Ukraine is the only European country I ever had to book a hotel to. They add a hotel reservation fee to the total of the fee if you make reservations. We are not talking about $5 or $10. It is equal to about one third of the bill. What's up with that? Is this a European thing or just Ukraine? I have never paid nor even heard of such a thing before I went to Ukraine.
Normally, if one books a hotel in advance, then one gets a better price than just turning up at the hotel.
However there was a time when I needed to overnight at the Borispol airport hotel, had I booked in advance then the booking fee was an additional 50% on top of the room rate, bearing in mind that I wanted one of the more expensive 'air con' rooms (it was summer) I thought 'bollox', I'll just turn up and book it at the time.
Well turning up all that was available was the cheapest 'non air con' rooms, if I opened the balcony door then I couldn't sleep for the traffic and aircraft noise and if I closed the balcony door then, without exaggeration, a river of sweat would roll off me drenching the pillow, i barely slept a wink all night.
But I don't complain about that ..... but I will complain that the sodding hotel bar ran dry of draught beer after, perhaps, my second one :)
I think that the hotels are destroying their competitiveness by charging the fee. I stayed three times at Boryspil. When I e-mailed them one time inquiring about the fee, they canceled my reservation without explaining it. I did not pay the fee, but have not encountered any shortage of rooms. I noticed on the internet that other hotels are charging the same fee.
The agencies or websites lure you into their apartments. I used a firm called Ukraine Tours or something like that on my second trip to Ukraine. I wanted to stay in Boryspil Hotel because I formed a friendship with the bell boy there, whose wife had a friend who... that's another story. He talked me into staying at his apartment for $85.00 USD for that night.
He said Boryspil was away from everything in town, and it was expensive - around $120 USD. In reality, Boryspil would have cost $65 USD without the reservation fee, with a free breakfast. His apartment had no water heater. I walked more than a mile one way and then a mile the other way the next morning. I could not find anyplace to get a cup of coffee or anything to eat. The tour did provide me taxi service and bought my train tickets to Zaporozhye with a reasonable price mark up. I don't remember what that mark up was, but I did compare their price to the actual train price.
On my last trip, I was trying to keep my hotel expenses to under $100 a day. That could have been done easily without the reservation fee. I tried three or four times to explain to my girl through a letter through the website that we don't have to pay that reservation fee. (My frustration was one reason why I thought she needed a phone). She insisted that the agency's apartment of $120 was very reasonable because it is in the middle of town. Because I insisted, we still ended up with the agency's apartment for a discounted $100 USD a day.
I don't believe the agency translated my letters correctly. My girl saw me off at the train station at Simferopol. I stayed by myself in Boryspil Hotel that last night for $65 USD, no reservation fee. When I called her to tell her of the amount, she said that's what she told me, but don't forget the $30 reservation fee. She was surprised when I told her I didn't have to pay that. I had to explain to her that I didn't have to pay that because there was no reservation. This time she understood.
Yes, you've just reminded me, they provide you with a choice of 3 menus and you decide the day before what you want for breakfast the next morning. Well I read thru all 3 menus and told them that I'll do without breakfast thanks very much :)
$120 for a apartment is way over to expensive,
In Kiev you can easy spend around that price on a good apt, but anywhere else $40 - $60 a night should get you a good apt in most citys ( Yalta in the summer can be expensive too )
if it was Kerch you were in it should have been much cheaper,a good hotel was $40 last year when I went there !
That was a two bedroom and an old apartment in the middle of Kiev, Chris. It was near that monument and accross the street from that big NOKIA sign. We got it for $100 a day, down from the $120 they initially asked for.
Thanks, Martin. The next time, at least initially, I will not be staying in Kiev. I like hotels but not the reservation fees. Hotels have taxis out front, internet downstairs, a 24 hour staff, a restaurant and hot water.