Many Israelis are already planning the upcoming summer vacation, and some are even going so far as to book the holiday. In preparation for the hot season, we conducted an investigation that examined hotel prices on one of the largest search engines in the world, if not the largest, Booking, compared to what hotels offer – but under the radar.
In conversations with hoteliers, they explain that even if we find discounts on hotel websites compared to Booking, they will be relatively small, but there is a way around that as well. In our examination of several hotels in Israel and around the world, we found differences that can reach thousands of shekels per vacation, thanks to a few small clicks.
In many of the hotels, including Lewis Hotels, Prima Hotels in Israel, Fattal and even the famous Atlantis de Palm in Dubai, we found gaps between booking on the hotel website using a method that we will expand on later, and booking on the Booking website.
Only for club members
Many hotels offer "special offers" on their websites that significantly reduce vacation prices. How does the method work? Price comparison sites will usually show you the usual prices offered by hotels. Anyone who registers for the customer clubs of those hotels, in many cases it is completely free and in some cases it is for a small fee (which usually pays off already on the first reservation), will receive special offers that those who are not club members will not be able to see.
Hotel Louis Paphos Breeze - regular price through Booking,
We prepared a few examples that also left us shocked by the price differences between regular prices and those offered to club members. The first hotel we found was Louis Paphos Breeze Hotel in Cyprus. The Booking website offers a vacation for a couple and two children from July 12-18 for NIS 19,10 on an all-inclusive basis. If you visit the website of the LOUIS hotel chain, you discover there the possibility of receiving a free night for six nights (for those registered for club member benefits) and together with the rate offered on the website, the price drops to only NIS 550,10, a huge difference in price. It is important to note that the Booking website also has packages that include discounts for club members, usually amounting to about <>% accrual, according to classes accumulated with bookings.
The discounted price on the website of Louis Paphos Breeze Hotel with club membership,
Another example from Mykonos Island. On the Booking website, a vacation for two at the Once in Mykonos hotel on breakfast basis from July 6-12 costs NIS 17,975. On the hotel's website, the same vacation costs NIS 17,787.
Price at the hotel once in Mykonos on Booking,
When registration is activated, an option opens to enter the View our offers tab and there you can activate the Stay 5 pay 4 benefit, and then the price of the package is updated to NIS 13,409 and if we add to that the sixth night which costs NIS 2,681. This is a reduction of NIS 16,090, about NIS 1,700 less than the initial price we received. Joining the club members on the Lewis website is free and another example of price differences we also found in a comparison we made at the chain's hotel in Rhodes.
Price at the hotel once in Mykonos on the site and club liability,
We decided to check Booking's offer against one of the best and most prestigious hotels in the world – Atlantis The Palm, which is considered a paradise for families. We chose random dates: July 5-12, and on the Booking website we received an offer for a couple and two children for more than NIS 10,000.
The price at Atlantis The Palm in Booking,
We went to the official website of Atlantis The Palm Hotel and there we got a pretty similar offer, but here too we found a way to cheapen. We registered as club members and after doing that, a button was opened on the main bar called OFFERS, a button that did not exist on the site before we registered as a club member. We entered the reservation and received a cheaper offer of more than 1,000 shekels, 8,800 dirhams for a couple and two children for the same room, the exact same vacation, at the same hotel, we just signed up completely free for the hotel club members.
Booking on the Atlantis The Palm Hotel website,
"With your hand on the pulse"
We chose to check this out in hotels in Israel as well. We went to the Fattal website, where joining the club costs NIS 150 for two years, and there too we discovered very significant price differences between the price offered to club members on the hotel's website and the price on Booking. A week at Magic Palace Hotel, for a couple and two children, in a superior U room facing the pool costs Booking 13,591 including breakfast. The exact same room, with the exact same car and breakfast costs NIS 9,835 on the Fattal website, for club members, on the same dates: June 14-21 this year.
Magic Palace on Booking,
Prima Hotels in Israel offers on its reservation website to enter the Special offers tab, where there is a 13% discount on top of the prices listed on the site. For example, a vacation between July 1-8 at the 75 Hotel in Tel Aviv on a breakfast basis will cost NIS 4,957 per couple on Booking, but on the Prima website under the special offers, you get a price of NIS 4,313 including breakfast, a difference of more than NIS 800.
Prices at Jic Palace after the reduction with club membership on the site,
Once again, it is important to emphasize, Booking also has loyalty programs that give about 10% discount in some of the hotels displayed on the site. The gaps we found here in most cases were greater than 10% off, so it's worth doing a serious price comparison before choosing to pay for the hotel.
Loise Hotels said: "We at the chain are constantly keeping our finger on the pulse and making the necessary adjustments in order to make the hotel vacation experience not only enjoyable but also more worthwhile compared to any other alternative. As part of our efforts among the Israeli public, we opened the possibility of registering, at no additional charge, to the chain's membership club and enjoy an automatic discount of 5% and at the same time, choose one of a variety of benefits worth money that appear under the tab "SPECIAL OFFERS", such as the addition of two children free of charge, upgrade to a room with sea view, upgrade to half board meal and free transfers."
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