Remove ads

Introducing the LemonFools Personal Finance Calculators

Cambridge hotel(s) booking problem -'2 ago no probs, now no rooms'

place to discuss doing things round and about the UK or to ask advice about other locations
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2728
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 3:39 pm
Has thanked: 2005 times
Been thanked: 392 times

Cambridge hotel(s) booking problem -'2 ago no probs, now no rooms'


Postby DiamondEcho » May 24th, 2017, 11:14 am

I'm looking to book a hotel in Cambridge at the end of June. I have dates in mind for a 2 night stay, but can push that forward one or two nights. A couple of days ago using Tripadvisor [TA] as my search tool I had several options. This trip is a rare treat so we're willing to pay for a nice place. But coming back to the search and hoping to book of the 5 possibilities we had in mind, 2 no longer have availability, and the other 3 have doubled or more in price.

I'm left wondering what on earth has happened!? It seems TA only lists c35 hotels in Cambridge anyway, but it's like all the possibilities for us have evaporated. Does anyone else recognise any pattern in this? Either specific to why that might have happened in Cambridge for late June, or whether TA might be exploiting having cookies from an earlier session and is now employing some kind of 'Bait during the choice being made, then ramp when they return to book' technique?

TA usually shows the prices it's got via several booking agents [, Expedia, etc etc]. Cross-checking directly on those agents also shows no availability, or again seriously higher prices. Going to the hotel websites directly seems to give rack-rates which are similarly as high.

DAK what might have just happened?

Lemon Slice
Posts: 394
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 10:31 am
Has thanked: 50 times
Been thanked: 31 times

Re: Cambridge hotel(s) booking problem -'2 ago no probs, now no rooms'


Postby NomoneyNohoney » May 24th, 2017, 12:04 pm

Seems likeliest to be cookies, as you suggest. Sometimes websites know you're a returning visitor, and uplift prices on things you've shown interest in.
Log in from another computer, or another browser, and see what happens.

Posts: 6
Joined: January 24th, 2017, 4:23 pm
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Cambridge hotel(s) booking problem -'2 ago no probs, now no rooms'


Postby masped » May 24th, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cambridge University is holding graduation ceremonies on 28th June - 1st July. I would guess that a group of students has found out what day they will be graduating and their parents have booked hotel rooms to attend.

Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2509
Joined: November 8th, 2016, 2:30 pm
Has thanked: 499 times
Been thanked: 679 times

Re: Cambridge hotel(s) booking problem -'2 ago no probs, now no rooms'


Postby bungeejumper » May 26th, 2017, 3:19 pm

Phone the hotels' booking desks directly for a quote, and don't rely solely on information from intermediary companies like They take a whacking slice (maybe 25%) of the booking fee - and at times of peak occupation the hotels may well be tempted to declare their rooms as being all full, because they know that they can let them privately anyway but keep all the money for themselves! :lol:

There's another angle to this, which was explained to us recently when we stayed in an upmarket B&B that was also available on *******.com. The landlady confided to us that the terms are very draconian for hotels - if you tell the online booking intermediary that you've got a room available, and if they then let it out to somebody, but if for any reason you're unable to take the booking, then you're liable for the entire cost of putting up the visitor in any hotel of the company's choosing. Which might be hundreds of pounds a night. :o Great news for the lucky upgraded visitor, but a strong incentive for landlords and landladies to take some of their rooms off the system during stress periods when they know that they can probably let them anyway.

So, as a landlord, if you're reasonably confident of selling out all your rooms but you don't fancy those heavy penalty clauses, and you'd like to keep all of the booking fee, then the logical thing to do is to tell ******.com that you're all booked up and wait for the public to ring you up on your own reservation number instead. Often, you'll get a lower price as well. One hotel that we booked last year via offered us a 30% discount on our next stay if we bypassed the agent and went direct to them.

Just sayin'. ;)


Return to “Around the UK”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest