|Subject: Re: Online hotel reservations|
I will often check prices on sites like Expedia, Orbitz, etc., but then try to deal directly with the hotel. Like Candice, it's worth a few extra dollars to have the flexibility afforded by being able to cancel without penalty.
Twice, though, I have gone against my rule and booked through one of the hotel booking agencies. Once was a number of years for London and it turned out that the hotel we'd paid for wasn't available at the last minute and they substituted another one. It wasn't awful, but I would have prefered to select the hotel myself. I might have been able to get my money back and gone that route, but it was just too much hassle. The other time I broke my rule was when I found an exceptionally good price for the Hotel Regency Chiado in Lisbon through a small booking agency that required pre-payment. I was with traveling my sister and we'd booked a room with two beds, but the agency did not pass that request on to the hotel. The man at the front desk said that they accepted full responsibility for the foul-up (even though it was definitely the fault of the booking agent) and ended up upgrading us.
Landra from rainy upstate NY