A picture on the web is not always the whole story. Expedia has been swindling shady hotel rooms in the red light district with the catch phrases “right in the heart of Paris” or “centrally located on the right bank”
The bottom line is this – You get what you pay for.
So if you want to hit the jackpot and find a great hotel for half the price of all the others … beware, be ready, there’s probably a reason.
If you’re coming to Paris we know a little mom & pop place down the street that is much better priced than anything you can find on Expedia. It’s safe, clean, central, and best of all there won’t be any surprises.
Anywhere else you travel, please check TripAdvisor.com before you book. Look up the respectable Hotel in the online yellow pages, their local number, not the international customer service number. Call them directly to book your room, talk to a manager confirm it isn’t their worst room. Treat them like you would a friend, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. If you have already booked online, always call directly to confirm your reservation.
Here are some classic red flags to look out for.
Websites can market hotels that are otherwise unmarketable like this beatiful photo. There’s a reason they don’t show you the street level view, upon closer investigation it turns out this hotel is sandwiched between adult shops!
If there are more pictures of the parks nearby and the rooftops than the actual hotel. – red flag
If there are more pictures of the reception hall than the rooms. – red flag
If they advertise every amenity right down to the telephone and hangers in the closet, but don’t mention the toilet and shower… because in provincial Europe they’re often in the hallway.
If the agency fees cost more than the price of the room. – red flag
If they charge your credit card before you arrive. – red flag
If they only accept cash, or money order. – big red flag
If they are proud to list their proximity to the “Museum of Eroticism,” “Night Life,” and “Cabaret.” – red flag
Watch out for “Newly renovated rooms” thinly masking that the room next door is still a construction site. – red flag
If they claim close proximity to every museum and monument in the city. -red flag
If they claim multilingual staff, but don’t tell you what languages they speak. – red flag
While you have the manager on the phone don’t forget to inquire about the state of their amenities, are the elevator and pool open and functioning? And in the end if you get there and you find out you’re room is next to the ice machine, you can always ask to move.