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Has anyone booked in Agoda.com?

Posted by rlpangahas on 25/11/2012 at 10:50

I really need to know if they are reliable. I am planning to book most of the hotels we'll be staying via agoda.com. I just don't know if it's really reliable or not. :-/

#1 rlpangahas has been a member since 8/11/2012. Posts: 7

Posted by laurentiu on 25/11/2012 at 11:34

I booked quite a few hotels with Agoda and never had any problems but I did not need to contact their support yet. I think they cover a lot more hotels in Asia than other web sites.

#2 laurentiu has been a member since 12/12/2011. Posts: 14

Posted by busylizzy on 25/11/2012 at 13:02

Yep, I've also used them several times over the years - for accom in SE Asia, and in the US. No problems.

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152

Posted by somtam2000 on 25/11/2012 at 19:48 admin

I use it regularly, though not all the time. Haven't had any problems myself, but do know one of the other Travelfish writers booked a hotel somewhere in Sumatra and when she showed up the hotel had been demolished!

I wrote a post about booking with Agoda here, detailing possible savings etc -- may be of interest.

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,083

Posted by DLuek on 25/11/2012 at 21:50 TF writer

I've used them many, many times in Thailand and never had a problem. The only instance I've heard of problems was when someone booked a guesthouse 20 minutes in advance. When they got there, the owner hadn't yet received the email and had already given the last room to a walk-in. But if booking in advance it should be no worries.

#5 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,345

Posted by tyler on 25/11/2012 at 22:19

Yup, have used them many times - in Asia and in Canada. Going on about 5 years now. Have never had an issue myself. I tend to book the rooms a few days in advance to avoid any last minute problems.

#6 tyler has been a member since 7/12/2010. Location: Canada. Posts: 257

Posted by rlpangahas on 27/11/2012 at 03:10

Thank you guys/girls. I really appreciate your replies. I was worrying if I'm gonna book a hotel via agoda because of that site reviews. Now I'm less worried about that. They have such great deals and cheaper than booking.com but they have $42-48 service fee as I remembered with my booking attempt. Lol. Thanks much to all! :)

#7 rlpangahas has been a member since 8/11/2012. Posts: 7

Posted by Twerto on 27/11/2012 at 09:21

I used Agoda App for my phone while I travelled around Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.. Generally booking a day before moving onto the next place and never had a problem. I also quite often extended my stay at a few hotels through Agoda as it was still cheaper than what the hotel offered,
I recommend cross referencing the hotels with trip advisor just to make sure you get a good idea of what the hotel is like. But I cant fault any of the hotels i stayed in either.
There customer service the once i used it was reasonable.. in short i ended up having to deal with the hotel direct but all money was repaid instantly.

#8 Twerto has been a member since 20/11/2011. Posts: 37

Posted by Xircal on 3/1/2013 at 02:55

Be aware that Agoda quotes prices ex-taxes and service fees. When you add those to the cost of the room, there's little difference between them and http://wwwbooking.com for example. The latter company quotes the room price including all service charges and tax which is a fairer way of doing business IMHO.

Also, these seemingly vast discounts are a sham. Agoda especially seems to invent ridiculous sums which they then 'discount' to appear as if you're getting a bargain when in fact, booking with the hotel's own site is often a lot cheaper. That at least has been my experience with them.

Booking.com only books the room for you. They don't charge your credit card like Agoda does at the time you book. That may have advantages and disadvantages since the exchange rate may go up or down in the meantime.

It's also worth checking this hotel booking comparison site as well to see if there are any cheaper options available: http://www.hotelscombined.com/

#9 Xircal has been a member since 24/12/2012. Posts: 95

Posted by daawgon on 10/1/2013 at 12:47

No problems for me. Agoda and Booking.com are part of the Priceline empire. The difference is that with Agoda, you pay upfront. I used both within the past few months. I like the fact that Agoda is based in Bangkok. Just make sure you print the voucher and bring it to the hotel you booked.

#10 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 1,159

Posted by RakiMan on 10/1/2013 at 14:24

There are the same crowd as who run Booking.Com

#11 RakiMan has been a member since 9/1/2013. Location: Australia. Posts: 7

Posted by aleeza on 11/9/2014 at 12:35

They are quite reliable as they offer every facility and comfort to their customers with best price as compare to others.

#12 aleeza has been a member since 11/9/2014. Posts: 6

Posted by exacto on 11/9/2014 at 12:39

we had a mixed experience with them on our last trip to indonesia. we booked through them twice. the first reservation came off with no problems at all. for he second one, the guest house did not have the two rooms we'd booked in advance and complained to me that this was a chronic problem with agoda booking more rooms than he had available. this was a really small guest house, however, with only 5 or 6 rooms total.

i'd say that when booking at larger, busier places, agoda would be fine. i'm not sure i'd use them again for smaller or out-of-the-way spots. also, agoda was good about refunding my deposit when we couldn't stay at the second place. cheers.

#13 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,825

Posted by busylizzy on 11/9/2014 at 13:31

Exacto - it's my understanding that it's up to the hotels to manage the number of rooms that they have available. Agoda will (should) reduce the number of rooms on a particular date as a booking thrugh their site is made. But a hotel/guesthouse can also sell rooms through their own website, other booking sites or via email. In this case it's up to the hotel to manage the number of bookings that they have available - ie to remove one from it's available room count if they sell a room outside the Agoda system. I've been observing this first hand, and have seen several cases of overbooking as a result of the hotel not keeping on top of it.

I've used Agoda many times over the years, and can't think of a single problem. Likewise, I have used their partner company, booking.com while in Europe/Turkey/Greece over the 6 months without incident. I prefer Agoda over booking.com as they give out reward points and I score a free room occasionally. But booking.com provides better searching. So.. I search on booking.com, then check out Agoda for a particular hotel to see if it's listed (for the points).

I have also learned that you should check the rooms and hotel facilities on the booking sites - then contact the hotel directly via their own website (if available) or email. Many hotels will reduce their rate if they are not paying commission to the booking sites, especially for single travellers. For example, you can single travellers have one less breakfast to be paid for. Or you can even ask for the rate without breakfast and save a bit. Not all hotels will offer lower rates, but some will. It's worth trying. And it means you're not handing out your credit card details just in case something isn't quite what you expected.

#14 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152

Posted by exacto on 11/9/2014 at 16:18

Merhaba lizzy! Nasil sin arkadasim?

That makes perfectly good sense. In this case, the guest house owner told us that he'd only committed one of his rooms to be booked through Agoda at any one time, and didn't understand why Agoda told us two rooms were available. But as you say, this could just as easily been the guest house not staying on top of it. Plus, as I said, Agoda was quite gracious about the refund.

This bummer of it is this was the time when we arrived so late on Lombok and because of that really needed two rooms booked ahead of time. We wound up staying at this funky, really out-of-the-way place in Mataram called Werhdi Guesthouse. The owners were lovely, and we had a quiet, wonderful night there before heading off to Mascot at Senggigi for the next few nights.

The overbooked guesthouse didn't have its own website, which is why I suggested above that Agoda might be better for larger places over the small mom&pop stops.

Good veteran road warrior tips on maxing out the value for online reservations. Cok sagolun. Gorusmek uzere. Kolay gelsin.

#15 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,825

Posted by karibou on 12/9/2014 at 01:02

Agoda has worked fine for me, but with small guesthouses I prefer to email the innkeeper directly. This person usually has the authority to guarantee special requests like rooms with a particular view, or better wifi access, or specially lowered rates. Also in conversing with the innkeeper you can sometimes establish a personal connection before you arrive.

#16 karibou has been a member since 14/2/2013. Posts: 63

Posted by travellingsarah on 12/9/2014 at 02:29 TF writer

I agree. I also tend to check out the price on agoda and then on the guesthouse/hotel website - agoda is not always cheaper once the tax has been added - and then book direct if it's the same price so the guesthouse doesn't have to pay commission. But I've never had any problems with agoda and it's an invaluable research source.

#17 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 684

Posted by savorygal on 12/9/2014 at 03:19

ugh, I hate Agoda. ( I am commenting as a business owner & not a traveler) They would often over book my hotel ( small guest house with 6 rooms) They would automatically make another room available after one had booked out, which they thought was a favor to me, despite my protests to the contrary. This would be fine for hotels with 50 + rooms but not so fun for a small hotel owner. I had repeated double bookings and finally had to stop using them. They also artificially inflate the prices so you think you are getting a bargain, but if you look at the hotel website the rate is often way way less.
As a traveler I would say that if you are staying in large resort type places you may get a deal simply because of volume, but if you want to stay at a more intimate place you are better off booking with the hotel/guest house directly.

Also, as karibou said if you book directly with the innkeeper you can get a more personal feel, like assistance with transport, special requests, etc. Agoda does not allow the hotel to have any guest contact info, so, for example, I had no way to contact guests to inform them of severe weather, transport issues, etc.

#18 savorygal has been a member since 16/7/2010. Posts: 176

Posted by busylizzy on 12/9/2014 at 03:26

Gunaydin exacto! Your Turkish is obviously much better than mine,but I got the gist of it without even having to resort to Google Translate, so I must be learning something. I'm doing an online when I get a moment, plus I do an hour or so of English/Turkish language lesson exchange with some of the guys at the hotel.

Sonra gorusuruz!

#19 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152

Posted by somtam2000 on 12/9/2014 at 08:14 admin

That's interesting savorygal - in the past I've quizzed both Agoda and hotel managers I know about the rack rates that are displayed. I've always been told they're the responsibility of the property -- ie Agoda isn't permitted contractually to increase them. So I wonder, given your experience, if they have a different contract agreement with larger hotels compared to small businesses like your own.

I find the practise annoying and have complained to Agoda a number of times about it, as given nobody pays the rack rate it's not a real discount, and I'm always told it comes from the property.

I know they ask for a bigger commission than say HostelWorld etc - that's more often what I hear hoteliers complaining about!


#20 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,083

Posted by exacto on 12/9/2014 at 09:53

i thought savorygal's comment was interesting too, because it tracked almost exactly with what the small guesthouse owner from Senggigi told me when he didn't have rooms for us as planned. excellent advise from the others on speaking directly with the small guesthouses for all the reasons they suggest. in this case, however, i could not find a contact for the small guesthouse - email or otherwise, until after i made the reservation through Agoda. even then, it was only a phone number. that's why i booked through Agoda in the first place.

i think i'll stay with my original plan, which is to use sites like Agoda to book at the larger properties, but to contact smaller places directly, since based on my own experience and savorygal's comments, it doesn't seem like the Agoda business model meshes well with smaller properties. regards.

#21 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,825

Posted by SBE on 12/9/2014 at 18:12

Agoda does not allow the hotel to have any guest contact info, so, for example, I had no way to contact guests to inform them of severe weather, transport issues, etc.

And the booking companies do not allow the guests to have any hotel contact info either! I'd love to be able to book small hotels and guesthouses directly because it's usually cheaper than going through Agoda, Booking.com etc but if they want guests to book directly through them they have to provide people with some means of doing it! You might find a Facebook page after wading through about 10 pages of hotel booking sites, but usually the only contact info on it is a local phone number. It's amazing how many Indonesians have a Facebook account but no email account. GHs don't seem to realize that a) not everyone is on FB and b)when you're on the other side of the world it's much easier to send an email than call.

#22 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

Posted by somtam2000 on 12/9/2014 at 19:40 admin

@SBE - Yeah I agree.

There is a villa development that was recently built next door to us. Has about a dozen villas around $100 per night (I think).

So recently when an all night party kept going through till dawn, cranky old dude that I am I went to Google them to give them some crap.

They have no website. No telephone number. Just the name out front of the villa complex.

BUT they are on every OTA (so Agoda, Booking, Wego etc etc). So there was actually no way to contact them personally, and I can't imagine Agoda would have been overly concerned! I thought I found them on Facebook so whined there, but that turned out to be the developer's Facebook page, who proceeded to call me an idiot.

Essentially management has outsourced all bookings to the online mob and it's just not possible to book with them direct.

I don't think this is an isolated case either.

#23 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,083

Posted by DLuek on 12/9/2014 at 22:14 TF writer

Interesting discussion here. I've found that the online strength of the big booking sites (as well as tripadvisor) has increased almost to a frightening level. When writing reviews I usually google a given property's name to see what their online presence is like while cross-checking the info I received on the ground. There have been times when a guesthouse's website (i.e. nongsguesthouse.com) is buried below all of the booking sites' pages in the search results, not to mention the guesthouse's facebook and tripadvisor pages (and often multiple pages from one or more of these giant sites).

As a reviewer, I've increasingly found that certain hotels are confused or even suspicious when I walk in to check out rooms the old fashioned way. I've been told countless times that "you can just look at the website" or "just book online." Clearly some of these places rely almost entirely on the booking sites for their business, to the point that they're shocked someone would actually show up and book a room in person. I was practically accosted the other day by a very rude security guard at Chakrabongse Villas in Bangkok when I stopped by in person. He wouldn't even let me on the grounds at first, saying "No! You have to booking!" I got in after a bit of an argument and the first thing the receptionist said was, "You can see our rooms online." (In the end I was able to see a room but it wasn't so easy to persuade them).

Now I'm gonna go on a bit of a rant here about google and hotels. I've often found that when I search for some regular address or small guesthouse in Bangkok on googlemaps, it inexplicably directs me to some big hotel in a totally different part of the city that doesn't even have a related name to what I'm actually searching for. It's extremely frustrating; as if to say, "You don't want to go to that little-known place in Thonburi, try this expensive hotel on Sukhumvit instead." And of course there's a box to book the hotel that pops up right there on the map!

All of this really makes you wonder... Agoda and booking.com are so prevalent in google search results that they're making it hard for small properties to compete without them, while at the same time forcing the small businesses to shell out big commissions and causing the headaches that savorygal refers to. Tripadvisor may not charge anything to be listed, but it's notoriously unresponsive when it comes to customer service, and a single fake bad review written by a competitor can have a hugely negative impact on a small business. As these sites rule the roost in google, small businesses are increasingly forced to live or die by them.

So the trend with google is that the giant, impersonal booking sites (not to mention wikipedia and others) are perpetually favored over small sites run by small businesses (not to mention educational institutions, blogs and online travel guides written by real people who actually travel to the places they write about). Google is creating a situation in which the big, powerful companies win and the little people (the people whose opinions probably matter most to you) are pushed to the margins. When you consider how google itself now profits off travel bookings, and how dependent we all are on it for the information we need, I personally feel that a potentially dangerous situation is gradually unraveling. Who's to say that, 20 years from now, google doesn't start buying all kinds of businesses and simply using its search machine to lead consumers straight to them. I know their motto is "don't do evil", but human nature is greedy.

And now I'll start on my sci-fi book about when Google rules the world with a virtual iron fist. ;)

#24 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,345

Posted by withluck on 2/2/2015 at 18:29

My experience with Agoda was mixed. When I booked a hotel in Taipei, Agoda charged higher than walk in guests. Overall,, I did not have much problem with it.

#25 withluck has been a member since 27/4/2014. Location: Malaysia. Posts: 17

Posted by somtam2000 on 2/2/2015 at 22:26 admin

Just deleted a few posts (positive & negative) off this thread by new members, who have just a single post - that post being on this thread.

#26 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,083

Posted by JW6262 on 27/10/2016 at 03:11

I booked several times via agoda.com and had no problem with this site. I see that it has more deals and offers of accommodation in Asia than booking.com.

#27 JW6262 has been a member since 23/9/2016. Posts: 2

Posted by braylor on 20/12/2016 at 21:07

As a regular traveler, I booked many times via Agoda and Booking and never had any problem with 2 websites

#28 braylor has been a member since 26/9/2016. Posts: 13

Posted by xstwlx on 19/2/2017 at 21:25

My friends and I decided to have a short getaway over at Lexis Hibiscus, Port Dickson and booked our Seaview room using Agoda in December 2016 for our trip on 18 February 2017. We even sent another email requesting for early check in through Agoda, and in which they have responded to us that we will be able to. My friend then checked her email and Agoda account on 17 February 2017 to get our resort details and the booking was stated CONFIRMED.

We left on 18 February at 7.30am happily through a long journey and went to check in. To our utter shock, we were told that our booking were CANCELLED. Naturally, we FREAKED out! We did not understand why it was cancelled and at the same time, the resort has a bad Wi-Fi connection which makes it even harder to check on our status. After a long time, we managed to get the connection and went back to the email and status in Agoda account to find out that it was cancelled and an email was sent ONLY at 9.36am on the same day, 18 February 2017. This blew our mind.. Without proper notification and Agoda decided to cancel our bookings just 5 HOURS before our check in time. The worst thing is, for some reason our bookings was transferred to BOOKING.COM (God knows why) and that's why the resort couldn't trace it for a while...

And because of this, we had to spend 2 more hours to resolve the whole thing and get a walk in price and room (not the best view). This was ridiculously unacceptable and Agoda did not even give an explanation on why it has been cancelled. Seriously poor service and very bad experience we had from this hiccup cause by Agoda. It really dampened our holiday mood and this incident made us feel that we could no longer trust Agoda anymore.


#29 xstwlx has been a member since 19/2/2017. Posts: 1

Posted by laurencegoldman on 20/2/2017 at 20:18

Currently using all over- no problem, best prices. Usually cheaper than walk-in prices. Record your booking reference number. It's often asked for.

I stayed in a hostel in KL where the price kept dropping with Agoda night by night. I kept the same bed throughout even tho a lower bunk was considered more expensive.

I usually re-check a hotel on Agoda if I found it on another consolidater like hotel.com.

#30 laurencegoldman has been a member since 20/2/2017. Posts: 2

Posted by Dhagmara on 6/3/2017 at 22:48

Yes, in Thailand and Laos, and never had issues. A good choice of places and competitive prices.

This time in SEAsia we've switched to hotels.com and it was a diseaster. Their website looked great and offered an 11th night free + some other 5% discounts. At the beginning we found it tricky to find out how to apply the discounts but in the end it worked.
And then we had this booking of 3 nights in a lower mid-range hotel in Nha Trang, Vietnam... and ended up at 8 pm after a long transfer from the south in a 8$ place because, as it turned out, hotels.com bungled our reservation. At the hotel they didn't even have a trace of our booking and were fully booked for days to come anyway. We immediately tried to phone hotels.com but their phone number in Thailand kept bouncing off. We also contacted hotels.com via email to sort it out and help us find the sort of accommodation we had paid for but got no reply until the next day.
After a horrible night in a rather seedy place the guys at the hotel we had originally booked were helpful enough and found us a place for the following two nights in a slightly better place (18$ for a double room), which was still below the standard we had booked. (As one of us is 74 and slightly handicapped we prefer accommodation with more privacy.)
As for our complaint addressed to hotels.com a long and monotonous correspondence followed, with their side repeating that the email we provided were not the one we used for doing the reservation. As this was simply not true and they made no other effort to authenticate our identity (they did have our mobile number), we realised that the policy of hotels.com is to procrastinate in accepting complaints until a harmed party gives up.
We did give up on hotels.com and want to share our negative experience with hotels.com with fellow travellers. Hope you will be luckier!

#31 Dhagmara has been a member since 21/5/2010. Posts: 7

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