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Hostelworld.com
frankiewa
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Has anyone ever had any trouble in booking with hostelworld.com. I am going on a 4 month trip, leaving very soon, and plan on booking the majority of my hostel stays through them. Do they resevere space to make sure the hostel isn’t already booked during high season? (I’d rather not book a week long stay and then find out they are full and lose the 10% deposit to hostelworld.com.

Also, i was curious to know if i should choose to book the room in euros or dollars on their website. (I am an american.) I guess i’m trying to ask if i should reserve the room in dollars and then—do i have to pay the remaining balance in dollars or euros or credit card when i arrive in person to pay the remaining balance?
thanks in advance.

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Hi. your post made me laugh, a friend was saying the other day that they are not called "hostile world" for nothing! My experience of them is that they take an awful lot of money for nothing. When you do need them to help you they couldnt give a toss. custoumer service is appaling. Most hostel owners dont like them (or any booking engine) really as they lose 10% of the fee’s to them but hostelworld generally have such a monoply they really rely on them for bookings. It is also really difficult if you have a confirmed booking and then you hate the place when you arrive, you and paid deposit and committed for one nigght. I now always try and book directly with the hostel themselves, they prefer it (mostly) and you get a better relationship going and often better rooms. Finally (sorry bit of american bashing) you will pay the balance in the local currency! depending on where you go they probably wouldnt accept dollars anyway, the currency is much weaker now due to your economy. might have more luck with euros but not always, depending. The hostel world website only asks about euros, dollars, pounds etc for your benefit so you can see more easily how much things cost. for the balance to pay, work it out into the local currency through www.xe.com so you dont get ripped off when you get there. good luck with your travels!

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Well, you can argue that no hostel is forced at gunpoint to deal with Hostelworld. Sure, they take a commission and from the hostel end you can dislike that, but then no hostel has scruples to TAKE commissions when they sell walking tour tickets or the like.

I work for a hostel myself and can assure you that we had never had problems of any sort with Hostelworld and I´m not aware that our guests had ever trouble which couldn´t be sorted.

Klaus

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I’ve used hostelworld to book hostels, and never had any problems with them. My reservations were always what I requested and once I even got an unexpected upgrade. We had a 4 bed dorm booked and when we arrived we were put in a 2 bed private for no extra cost.

I made all the reservations in $CAD and then just put the balance on my Visa in Euros etc.

frankiewa
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Thanks for the info everyone. So i guess hostelworld is probably the way to go for a first timer to europe traveling, huh? Or maybee, just getting the address from hostelworld and booking through the hostel themselves when you arrive in person? Will this save the 10% commission mentioned earlier and be a little cheaper? I hate to sound like i am nickle & diming but i am going on a 4 month trip with my younger brother and paying for him too, so it adds up, especially with the weak dollar. How do most experienced budget travelers do it, hopefully find something cheap when they get there or book in advance through something like hostelworld or some other site?

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What you do is go to Hostelworld and find some interesting places. Note the price. Cross-review them with hostelz.com and bugeurope.com and tripadvisor.com . Then go to the hostel web site and see what they are charging there for a reservation. Pick the cheapest method.

If that’s too much trouble, just pick some appealing looking place on Hostelworld. If the feedback looks good, you should be fine. Just pay attention to location, and make sure to note if there are any amenities that you must have.

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The feedback will always look good because the hostels can delete unfavourable comments – the only thing I don´t like there.

Anyway, the actual RATINGS can´t be censored. If a hostel has an average rating above 90% it´s top notch, 85-90 means "some flaws but decent", 80-85 reads "so-so" and anything below 80% translates into "rather sleep on a park bench, at least it´s free".

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True, the best place to read hostel reviews is www.bugeurope.com NOT www.hostelworld.com

You’ll find the good AND bad reviews at BUG Europe.

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SK, that’s good to know! I didn’t realize that about deleting unfavorable feedback.

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See here for an example:

http://www.hostelwor…

The Japanese who rated 93% just didn´t leave a comment.
The next review, 76% given by a South African, is a deleted comment. The background is slightly darker and nothing´s there, not even the word "comment:".

Not all hostels delete bad reviews though. Some are decent enough to be honest, while others have a well-earned bad reputation and don´t even give a shit about it any more.

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quote:
SK, that’s good to know! I didn’t realize that about deleting unfavorable feedback.

I didn’t realize either until I submitted comments on all of the hostels that I stayed at on my last trip. The good ones, which was most of them, were all there, but the reviews that were a little negative never showed up. They still aren’t there now.

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I feel so cheated! But at least now I’m getting mild entertainment by going to the worst-rated hostels and seeing how many deleted comments there are.

>> If a hostel has an average rating above 90% it´s top notch, 85-90 means "some flaws but decent", 80-85 reads "so-so" and anything below 80% translates into "rather sleep on a park bench, at least it´s free". <<

I looked up some hostels I’ve stayed at, and none have a rating higher than 82, and some less. Yet I thought they were all decent to pretty good places to stay. If anything, I tend to think I’m more picky than most. Maybe people for hostels in some areas are more critical than other areas? The Anker Hostel has a 70% rating, and many of the complaints seem to be related to expense – but it’s Oslo, so what do you expect?

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I have used Hostels world in the past and found that they were less than helpful for the reasons already mentioned by some. I don’t find the 2 Euro booking fee to be an inhibiting factor though so I wouldn’t say go for Hostel Bookers to save the fee, choice and customer service are most important to me when I book.

I have found the best combination is offered by www.hostelsclub.com. Their staff are super friendly and helpful, they may be a little smaller than Hostels world but I like to support the up and comers, plus Hostels Club has all the major destinations at reasonable prices, I’d say check them out if you haven’t already

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I went to look at HostelsClub and saw something about their free weekend in Venice.
http://www.hostelscl…

But with so few details, it’s impossible to discern if this is a good deal – as it is, it sounds a little shady. Obviously it’s not difficult at all for anyone on a trip of any length to fulfill the requirements for five stays of two nights each or more.

Does anyone know what is up with that offer?

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Yeah I was curious about that offer as well, so I sent them an email yesterday and am still waiting for a reply, I will let you know what they said. I think it is legit though since they seem to be trying to loosen Hostels world’s grip on the industry, which I don’t think is an altogether bad thing.

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quote:
The Anker Hostel has a 70% rating, and many of the complaints seem to be related to expense – but it’s Oslo, so what do you expect?

Objection. Most complaints are about unfriendly, onorganized and inefficient staff, the place seems not to have much character and doesn´t look like a good place to socialize. So – it´s probably not under-rated with 70%.
I´ll admit that the ratings on Hostelworld are just an an arithmetic mean of sometimes hundreds of different opinions. Different travelers have different expectations. Anyway, I know quite a lot hostels and would say these ratings are surprisingly accurate. I could be wrong but I wouldn´t stay in a hostel with a 70% rating.

quote:
I have used Hostels world in the past and found that they were less than helpful for the reasons already mentioned by some.

Give it a break. Hostelworld brokers reservations. Their website is foolproof to use and their terms and conditions state clearly that – as soon as you have your reservation – everything else is between you and the hostel.

quote:
since they seem to be trying to loosen Hostels world’s grip on the industry, which I don’t think is an altogether bad thing

Well, yes, they´re the biggest provider of online bookings (>90%), which makes them a monopolist and potentially influential, still: I work with Hostelworld since 4 years on a daily basis and can say they never took advantage of their monopoly. They´re NOT "hostile".

They let the hostel managers VOTE if all reviews should be shown or if hostels should be able do delete them. 80% voted against their own customers. There are way more cynics in this business than you´ll ever expect, believe me.

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Maybe my problem is I’ve never stayed in any really good hostels, so I’m setting the bar too low Smile. I really only get worried if I see posts about mold, bedbugs, overflowing toilets, unlit stairwells, etc.

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quote:
mold, bedbugs, overflowing toilets, unlit stairwells, etc.

Ah, Paris!

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If SK has been working with hostels world for four years maybe he is partial to them. Take it from travellers who don’t have a vested interest in promoting any company. Forget hostels world, they are lazy, we need to book with other companies and help the little guys catch up so that we can bring some competition back to the market. Imagine if there was only one airline, only one brand of car, only one brand of television, would that be good? Check out www.hostelsclub.com, good selection, good service, hostelbookers is good too but less selection, though there is no fee.

I got a free night is venice from hostelsclub, i never got anything from hostels world.

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hello again

like to tell you a little story. i recently tried to make a booking through hostelworld but unfortunately their system went down on me and even though I had entered my details, I never got the confirmation screen so therefore never got any contact details for the hostel. I presumed it hadnt worked but decided to wait to see if any emails came through in confirmation (no), if the room was took off availability (no) or if it came up on my account (no), I also sent them an email straight away explaining what happenned, before again booking another hostel (needed one for next night so pretty urgent). all was fine till charges from the hostel appeared on the credit card for "no show charges". because i hadnt contacted them to "cancel" they had charged me for first night. but obviously i had no way to contact them as had no details! hostileworld didnt give me them! after lengthy emails with hostelworld and their unhelpful replies i got no where, they could not refund money. is it just me or is that unfair?

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I never got anything either from Hostelworld so I don´t think I´m biased. I guess you can´t compare a booking portal to car or TV brands.

I never heard complaints there´s only one Ebay. Two or more Ebays would in fact be a pain in the ass as you would have to browse every single one when you look for something. What Hostelworld does is similar to Ebay – it´s not a genuine product of its own. It would also be a pain in the ass for every seller. When you put your thing to sell in BOTH, it might happen that two persons buy it. If you put it only in one you miss out half of the potential buyers. You´re right, competition is always good but it involves some sort of pain in the ass as well.

I can only see one thing what is REALLY wrong with Hostelworld: I don´t own it…

Someone else had a good idea and now it pays off big-time. Such is life.

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I booked three hostels /budget hotels through hostelworld and there were no problems.
Some would have been hard to find without hostelworld.
Reviews, that I’ve seen have been very mixed. And they can be unreliable probably.Some people are extremely critical of a certain place and others are very happy, so it all hangs on individual experiences, it seems. I’ve seen far more revieuws through hostelworld than anywhere else.
One budget hotel, that I booked through hostelworld had a problem with them though, as they had had too many bookings come through from them, and they had to cancel those bookings, a very messy situation, and hostelworld had not responded to their emails.
We were not personally effected, but obviously some people were.
Payment and booking through them is convenient though. No hassle of having to deal with the accommodation directly and having to pass on credit card details and such. For that convenience there is a price to pay.
I also contacted accommodation directly, but one cannot always find an email address and using the telephone may pose its own problems…e.g.language. When that accommodation was a "backpacker" or a private room, usually a deposit was not required, but the place had to be contacted again some days before arrival to confirm the booking.

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quote:
One budget hotel, that I booked through hostelworld had a problem with them though, as they had had too many bookings come through from them, and they had to cancel those bookings, a very messy situation, and hostelworld had not responded to their emails.

If that happens it´s entirely the hotel´s fault as they can chose how many rooms they make available on hostelworld. The hotel can´t simply "cancel" surplus bookings – if they´re overbooked it´s their responsibility to contact their clients and find something else for them (and pay the difference if it´s more expensive).

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I’ve been looking through Hostels.com, how does this one compare to Hostle world? Has anybody dealt with them?

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different name, same thing. Hostelworld owns Hostels.com.

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Hostels and Budget Accommodation Booking Websites are a good thing, otherwise it will be difficult to find Hostels in all the places people want to stay.

It like having a chance to look at different accommodations without having to go to them, or go to thousands of websites just to find one Hostel.

But one warning to anyone looking to book online with one of these Hostel and Budget Accommodation Booking websites, is to bear a few things in mind.

1) Do They charge a booking Fee? If the answer is yes, use one that does not charge a booking fees

2) Do they charge you to use your Credit/Debit Cards? If the answer is yes, again use one that does not charge to use your Credit/Debit Card.

3) Do they have a Contact Telephone Number on their website? If the answer is no, I’m afraid you will have problems, resolving any issues with your booking with them, so find a site that has a contact telephone number.

4) Do they have E-mail contact? If the answer is yes, drop them a quick line, to see if they reply, there is no use having a contact e-mail if no-one replies the emails.

Don’t forget the most important aspect of Business is the Customer and if a Business does not have a good Customer Care, you should avoid them.

Booking  Hostels and Budget  Accommodation  Online  is one of the best ways to get great deals  for cheap accommodation, but you need to keep the above points in mind when booking, otherwise you may be paying more than you need to and also you may not get the best after sales service.
Take a look at www.Hostels247.com I found them, to be very good.