Tried to book on a hotel website. It was so bad I went back to Booking.com

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Since 2012 I am helping hotels to get more website and direct bookings. Some teams are successful, some not but most can get the basics right.

I just booked an otherwise very nice hotel but the experience was so frustrating that I feel I need to share it as an example why streamlining the website / direct process is crucial.

For my next trip to Nha Trang, Vietnam I choose MerPerle Hon Tam, a very nice 5-star resort on an island, with villas on a hill. I checked out their website: www.hontamresort.vn/

On their booking engine there was a sign. Note the grammar & wording.

EXCLUSIVITY OFFICAL WEBSITE Enjoy 10% additional discount and complimentary breakfast.

Okay, breakfast was already included on Booking.com and everywhere else, but hoping for 10% off I logged in and happily noticed further reductions.

When trying to pay, I noticed that taxes & service charges apply which make it exactly the same price as it is on Booking.com.

Seriously, if the final price is the same, why offer an "exclusive discount" then waste the guests' time to log in, browse rooms then finally get back to square one?

Very frustrating experience and does not make any sense from business point of view either. So I just went back to Booking.com and made the reservation in 2 clicks.

If any hotel managers out there are wondering why guests don't book on their websites, just try going through their own website booking procedure to have an idea of the (usually frustrating) experience then compare it with a streamlined OTA booking process.

Daniel Diosi