UTELL has great hotel rates!

By zbenye,

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Ever since discovering http://www.utell.com a few years ago, I've always found there hotel rates that were lower than or similar to those find on Expedia and Hotels.com for the same properties, especially outside the US.

Even when the rate is the same as elsewhere, UTELL has some significant advantages: (1) with few exceptions, there are no cancellation penalties if cancelled by 6pm on date of arrival; and (2) there are no service charges; and (3) no prepayment - it's a regular CC-guaranteed reservation.

I book backup reservations on UTELL, and cancel them if I win a bid on Priceline.

This evening, I got a real deal. Expedia had no availability for 9/20-9/22 in Prague. Hotels.com had the Euro hotel for about $75, plus service fee and $25 cancellation penalty. On UTELL, I found the very same hotel for 45 Euro, about $50. And since there are no service fees, I booked each night separately, so in case of travel delays, my second night is protected from no-show cancellation. Beat that, Priceline! (my bid for 3* $50 all zones was rejected.)

The utell.com website is cumbersome. It hasn't changed in years. You must go through many screens. But the deals that can be found there are worth the trouble.

Property Name: Euro Hotel Praha

Address: Turkova 10 Prague, Czech Republic, 14900

Arrival Date: Saturday, September 20, 2003

Departure Date: Sunday, September 21, 2003

Room Description: Run Of House Room Assigned On Arrival

Rate Description: Standard Rates

Number of Adults: 1

Number of Rooms/Suites: 1

Number of Beds: No Preference

Quoted Rate: 45.00 Euro

Confirmed Rate: 45.00 Euro

Smoking Preference: No Preference

Guarantee Policy: CREDIT CARD


Cancel Policy: BY 1800 20SEP2003 LOCAL PROPERTY TIME

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I sometimes see Utell rates on Orbitz, but I'm not if sure they are the same rates that you can get from the Utell site. In any case, it sounds like it is best in any case to book straight from Utell, rather than deal with Orbitz' cancellation policy.

Priceline books for double occupancy, and in the US prices often do not vary much between single and double occupancy. That is often not the case in Europe - a single room can often be substantially cheaper than a double room. So I think Priceline would often be at a disadvantage if all you need is a single room (besides all the other factors relating to Priceline in Europe).

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WillTravel, you make a good point. EUR45 is for single occupancy, and I expect to get a tiny European room. That's fine by me, but indeed a couple would need to pay more.

Checking for double occupancy, the rate is EUR60. Priceline might be able to produce a hotel for that amount. However, considering Priceline's fee and terms, bidding would have to result in a much better hotel to make it worthwhile to go with Priceline in this instance.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Greetings from Prague, where the weather is absolutely fantastic. Shorts and t-shirts.

I am happy to report that the Euro hotel turned out to be just fine. I got a standard European room, very modern, with two single beds and a bathroom (shower only). I lucked out and was allowed to check in at 10am. The low rate I booked still included breakfast.

Only negative is the distance from the center of Prague, about 20 minutes on Metro, and it's a 10-minute walk to the station. But I've seen Priceline's Movenpick hotel, and it's almost as far out.

Next stop - Tel Aviv. If you don't hear from me again, my bus exploded.

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  • 4 months later...

Can anyone help me determine how my hotel rate would be guaranteed?

I did check the Utell site to get a great rate on the Malmaison Leeds -- the site quotes 89GBP (including VAT) for the dates I am interested in.

Expedia quotes $164.42 US (and then shows in the details that it is also 89GBP).

I assume that since my card will not actually be charged until my travel dates, that in both cases it will be 89GBP and then converted to the daily rate (right?).

In that case, is there any advantage to using one site over the other for purchase?

Many thanks!

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  • 9 months later...

The great Utell rates also seem to appear on the http://www.hotels.de site (more so than the American one).

Note that really good Utell rates often disappear quickly.

I saw Utell rates for four-star hotels in Rome and Florence that were about 1/3 of the usual rate, for bookings about three months hence. I decided against those hotels anyway, but I noticed that within a week of their appearance, those rates disappeared. So did some other pretty good buys. So far as I can tell the only way to get such a rate is to keep looking and luck into it.

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  • 2 years later...

Another score on utell.com: Ascot hotel in Copenhagen, 7/12/07 2 nights:

3* bids on Priceline were rejected up to $140 ($358 total).

Expedia: $409, prepaid, with penalty for cancelation.

Hotel's website: $409, no prepayment, cancelable with no penalty.

utell.com: $340, no prepayment, cancelable with no penalty.

Prices are with all taxes and fees, 1 room 2 adults.

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