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Tips On Booking Private Rooms

Discussion in 'Albergues - Hostels' started by Laurie Ferris, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Laurie Ferris

    Laurie Ferris Laurie Ferris

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    Camino superfan Cathy Seitchik Diaz is currently walking the Camino Francés—for the fifth time in five years—with her partner David Stewart. She provides some useful tips which she would like to share to help pilgrims along the way. In this post, she describes methods of booking private rooms in advance by using Booking . com, calling, email or using WhatsApp. Even though they focus only on the Camino Francés, you will find some practical advice for any Camino route that you choose to walk.

    Below is the first in a series of Cathy’s Camino Tips, fresh from the Way!

    Booking Accommodations Along the Way
    by Cathy Seitchik Diaz

    We have learned that the Albergues, Hostals, Casa Rurales, Pensiones & Hotels use “Booking” for “some” of their “Rooms and Dorm Beds” because the Albergue needs to Pay Booking 15%. Often Booking says a place is Full but it is not.

    I have a List of Places we have stayed at over the past 4 Caminos, with ALL of their Contact info.
    – Hospitalero’s Name
    – Email
    – WhatsApp
    – Website
    – Address

    First, I Email to Request a Reservation, since I have their Contact Info from our past Caminos.

    Below is my Copy & Paste Email for each Place.

    Hola Iñaki,
    Quieremos hacer una Reserva para
    -13 April -Sabado
    Una Habitación Privada con Bano para 2 personas
    Es posible?

    Gracias,
    Cathy y David
    Peregrinos del Camino
    cathyjo44@gmail.com
    WhatsApp: +1-831-428-8670
    Hostal Burguete: Iñaki
    info@hotelburguete.com
    http://www.hotelburguete.com
    Mobile: +34-948-760-005

    If in a few days I don’t hear from them, I Save the Albergue Info in my Contacts & I Send them a WhatsApp message.
    – At the same time, I Send an Email to Request a Reservation, to a few other Places we find Online, as a Backup.
    If I still don’t get a response, I Call them.
    Also……
    – We have learned and seen again that between St Jean and Logroño it feels more congested and hectic for Pilgrims needing Beds or a Private Room.
    – Many Pilgrims Walk 25-30 Kilometers, 6+ hours ….
    Los Arcos to Logroño” is 25 Kilometers.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

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    In my observation with more and more Pilgrims PreBooking ……
    – If you know the Miles/Kilometers you like to Walk, then PreBook/Reserve to Logroño or Navarrette.
    – We have decided since we are making Reservations, if we get hurt or too tired to Walk we will take a Taxi or Bus to our Albergue.
    If you would like my List of the Locations of the 20-ish Kilometers we Walk each Day. Send me a FB Message at – Cathy Seitchik Diaz –
    – My List also includes all of our Albergues and all of the Contact info.
    – All of them are from Brierely’s Camino Guide and also in the Old Medieval areas near the Churches and other Pilgrims.
    Does this help?
    Warmly, your Camiga –
    FB & Instagram
    – Cathy Seitchik Diaz –
    cathyjo44@gmail.com
    WhatsApp: +1-831-428-8670
    PS: Here is my 2017 Blog, thanks to Laurie Ferris and “The Camino Provides.” https://thecaminoprovides.com/routes/frances2017/
    FB Message me with ANY questions, thoughts, concerns. The Camino is my FAVORITE thing to talk about!!

    [​IMG]

    Stay tuned for more of Cathy’s Camino’s Tips.
     
  2. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Laurie, thanks for passing the "booking tips" along from Kathy. We are excited about our third Camino Frances beginning mid-Sept 2019.

    Our first camino, we booked ahead only a few times. We followed the Brierley guide and were able to find places to stay at the end of each stage. For our second camino, which we walked with my brother and his wife, we made advance reservations for all but three or four nights. There was an unexpected number of pilgrims walking the camino Sept-Oct 2017 and for the few times we did not have reservations, we got up early and rushed to our destination to ensure we had beds. This worked out fine, but many pilgrims arriving in some towns as early at 14:00 hours learned that the albergue was already "completo".

    For our upcoming camino, I have firm reservations for every single night - and in each case this will be a private room with private bathroom. Our approach was the reverse order that Kathy used. I decide which towns we'll stay in based on our prior caminos, and generally like to average around 20 kms / day. I start with Booking.com. There are always good photos, descriptions of rooms and services, comments from customers and of course, room prices. Booking.com generally allows booking of reservations 12 months in advance. However, sometimes it indicates "rooms not available". I've learned that's not always the case. More often, it means the albergue does not want to accept reservations that far out. If I want to pursue this albergue further, I get the contact information on Gronze.com and send an email to the albergue asking if I can make a reservation (using a message similar to Kathy's). Some times this works, sometimes not. For our upcoming camino, we used Booking.com to make reservations on 20 of 37 nights (plus a few more in transit to St Jean or back to Barcelona). For the remaining nights, some are our favorite places we've stayed before. In my email I point out how much we enjoyed staying there before and our request to stay again. Some of the other places we've identified via Gronze.com and a simple exchange of emails works to secure reservations. Once I have booked a room on Booking.com there is no need to reconfirm. However, for those places I've made reservations via email, I simply forward the email that the albergue sent months prior and confirm our plans have not changed and we're looking forward to staying there. I've done this recently and all have confirmed the reservation. Since our camino is now only five months from now, I don't feel I need to confirm the reservations further. A few have asked that I reconfirm a few days or week beforehand, which I'll do.

    And I endorse the backup plan that Kathy describes. If we get injured or slow down our pace, we'll keep our destination towns the same and find a way to get there by walking slower, or taking a bus / taxi to get to that town. We're very excited to return to the camino frances again! Bob
     
  3. Laurie Ferris

    Laurie Ferris Laurie Ferris

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    Hi Bob,
    Thanks for adding to the tips thread. Your strategies are solid. I, too, like using booking.com, but mostly for the pre- and post-Camino reservations. I made the rookie mistake on my first Camino of not booking ahead in Santiago. After one night in the grungiest albergue (which I was lucky to get!), I used booking to reserve a hotel room for the next night at Pinario San Martin. I like to leave things un-booked during the stages to have more flexibility.

    Have a great time on Camino #3! I'll be starting my 4th in just 2 weeks! Super excited. This forum doesn't have a topic for Camino Invierno yet, but I have requested it.
    Buen Camino!
    Laurie
     
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