This can not be stressed enough. We have had numerous reports and experiences where we / people have relied on web-sites, brochures and even tour books (e.g. One supposedly renowned travel guide book describes "Ao Nang Villa Resort" as having "76 upgraded cottages" and showing it to be on the beach. When, in fact, it has no villas, just a single, ugly, concrete block. And it is far from the beach!).
You should also be very wary of adjectives used by Asian Travel Agents. Descriptions such as "This is the very best luxury hotel in Patong, which is renowned for its fine beach.". This can really mean; "We make the most commission on this one out of all the hotels in Phuket. And Patong is most well known for it's US Navy visits, "lady boy" transvestites and naked girly bars!". So be warned!
Another warning about using Asian travel agents is making sure your reservation is confirmed by the hotel, and that the hotel do not ask you for the money you paid your agent! With most larger / established agents, this of course is not a problem / issue. Also, if a hotel site shows you one price, but then they quote you another, higher price. Please do not do business with them. But rather let us know, so we can warn others.
Unfortunately, there are some travel agents that need to be avoided. We have been made aware of agents who have taken money under false pretenses. To find the details / tricks of these nasty agents, please refer to our Name & Shame Page. But just so you know who they are and can avoid them; Asiarooms.com, Siam-Hotel.Com, Asiavoyage24.com, Hotels-Thailand.net, Thailand-Hotels-Phuket.com, Thai-Hotels.com, Thairooms.com, Hotels.Siam.net (Siam.net), Thailand-Hotels-Online.com, Thailandrooms.net - Actually, these are all the same company!
Of course, the way to avoid problems with any travel agent is to book directly with the hotel. Sometimes this can also mean you get a better rate (as they do not have to pay agents a commission). But often, surprisingly, it is more expensive to book directly, especially in the case of larger hotels. This is because hotels sell their rooms to wholesalers at huge discounts in return for the large number of reservations they and their travel agents get for them.
Not all travel agents buy from wholesalers though. Many deal directly with the hotels. Some even simply put you in direct contact with the hotels. With these, as long as your are assured you will be dealt with directly by the hotel themselves, there is less need to worry about the agent. Especially as they should not require your credit card details - Only the hotel should.
Here is a list of hotel reservation sites that you can use (although we do not guarantee any of them, of course). We have deliberately omitted certain sites that we have received complaints about, and also those where we know they have dubious business practices (namely AsiaHotels and TravelMall Asia - we would recommend you avoid them). If you know of a good hotel reservation site that you feel we should add to this list. Please e-mail us at adminATtravelforumDOTorg. The reservation sites that have a little sun next to them, graciously support this forum;
Thailand Hotels & Accommodations Co offer direct reservations with the hotels themselves. So you do not have to give an agent your credit card details or trust them with getting your booking right.
Planet Holiday have some very low prices for rooms which they buy through major wholesalers. They even offer instant online reservation confirmations for many hotels.
Last Minute Bargains with late specials (is due a major improvement in October, 2001)
Travel Solutions based in Samui, but organize hotels throughout Thailand and have a great web site.
Kingdom Thailand also have an excellent hotels / reservations site.
Chiang Mai Online - Dealing with hotels in the north and elsewhere.
Axolotl Village Hotel - Tranquil beachfront hotel on Koh Samui.
Thailand 4 Fun - For details of hotels, etc. on Koh Pha Ngan. Thailand for fun actually visit the hotels, write their own descriptions and take their own photographs as well; a rarity amongst agents!
Thailand Youth Hostel Association with some very nice looking accommodations!
Thai Focus - With some interesting options
Thailand Hotel Directory - Listing of many hotels
HotelThailand - Big site!
ThailandHotel - Hotels, but only those between US$10 and US$60 per night!
Some Hotels Direct Web Sites:
Banyan Tree /
All opinions stated here are the opinions only of travelforum.org and, although made in good faith, should not be relied upon without proper prior verification (don't sue us if our advise makes your trip go "pear-shaped"!).
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