6 Reasons You Should Book Direct says Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels

Robert Hunt, General Manager and Kasha Miller, Assistant General Manager at Alcazar Palm Springs make booking direct a great experience.

“Small hotels have distinct personalities. That’s one of the things that makes them special,” says Michael Green, owner of the Triangle Inn Palm Springs. “So if you want to stay in one of them, go straight. You’ll get a better idea of ​​the hotel itself.”

With summer officially in full swing, the reception staff at Palm Springs Favorite Small Hotels turn their attention to caring for visitors from around the world.

The earlier you book your stay, the better. Over the past two summers, small boutique hotels in Palm Springs, many with an atmosphere to fit your travel style, have been busy. That said, you can save a lot of money and time by booking directly with a boutique hotel inside a third-party travel platform. Plus, you’ll have a much better experience overall.

“Small hotels have distinct personalities. That’s one of the things that makes them special,” says Michael Green, owner of the Triangle Inn Palm Springs. “So if you want to stay in one of them, go straight. You’ll get a better idea of ​​the hotel itself.”

Here are six reasons why you should book directly with a boutique hotel or resort:

1. Choice of room

Many of Palm Springs’ smaller hotels and resorts (those with no more than 50 rooms) have been renovated, often resulting in new additions, the removal of walls to create larger suites, and a carefully curated environment to enhance the customer experience.

Third-party reservation companies are given a block of tickets to sell in a particular area of ​​the hotel, without any knowledge of the location of the rooms or details of the total hotel surroundings.

“Room choices are often ‘run of house’ with third parties, as opposed to the guest booking directly with the hotel and locking up their room,” says Sarah Martinez, chief executive of azure sky, a new luxury boutique hotel in Palm Springs. Green agrees, saying, “Booking platforms typically only get a portion of the inventory from hotels, and especially smaller hotels – perhaps just one type of room – so for the full picture, it is always best to speak directly to the hotel.”

2. Liability

We have all been there. You have booked a flight on one of the discount sites and it is delayed due to weather, a schedule change or a family emergency. You need to contact someone for help, and that’s where the epic nightmare of a time chasm begins.

After a long wait on the phone, the airline says they can’t help you because you booked through a third party, so you have to call them. The person responding doesn’t understand the situation or doesn’t have the power to make changes and says there’s no way to help. You push for a superior manager, and the saga continues. The same scenario can happen when you use a third party to make hotel reservations.

“Because third-party bookings prevent us from making any changes or adjustments, it is easier to adjust a booking that has been booked directly,” says Kent Taylor, Managing Director of Descanso Resort.

3. Flexibility

The text arrives: Aunt Mable decides she finally wants to be on the trip. Brilliant – you have a built-in babysitter! – but now there are not enough beds for everyone.

“If you booked directly with the hotel, it is very easy to call and change your reservation…perhaps to a suite or other accommodation suggested by hotel management. Flexibility is number one,” Martinez said. “Once a guest has booked a room through a third party, the hotel cannot change the booking and the guest must deal directly with the third party. This has created a middleman which can lead to frustration because it may seem that the hotel is not useful.”

Taylor agrees, saying, “We try very hard to be as flexible as possible. There are so many unforeseen situations in our world these days, the last thing anyone needs is more hassle just trying to take a vacation.

4. Packages and special offers

Especially during the summer, when booking a hotel, ask if there are any packages available. Palm Springs is a tight-knit community, and often attractions work with hotels to offer guests special rates for the abundance of things to experience.

“Many hotels offer perks to those who book direct, such as upgrades or cancellations without penalties,” one hotelier revealed. “But it’s usually on a case-by-case basis, so you’ll never find them on any of the third-party booking platforms.” Martinez is more blunt, saying, “Hotels offer a variety of deals and packages not found on third-party sites.”

5. Pricing

As a responsible traveler and planner, you’re probably used to checking third-party websites. Always a good idea, but don’t stop there. Once you have selected the hotel that seems to suit your needs, check their website and call the number listed. Be prepared with your accommodation needs and ask them for their advice and price. If it appears the price is higher than what you found online, tell them – they’d rather give you the discount than pay the third-party fee.

According to Martinez, hotels often match prices except when the third party sells directly to the hotel or bundles the room with other sales, such as airline tickets or car rentals.

“We prefer direct bookings to reduce the 18% commission cost of OTAs (Other Travel Agencies),” says Robert Hunt, Managing Director of Alcazar Palm Springs. It also “allows the front desk agent to discuss which room type best suits the guest’s needs, as we have 10 different room types available on the property.”

Also, sometimes an “agreement” from an OTA or booking platform really isn’t. Taylor shares this warning: “I had a small group call about booking a specific weekend with multiple rooms. After giving them the information they needed, they decided to book themselves on the website All but one booked directly with the hotel One group member booked on a specific website which offers part of a free hotel night, if a certain number of rooms are booked in year. The only guest who booked on this third party website was paying about $25 more per night than everyone else in his group. I was shocked to see him! He was prepaying his “night free”… and more.

“Some OTAs use deceptive and misleading tactics to make it look like the guest rate is lower than the hotel rate,” warns Martinez. “The initial average room rate may sometimes seem cheaper, but as the guest books, a significant charge is added to the reservation and the guest does not actually pay a lower rate.”

6. Book direct and create better memories

The special touch offered by the front desk agents at Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels will make your stay more memorable and personal.

“The very nature of a third-party booking website removes the personal touch,” says Taylor. “We take a lot of reservations over the phone and people ask a variety of questions that inform their overall vacation. Where can we go for our special dinner? Is there a gym nearby? do you have vegan yogurt for breakfast Only someone who helps you at the hotel will know the answers to these types of questions It’s like having a direct connection with a local to help you create the best vacation you can have.

Pro tips to keep in mind:

  • If you book your hotel direct and need to make a change, they can help you do it with a quick phone call.
  • A direct relationship with the hotel gives you a lot more flexibility because they are in the hospitality business, not the reservations business.
  • When you speak to a boutique hotel employee, they can answer your questions about the property, unlike third-party agents who don’t know the deals.
  • Some booking platforms make it look like you’re getting a lower price, but they add a hefty fee at the end, which increases the final total.

Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels is an association of independent boutique hotels that are an integral part of the uncommon culture and economy of this desert resort town. From quirky to charming, mid-century modern to clothing optional, Palm Springs Favorite Small Hotels to your stay. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Boutiquely Palm Springs. From tips on what to do, see and eat in Palm Springs, to interviews with hoteliers, this is the insider’s guide to all that’s great about Palm Springs and its iconic boutique hotels. Follow the fun on Facebook, instagram, Youtubeand pinterest.

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