stay if you restrict yourself to these hotels as well.
It will show how many reviews the accommodation has in total and this is an important number. If there are a lot of reviews, you will get a much more detailed overview of the hotel. This does not mean that a hotel with a low number of reviews is poor, but if a lot of people gave it a high score instead of just three or four guests, a high score carries more weight. It also doesn't mean that all 300 reviews need to be read. The first page or two should suffice.
In reviews, read through both the good and the negative stuff people comment on, and look for things that could annoy you. A hotel with a lot of complaints about noisy street noise might not be right for you if you're easily disturbed by noise. If you're responsive to hard beds and there are a couple of hard bed issues, move on. But if the TV was too tiny and you're not watching TV on vacation anyway, if there are complaints on that, don't let that weigh into your decision.
Ignore some negativity. If 30 people rave about the hotel and one person says for whatever reason that it was bad, it was probably just a fluke. Don't let one adverse review outweigh a sea of favourable feedback. Some people have certain criteria, and they're not always met, but that doesn't mean that the hotel is at fault.
There is always the risk of a mix-up or unexpected element throwing a wrench into your plans with travel booking. No booking agent is resistant to certain types of events and that's why they have some money-back guarantees that you'll want to look into, and if necessary, their customer service team is there to assist you or refund you.
When using booking.com you have your booking guaranteed which is better than just turning up to the accommodation when they may not have any rooms available. As they are also a third-party you can contact them for any information.
Booking.com also allows you to message the property directly through their platform meaning you can manage your booking all within the same system and not have to go searching for websites or Facebook pages. Most accommodations are quick to respond with any particular questions you may have. If there is some information missing that you would like to know or maybe you have a special request to ask to see if the accommodation can meet these needs then this is a great way to find out.
You can compare easily other properties in the same area or even by budget by using booking.com’s filtering system. In this way, you will be given a list of certain accommodations that meet your requirements or are in the area you wish to stay rather than searching in a wide and large area which could take more time.
The advertised prices are the prices that you pay. Booking.com does not add any admin fees or reservation fees. Booking.com does, in truth, rarely charge you anything straight away. In most situations, you only pay when you arrive at the accommodation. There are times when Booking.com receives fees, of course, but this is often explicitly mentioned during the booking process. Please note that when you arrive, properties sometimes add tourist taxes or extra fees to the bill. This should be specifically written somewhere during the booking process so make sure you read everything.
On occasion, you might actually be able to get a better price by going directly to the accommodation. Also because accommodations pay a commission to Booking.com, by going direct, especially for small and independent establishments, you know they are getting your full payment.
By contacting the place directly you might get better deals or upgrades and have that more ‘personal’ service as you are going straight to them, you are almost worth more in a way as they don’t lose money through the agency.
Book for a short time and extend. One of the best ways to use booking.com if you don’t want to put too much effort in before arrival would be to make your booking for a short time, two or three days. Then, when you arrive, you can extend your stay directly with the property.
Alway compared between booking.com and other sites like Agoda, Airbnb, Expedia etc as they might have better deals or prices on the same property. Sometimes the price difference is big and can save you money. Check it according to the duration you plan to stay, sometimes there are discounts for longer stays and could be cheaper on one website to the other.