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Is It Better to Book Directly with Hotel? A Hoteliers Perspective

In the digital age, where countless booking platforms offer a myriad of options, the question “Is it better to book directly with hotel?” frequently crosses the minds of travelers.

As a hotelier with 13 years of experience running my own establishment, I’ve seen firsthand the benefits and drawbacks of different booking methods.

This post aims to shed light on why booking directly with a hotel can often be the superior choice for your travel plans.

Drawing from my extensive background, I’ll highlight the advantages of direct bookings, from potential cost savings to personalized service, and address common concerns travelers face when deciding where to book.

If you’re trying to decide the best way to book your next hotel stay, this guide will help make things clearer and easier for you!

A well-appointed hotel room featuring a large bed with white bedding, a comfortable leather sofa, a wooden bench by the window, and tasteful art on the wall, illuminated by a ceiling fan light and natural daylight.

Is It Better To Book Directly With Hotel – Advantages

When you book directly with hotels, you often gain access to benefits not available through third-party sites. Let’s explore some clear-cut advantages that could enhance your next travel experience.

Exclusive Offers and Deals

Hotels frequently reserve their best deals and exclusive offers for guests who book directly. This can include room discounts, complimentary upgrades, or even a free night’s stay after booking a certain number of nights.

Better Customer Service Experience

Direct bookers usually receive a more personalized customer service experience. Should you need to adjust your reservation, hotels may be more willing to accommodate changes without fees or added hassle.

Room Personalization and Preferences

When you book directly, you can often request room personalization and share your preferences, which the hotel staff can use to tailor your room to match your taste and needs. Whether it’s a preference for a high floor or a desire for hypoallergenic pillows, your requests are more likely to be honored.

Loyalty Programs and Rewards

Most hotels offer loyalty points only when you book directly with them. Such loyalty programs and rewards can lead to future free stays, room upgrades, and other exclusive member benefits that third-party sites can’t provide.

Minimalist hotel room with a comfortable single bed, clean white bedding, and matching wooden nightstands with green shaded lamps, next to a window with light curtains and a view of greenery outside.

Disadvantages of Third-Party Bookings

Before diving into the specifics, it’s important for you to understand that while booking through third-party sites can sometimes offer convenience, there are potential drawbacks that could impact your travel plans.

Potential Booking Issues

When you book a hotel through a third-party site, you might run into issues with room inventory. Hotels allocate a certain number of rooms to these sites, which isn’t always reflective of real-time availability. This could lead to situations like overbooking or not getting the type of room you paid for. Booking with a third-party site might leave you less protected in case of inventory mix-ups.

Limited Customer Support

Dealing with customer service through a third party can be frustrating. If you encounter any problems during your stay, the hotel might direct you to the booking site for resolution, creating a back-and-forth situation. According to a J.D. Power analysis, direct bookers report slightly better customer service compared to those who use third-party sites.

Restrictive Changes and Cancellation Policies

Third-party bookings typically come with more restrictive change and cancellation policies. Should your plans change, you might find yourself facing steep fees or a no-refund policy. This inflexibility can be a significant downside, especially when compared to often more lenient policies offered by direct bookings with hotels.

Twin single beds with white linens in a hotel room featuring an exposed brick wall, each bed neatly made and accompanied by a small green amenity pack, offering a simple yet comfortable accommodation.

Comparing Prices

When you’re planning your travel, finding the right price for a hotel room is crucial. You might navigate between direct hotel booking and using third-party sites, each offering different rates and conditions.

Direct Booking Rates

Booking directly with hotels can offer you not only competitive rates but also certain perks and rewards. Some hotels provide exclusive discounts to their guests who book through their own website or reservation line. Additionally, loyalty points and benefits such as free wi-fi, room upgrades, or complimentary breakfast become more accessible when you book directly.

Third-Party Discount and Comparison Sites

Alternatively, third-party booking sites can help you compare a variety of hotels quickly. They often have the ability to present lower prices because they aggregate rates from different sources. Using these comparison sites can sometimes result in finding cheaper rates, especially if they have special deals or discounts that are exclusive to their platform.

A twin hotel room with two beds, crisp white bedding, and green shaded bedside lamps, complete with a ceiling fan and a view of the window drapes partially closed.

Flexibility and Control

When you book directly with a hotel, you’re often afforded more leeway regarding your travel plans. This can make a significant difference if unexpected changes arise or if you have special requests.

Cancellation and Modification Policies

Booking directly with a hotel typically means you’ll benefit from more lenient cancellation and modification policies. Compared to third-party booking sites, you might encounter fewer penalties for changes, and dealing directly with the property can streamline the process. For instance, some hotels are known to offer more flexible cancellation policies when booked directly, which gives you peace of mind if you’re wary of strict travel schedules.

Personalized Travel Experience

Direct bookings open the door to a more personalized travel experience. You can often request specific room types, inquire about upgrades, or arrange special amenities. This direct line of communication with the hotel can enhance your stay and ensure your needs are met. The opportunity to enjoy personalized touches, such as a room with a view, is a testament to the benefits of direct hotel engagement.

Close-up of a wooden shelf in a hotel room, neatly arranged with white porcelain coffee mugs and plates, alongside clear glass stemware, set against a rich, dark wood background.

Direct Booking Tips

When you book directly with a hotel, you’re in a great position to enhance your stay. Direct booking can offer you room preferences, better customer service, and potential loyalty rewards.

Contacting the Hotel Directly

Pick up the phone or send an email to the hotel’s reservation desk. Engaging with hotel staff personally can lead to more detailed information about available rooms and may even unlock special deals not listed online.

Using Hotel Websites and Apps

Take advantage of the convenience and special offers available when booking through a hotel’s official website or app. You’ll often find exclusive discounts, the ability to customize your stay, and the assurance of accurate booking details.

Signing Up for Loyalty Programs

Joining a hotel’s loyalty program can be highly beneficial. As a member, you’ll be eligible for rewards points, complimentary services, and sometimes even room upgrades.

Checking for Price Match Guarantees

Explore if the hotel offers a price match guarantee. By booking directly and finding a lower price elsewhere, the hotel may match the price, ensuring you receive the best deal while still enjoying the benefits of direct booking.

Bright and airy hotel suite featuring a sleeping area with a single bed, a flat-screen TV on a wooden stand, and a work desk with chairs, showcasing a comfortable and functional space for guests.


Booking directly with a hotel often provides you with numerous benefits. Here’s a quick recap of the advantages to help you make your decision:

  • Better Customer Service: When you book directly, hotels prioritize your reservation because they do not have to pay a commission fee, which often leads to a more personalized service.
  • Exclusive Offers: Your chances of stumbling upon special deals or exclusive offers are higher on the hotel’s official website.
  • Direct Communication: Communicating with the hotel staff becomes straightforward and more efficient, which can be crucial for special requests or during unexpected travel changes.
  • Best Price Guarantees: Many hotels match prices if you find a cheaper rate elsewhere, securing you the lowest available rate for your stay.
  • Loyalty Points: If the hotel has a loyalty program, you may only accumulate points when booking directly with them.

In weighing the pros and cons, consider your preferences for flexibility, cost, and communication. While third-party sites can offer convenience and sometimes lower cost options, the direct approach with hotels often yields rewards that could enrich your travel experience.

Remember to compare the options available for your next stay, keeping in mind the added value that direct booking can bring to your travels.

Hope this has been helpful!

Australia Travel Planning Guide

🚑Should I buy Australian travel insurance?

100% YES! — Australia has “free” healthcare but it’s only for citizens and permanent residents. Foreigners visiting need travel insurance in case anything happens on their visit. I like SafetyWing – their Nomad Insurance starts at just $1.50 USD a day!

🚗Should I rent a car in Australia?

Yes — Renting a car is a necessity in most of Australia! If you want to go on road trips or adventures outside of the major cities, and even if you’re staying in a major city, you’ll want to rent a car. If you are visiting Margaret River, it will be even more important that you hire a car, you’ll need it to be able to get around and see all the great attractions and wineries!

🏨What’s the best way to book my Australian accommodation?

My go-to for Australian hotels is Booking.com. Pretty much all registered accommodation use Booking.com (but not necessarily any of the other major booking platforms), and even most of the holiday homes and caravan parks use Booking.com too!

If you’re planning a trip to Australia where you will stay at multiple locations, it’s super handy to have all your accommodation listed in one place, and accommodation owners like Booking.com because it’s easy to contact the guests using the messaging platform if the guest has an international phone number.

I sincerely hope you enjoy your visit to Margaret River!