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Why it can be worth paying MORE for that hotel room

While the spotlight is currently on the business practices of Facebook, Apple and Google there are also rumblings about the activities of some of the large US hotel booking sites and their quest for maximum profits.

Many independent travellers tell of disappointment upon arrival when the room they have booked online overlooks a kitchen extractor fan or has been converted from a housekeeper's cupboard. And it's easy to understand why.

According to Derek Picot, a hotelier for more than 30 years and author of the book Hotel Reservations, hotels segment their inventory and charge premiums for their best rooms with sea views, balconies and more space. Then there are the cheapest rooms which should be called 'next to the elevator' or 'room overlooking the fire escape.'

With online booking sites beating up to 25% commission out of a hotelier it should be no surprise if customers are not allocated the best rooms?

We'll happily manage any hotel booking for you and we may be able to save you money. Hotels say they like our customers as they apparently have a higher than average spend on food and beverages!

And a final word of advice - always be nice to the front desk staff. Not just because you should but because they can improve your stay.

Our top 6 money savers you can't afford to miss

  • Save 30% at Golden Sands by Shangri La in Penang
  • Save 50% at Atlantis, The Palm Dubai with FREE HB
  • Save 15% at 5* Jumeirah Port Soller, Mallorca
  • Brisbane & The Gold Coast take Aussie gold with 2 nights FREE
  • Tanzania Bush and Beach: Save 40%
  • Ultimate luxury in the Dominican Republic: 1 night FREE

My best holiday ever

Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie loves Japan's culture and cuisine...

What people are saying

A selection of customer comments from Trustpilot

10 top things you didn't know last month

  1. 1. Lone air traffic controller turns up for work. Then needs a break!

    If your flight into Gatwick was delayed or diverted at the weekend you'll be seething to learn that it was because only one air traffic controller turned up for work. The runway at the UK's second busiest airport was then shut for a total of three hours so that the sole worker could take mandatory breaks. And this is the airport that was trying to argue the case for a second runway. You couldn't make it up!
  2. 2. Sorry you can't have your car back. We're on strike!

    Families were left stranded at Bristol Airport at the weekend after a 'meet and greet' parking firm reportedly 'refused' to return their cars. Holidaymakers were pictured queuing outside Absolutely Secure Airport's offices after they landed according to the Daily Mail and found they couldn't get to their cars. Police were called, with a member of staff eventually arriving at the site telling them their vehicles could not be returned because drivers had 'gone on strike', although the excuse was later changed to an 'accident' on a nearby road, according to customers.
  3. 3. No business being obese

    Thai Airways has banned obese passengers and infants from business class seats on its new 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The airline said that the installation of seat belt airbags in the luxury cabin meant that anybody with a waist of over 56 inches would be unable to sit in the seat securely as the belts would not fasten. The belts would also not fit over travellers with children on their laps. Now fat passengers wanting to fly on the Boeing aircraft, billed as one of the most technically advanced, will have to travel in economy.
  4. 4. Avios travel rewards scheme closes down

    If you're an avid collector of Avios points you should be aware that the UK Avios Travel Rewards programme is closing. However the good news is that all your points can be transferred to the British Airways Executive Club and you'll still be able to collect and spend Avios points in many of the same ways. And no, you don't have to buy flights from British Airways to use your points! More details on avios.com
  5. 5. It's cleaner by the windows

    As well as having better views, getting a window seat on a flight is also good for your health. Research by the National Academy of Sciences shows that the risk of catching colds or flu on a plane was greatly reduced when sitting by a window as passengers had nobody else on one side while those in aisle seats were potentially exposed to people on both sides as well as those walking past. The academy's study showed that sitting within two seats of anyone with flu on a plane gives you an 80 per cent chance of catching the infection. Sickly cabin crew members were found to pass their illness to an average of 4.6 passengers each trip.
  6. 6. The magnificent seven

    The world's first cruise to stop at all seven continents in one trip has been announced by Silverseas. The 140 day voyage will call at 62 ports - 40 of which are new to cruise line's itineraries - starting with Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before heading south around the tip of South America to Antartica, the last great wilderness on Earth. From Valparaiso, Chile, the Silver Whisper will head west across the Pacific looping around Australia up to India via Singapore before passing through the Suez Canal and up around the southern coast of Spain. It will finish with a trip around the north coast of the UK and Orkney Isles before arriving in Amsterdam via the Norwegian fjords. Places on the all-suite cruise ship start from £55,000 per person for a Jan 6 sailing in 2020.
  7. 7. Coming to terms with holiday savings

    Families taking their holidays during term time can save an average of £1,205, according to a study by the International Currency Exchange, which found family packages to be 59 per cent cheaper in June than in August. Government figures just released showed that unauthorised pupil absences in England are now at their highest since records began... which says it all!
  8. 8. Take care in Sri Lanka and Russia

    The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has warned travellers to Sri Lanka to "exercise caution, avoid protests and rallies and comply with local security requirements" after a nationwide state of emergency was declared following anti-Muslim riots. A curfew has been imposed in the tourist town of Kandy, where at least two people have been killed, and curfews are now possible elsewhere. Social media has been blocked in the country in a bid to prevent further protests being organised. Meanwhile, travellers to Russia have been warned that they may be harassed or fall victim to anti-British sentiment following the escalation of tensions between the UK and Russia over the poisoning scandal in Salisbury.
  9. 9. What colour will we get an Eiffel of?

    Since its construction in 1889, the Eiffel Tower has been given a fresh lick of paint 19 times, an impressive feat given it takes 60 tons of coating to freshen up the famous Parisian landmark. With a three year project to give the tower a facelift beginning in October, speculation is rife as to what colour the authorities will choose. Originally it was a deep red, chosen in an attempt to combat rust, before being re-painted ochre in 1892. The turn of the century saw it become yellow, before that colour was deemed too optimistic for the era and a change was made to yellow-brown from 1907. It has been suggested that it may now return to a bolder red.
  10. 10. Paper plates help stop city from being washed up

    Fine dining restaurants in Cape Town have revealed a raft of measures to help tackle the city's ongoing water shortage, including the introduction of paper plates and throwaway napkins. As reservoir levels dwindle in the city residents and visitors are already being urged to limit their water usage (many hotels have even resorted to removing bath plugs) and to name and shame those establishments not doing their bit to help. But tourists should not stay away - 'Day Zero', when Cape Town might run out of water entirely, is currently set for July 9, and winter rainfall is expected long before that.


  1. Save 30% at Golden Sands by Shangri La in Penang

    Dig your toes into the soft sand at this iconic Malaysian hotel. Situated on the palm tree-lined Batu Feringgi Beach, Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La is a little piece of paradise for those looking to escape the daily grind. A complimentary shuttle is also on hand to take guests to the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town. Save 30% with our offer including flights with Malaysia Airlines from a choice oh UK airports. 7 nights from £725pp when you travel 18 Aug - 6 Dec
  2. Save 50% at Atlantis, The Palm Dubai with FREE HB

    Treat the family to the thrills of Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai and enjoy 50% savings and FREE half board. This magnificent five-star resort offers more than you could ever imagine, whatever your age. From the most luxurious range of accommodation and a unique water park to animal adventures and special events like concerts, the resort presents boundless opportunities. 3 nights from £799 flying with Emirates. Valid 19 - 27 Jun
  3. Save 15% at 5* Jumeirah Port Soller, Mallorca

    Perched on a cliff with spectacular views of the shimmering Mediterranean, Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa is ideally located in the peaceful fishing village of Port Soller on the northwest coast of Mallorca, near the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, a UNESCO heritage site. The hotel offers unrivalled luxury, with every room enjoying fabulous views. Catering for couples and families, there is a Kids Club, luxury spa and choice of dining venues, along with an array of activities. 4 nights from £885pp flying with British Airways. Valid 16 Sep - 9 Oct
  4. Brisbane & The Gold Coast take Aussie gold with 2 nights FREE

    Follow in the footsteps of our commonwealth games champions with this medal worthy trip to Queensland, Australia. Find out what makes Brisbane and The Gold Coast two of Australia's coolest destinations with this two-stop trip. Starting with 4 nights at Next Hotel Brisbane, you'll have plenty of time to discover the city's vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene before heading to the super cool QT Gold Coast. 10 nights from £1545pp including flights with Singapore Airlines. Valid 1 Sep - 21 Oct.
  5. Tanzania Bush and Beach: Save 40%

    With this great offer you spend four nights on safari at the Selous tented camp just outside Tanzania's Selous Game Reserve. All the luxury tents here look out across a river and the dining area serves authentic African meals under the stars. Then spend four nights at the elegant five-star Serena Hotel, located on the seafront in Stone Town, Zanzibar. The hotel exudes Swahili style and ethnic elegance and is perfect for a relaxing break. Save 40% with our offer flying from Heathrow. 8 nights from £2089pp when you travel 20 Apr - 30 Jun.
  6. Ultimate luxury in the Dominican Republic: 1 night FREE

    Enjoy an exquisite stay in a Pool Suite at Eden Roc at Cap Cana. This exclusive boutique style hotel and beach club is tucked away in a secluded estate surrounded by tropical gardens on one of the Dominican Republic's finest beaches. The resort encompasses a beautiful network of walking paths leading to waterfalls and a freshwater lagoon, with a design inspired by the glamorous resorts of the French and Italian Riviera. 7 nights fr £2869pp flying with British Airways. Valid 20 Apr - 26 Jun

My Favourite Holiday

Our gold medal Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie loves Japan's culture and cuisine and has his sights set on Croatia

What do you want from a holiday? I like to keep active when I'm away, so sitting on a beach sunbathing is not for me. For my travels at the moment since my wife, the TV presenter Georgia Thompson and I became parents to 20 month old Bellatrix, our priorities have been family-friendly hotels and as she gets older it will be one with kids clubs so we can enjoy some downtime.

What are you favourite type of holidays? I love being in the mountains taking in the fresh air and seeing the beauty of it all. Georgia and I are keen skiers and we had a short break to Megeve in France in the New Year. I hadn't been skiing for some years to avoid risking injury, so it was great to get back on the slopes. The snow conditions were fantastic.

What are your favourite places in England? Although I spend so much time by the sea, London is actually one of my favourite places in Britain. It has such an amazing combination of culture, history and restaurants. We should be very proud of everything we have to offer. Cornwall is one of the most beautiful places to me even after travelling all over the globe. I grew up there and have great memories of learning to sail in Falmouth with my dad.

Your favourite country to visit? My first time in Tokyo was so surreal when I was there for my first race aged 11. I remember being blown away by all the bright lights, big buildings and hustle and bustle. My lifelong love of Japanese food began on that trip. I absolutely adore Japan. I've been many times and always come away thinking it was an amazing experience. It has such an intriguing culture, the people are welcoming and friendly and the beauty of the countryside is astonishing.

What place disappointed you? Moscow felt a bit grim and utilitarian and I wasn't a big fan when I was there for the Finn Class World Championships. Even though it was summer, it was cold, so it didn't leave me with a great impression.

Most hair-raising experience on water? It was while sailing the Sydney to Hobart race, which takes place every Boxing Day covering 600 miles and crossing the Bass Strait in Tasmania, one of the roughest stretches of water anywhere. The whole journey was very tough and on the second night the wind reached 35 knots with huge waves and despite being in a high performance 100ft yacht, it took a beating with lots of ripped sails.

Your next holiday destination? I want to explore more of Britain, especially Scotland, as I don't know it very well. It's important not to overlook places closer to home, especially for someone who's abroad two weeks out of every month. But Croatia is next on my list. I've never been but will be there next month and in June for super series events in Sibenik, on the Adriatic, at the entrance to the Kornati Islands, and Zadar on the Dalmatian coast.

For the full interview see Telegraph online

What people are saying

A selection of customer comments from Trustpilot

  • DialAFlight made my tailor-made trip perfect

    I had a detailed itinerary taking in Canada, California and Vegas with well located hotels. Brett did a super job for me finding all the best prices and fitting them all neatly into my schedule. The communication, documentation, advice and payment schedule were punctual, very well put together and all went like clockwork. I would use Brett again in a heartbeat.

    John Garrett gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trustpilot. Sparkling footnote: John's name was pulled out of the hat in our monthly Trustpilot draw and a case of Prosecco is on its way.
  • Quicker and easier than booking online

    Found DialAFlight late last night whilst trying (and failing) to book flights online to NY. Asked for a call back in the morning and had the pleasure of speaking with Eve. Within minutes she'd given me 3 options for my dates, reserved my preference whilst I double checked and booked it as soon as I called back. Email confirmation followed and everything's there on an app. And all from the comfort of my sofa!! Brilliant service: thank you so much!

    Mrs H Messer gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trustpilot.
  • Nothing is too much trouble for DialAFlight

    Fantastic company for whom nothing is too much trouble. Extremely efficient, polite and helpful. They made such a difference to our holiday going the extra mile helping sort out delays from the snow and without them we would have lost our dream holiday. They respond so quickly and are always there to help. I would absolutely recommend this company.

    Sharon El-Nashar gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trustpilot.
  • A last minute trip made stress-free

    I phoned DialAFlight for the first time to book a last minute flight from London to Washington DC. Christian, my Travel Manager, found a convenient flight with a fare hundreds of pounds lower than the fares I had been looking at online. He held the flight for me until the following day when we finalised it on his direct line. He emailed me a few days before departure to check that everything was okay. I will certainly use Christian at DialAFlight in the future for personal, knowledgeable, stress-free booking, especially important when I have more complex multi-city trips to arrange.

    Karen Raney gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trustpilot.

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