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Booking a hotel in Vietnam, experience and tips

In order to avoid being ripped off, I would like to share some of my personal experience when traveling in Vietnam.

After reading some complaints from Dao Tien, a visitor complaining about how he was cheated by the hotel after booking the room through A, a famous hotel website which offers online booking service, I just want to mention some reasons not to book hotel online as well as the tips to make the best reservation for your next private vacation package to Vietnam:

Do not put too much confidence in flashy photos
Sometimes, the picture on the website booking is only an...illustration. Photos of the hotels on the booking website are gorgeous, making you want to put the money in immediately, this is quite understandable if I were you, what will you do with the bad and beautiful pictures, I want to stress that pictures are just...pictures, the reality is sometimes completely different, same as the girls, don't believe what you see on computer or magazines or you will be disappointed to find a beautiful hot girl in photos turn out to be not attractive at all when you happen to see her in the super market ;)

Don't be lured by discounts
From my own experience, booking a room through a middle website you are not favoured as you book directly with the hotel, simply because the hotels have to pay at least 25% commission to these middle websites, including 20 commission and 5% transfer fees through the bank, therefore the hotels will lose 25% of their turnover and this part will be born by you travelers, and if your stay is in holidays such as Labour day or national day most of your preferential services will be cut.

In fact, the "promotion" figues on your receipt are just virtual, they put the price up and then give you a big discount, you can go to official website of the hotels to check prices and compare with the rates of booking website and you will find out what it is like.

A friend of mine had bad experience about how the hotels make up prices on their website. He told that last month he made a booking at a resort in Vung Tau at a 30% promotional rate, 150 usd for 2 twin rooms, however there were 6 people in his group then he had to pay extra 25 usd/person, while they were waiting to check in their room and they had a look at the room rates, the public price is just the same as the discount price on their website, it was just funny as he has booked the rooms through the website many times but didn't realize.

Another client of mine told me about this problem "When I booked at a resort in Mui Ne through the website A, they always claimed as cheapest with preferential service such as blah blah then I made the booking without reading through the terms and conditions. After the booking was made I saw the price as much higher than the price advertized as they added 10% tax, when the booking is canceled he had to pay 15 usd cancellation fee to the booking website".

Keep in mind that hotels prefer clients booking the room directly with them rather than through a booking site. My advice is that you can search a suitable hotel on the booking websites and then contact the hotel yourself and you will have full services as other guests, you can add more service without paying extra and more importantly you can deal in person with the hotel if something happens, for example if you book the room for 1 week and then have to leave after 3 days you can talk with the hotel manager to get a refund right away, if the booking is made through the website it takes very long to get refund as the payment is made in full before check in.

My tips for you guys is to check carefully information with other travelers who have been there before, better with members at travel forums or trustful websites, just go to an online forum and make your questions about what to do, how much it cost, where to find the cheapest restaurants...then there will be people who have done it give you the information, then find out more about the places you are going to visit and you will avoid such problems.

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