Welcome to our general FAQs page. The idea behind this page is to provide you with answers to most of the questions we receive from customers regarding our website and the booking process. If, however, you question is not answered here, please feel free to contact us directly for any further information. Also, please remember that each hotel listed on our website has its own description page, where you can find detailed information on payment methods, check-in/out times, cancellation policy and so forth, which specifically apply to the chosen hotel.
Please note that for simplicity and to avoid repetition, the term "hotel" refers to any type of accommodation, such as apartments, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, etc, as well as hotels.
What is HotelsChart? - back to top
HotelsChart is a company founded in Rome, Italy in 2007 with a mission to provide excellent and reliable services for the tourist sector and its consumers. Primarily, we deal with online reservations of all types of accommodation, as well as complementary services, such as airport transfers and city tours. Our employees have a vast knowledge of the tourist industry and work closely together with our IT specialists to provide an easy-to-use and seamless service.
What services do you offer? - back to top
We offer our customers a range of useful services within the travel and tourism sector. Our principal service is to offer a secure and reliable way to book accommodation, such as hotels, B&Bs and apartments. We provide this service for most of the main European destinations, such as Rome, Venice, Florence, Madrid, Barcelona, Prague, London, Paris, and so forth. We have also developed a user-friendly booking engine which allows customers to book accommodation securely and quickly.
What if I need assistance in making a booking? - back to top
Our whole process to help you choose and book accommodation online is user friendly. But we are also aware that some customers may at times require further information or prefer some degree of human interaction. Whenever this is the case and you require further assistance, such as a recommendation of a hotel, how to fill out the online booking form or the booking assistance form, etc, we will happily help you out. You can of course contact us by email, fax, telephone or via the online live help which can be accessed directly from the website.
What if I need assistance regarding an already made reservation? - back to top
Once you have made a booking through our website, we will also provide you with full after-sales support. This may involve amending or cancelling your accommodation, ensuring that the hotel is informed of a special request, or providing further information on your destination – in fact we will happily answer any query which you may have. However, please remember to always quote your booking reference number in any correspondence!
When and how can I contact someone from your booking department? - back to top
You can call our booking department between 9.00am and 5.00pm (Central European Time) Monday to Friday. Outside these hours you can leave a message and your query will be dealt with on the following day. You can also contact the department by email or fax – please visit the About Us page for our full contact details. If you contact us by email or fax, we always hope to reply to your query as soon as possible, i.e. usually within a few hours of your enquiry being sent. However, please note that emails can at times get undelivered, so please feel free to re-email us, if you have not received a reply in a timely manner.
How do I choose a hotel? - back to top
Choosing your accommodation is easy using our website. There are 2 main ways in which you can choose your accommodation:
Availability search: This is the best way to find accommodation if you already know your check-in and check-out dates. On the main homepage select the city, (this is not necessary if you are already on the city index page), your arrival/check-in date and your departure/check-out date. You can do this by either using the drop-down menus or by clicking on the small calendars to the right of the drop down menus. Choose the quantity of rooms corresponding to the room types you require and then finally click on the "Show Available Hotels" button. This will list all the hotels which match your criteria. The list provides an overview of useful information, such the total cost of your stay at the hotel, where the hotel is located and what its category is. You can also order the hotels by price, rating and value for money, simply by clicking on the appropriate link in the top right-hand corner of the page. Click on a hotel name/link to be taken to the hotel's description page. On this page you can find out everything you need to know about the accommodation, including photos, the cancellation policy and specific FAQs. If you wish to view another hotel just refer back to the hotel list page via the link in the top left-hand corner and click on another hotel name/link. Once you have found the hotel you would like to book, simply click on the "BOOK NOW" link form the hotel description page. This will take you directly to our an new page which interacts with our intuitive booking software and all you need to do is to fill out all the necessary information. Do not forget to use the "Online Help" facility (top right-hand corner of every page), if you do not understand any part of the booking process. Please also note that the booking process for a hotel can also be reached by clicking on the corresponding "BOOK NOW" link on any of the list pages.
Search via one criterion: You can also view a list of hotels based on a chosen criterion, such as location and star rating. To do this just click on the link on the city's homepage which refers to your chosen criteria. For example, if you are looking for accommodation in the Termini Train Station area of Rome, click on the "Train Station Area (Termini)" link from the Rome homepage and you will be taken directly to a page which list all hotels located in the train station area. Then in the same way as mentioned above, you can view and choose the hotel of your choice. However, unlike the method mentioned above, the hotel may not necessarily have availability for the time period you wish to stay. Therefore, when you click on the "CHECK RATES AND AVAILABILITY" link you will first have to search for availability and if the accommodation is available then you can continue with the booking.
Furthermore, if you reach one of the list pages directly via a link (i.e. without making a prior search enquiry), you will see an additional search function at the top of the left column entitled "Search within". This allows you to search hotels with availability within the list you are currently in ("this list" option) or within the whole database for the city you are viewing ("all hotels" option).
Finally, please see the "Booking Accommodation" section for more information on the booking process.
What information about the hotel is available on the website? - back to top
In order for customers to choose and book the ideal hotel, they will require accurate and detailed information. We therefore strive to ensure that all information regarding our listed hotels is informative, impartial and non-sensational.
Generally we try to provide customers with a description of the hotel, including its services, facilities and location (with map); several photographs and/or photogallery, room facilities and rates, and hotel-specific FAQs, such as payment terms, check-in/out times and so forth.
It is also very important that you read the hotel's cancellation policy, so that if you need to cancel your booking for any reason, we can avoid any potential problems or disagreements. The cancellation policy can be found by clicking on the the last link mid-way down of the the hotel's description page AND is also located at the bottom of step 2 in the booking process. We are constantly developing and improving this format in order to provide even further information, so that you can come to an even quicker decision on choosing your best-suited accommodation. Also, if you do have any type of question regarding a hotel, please feel free to contact us.
How do I book accommodation? - back to top
On choosing your hotel, click on the "CHECK RATES AND AVAILABILITY" or "BOOK NOW" button on the hotel description page, this will take you directly to a new page that provides direct access to our secure, in-house booking software. Please note that we offer 2 types of booking procedures ("immediate confirmation" and "confirmation on request") which are slightly different processes. The type of booking available for your chosen accommodation is denoted in the top right-hand corner of the hotel's description page, as well as to the right of the hotel on all of the list pages.
How does my booking reach the hotel? - back to top
When making a booking through the website, your chosen hotel is informed of your request via an automated email and fax. Both of these will contain your full booking details, such as your name, contact information, check-in/out dates, any additional information you gave, and so forth. However, any credit card details will not be included in the email or fax.
What is an "immediate confirmation"? - back to top
If the hotel you have chosen offers bookings with "immediate confirmation", you will be able to complete your booking and receive a confirmation within minutes. We have developed an easy-to-use, 3-step process, whereby you search for the room type(s) you require at the hotel, insert your personal data (including credit card details as guarantee) and then confirm the booking. On completion, you have booked the requested room(s) and will receive an email confirming this within a few minutes.
What is a "confirmation on request"? - back to top
With a "confirmation on request" booking, an ENQUIRY is first sent directly to the hotel, who will then reply to you by sending a "booking offer" (further information can be found below). To perform a "confirmation on request" booking, you will follow a very similar process as the one above by clicking on the "CHECK RATES AND AVAILABILITY" or "BOOK NOW" link. You will then provide your requested check in/out dates, requested room type(s) and then insert your personal details (credit card details will NOT be required at this moment). Please note that if a hotel uses the "confirmation on request" process, all rates shown on the hotel's description page and the "CHECK RATES AND AVAILABILITY" process are purely indicative. On completing the "CHECK RATES AND AVAILABILITY" process, an email will be sent directly to the booking department of the requested hotel. Within a short time, they will then send you the reply email with all the details of their booking offer including the total price of the accommodation.
NOTE: If, in either case, you do not wish to book accommodation straight away but have a query about a specific hotel, please use the hotel's enquiry form to contact us. Also, if you prefer, we can find accommodation for you. You can email, fax or telephone us and provide us with all the necessary information (including destination, time period, budget, room typology required, etc) and we will gladly send you some of the best offers available.
What is a "booking offer" and how do I accept it? - back to top
As mentioned above, after making a confirmation on request enquiry or filling out and sending a hotel enquiry form or the booking assistance form, you will receive an email containing details of the best offer available for the hotel. The email includes all the information you require to complete the booking, such as the ACTUAL cost of the accommodation, the cancellation policy, how long the offer is valid, as well as a link. If you wish to accept the offer, you must click on the link provided which will take you to our secure server. Here you must insert your credit card details to confirm and guarantee the booking. Furthermore, if all the criteria of your request cannot be met (e.g. there is no availability for the requested room type(s)), you will receive details of an offer which will be very similar to the request you made and you can accept and confirm it as previously mentioned. If you do not wish to accept any of the offers, simply ignore the email and the offer will be automatically deleted, as soon as the validity period has expired.
How do I make a special request? - back to top
If you wish to make a special request (such as a cot/crib, a specific room location, etc) we recommend that you fill out the additional request field which is found in the second step (Insert your data) of the booking process. The request will then be forwarded directly to your hotel of choice. If you need to make a special request after you have booked your hotel, please inform us by email, phone or fax and we will forward it to the hotel. However, please bear in mind that some requests cannot always be fulfilled.
How do I cancel a booking? - back to top
If you wish to cancel (or modify) a booking you can do so by contacting us via email or fax. Always remember to quote your HotelsChart booking reference number. Just as important is, that on MAKING any booking, you must take careful note of the cancellation policy pertaining to your booking. If you cancel late according to the terms and conditions of the cancellation policy, or you do not show up at all, the credit card you gave to guarantee the booking will be charged by the hotel with the sum stated in the cancellation policy. This is standard procedure used by the vast majority of hotels.
How can you offer such good rates? - back to top
Our services are free! We charge our customers NO extra fees and anybody can use them. We always strive to provide our customers with the best possible service and a large part of this is to offer the lowest rates possible. We attain this in 2 ways: firstly, we sell a large volume of rooms through our websites which means that we have strong buying power, and secondly, this provides us with a good bargaining position, so that we can negotiate the best possible rates and then pass these savings down to our customers.
Are rates per person or per room? - back to top
Rates are always per room, per night and NEVER per person, per night. Please also note that as mentioned in the "Booking Accommodation" section, rates for hotels denoted with the term "Immediate confirmation" are actual, real time rates, whereas the rates for hotels which are denoted with the term "Confirmation on request" are purely indicative.
What does "Best Rate Guarantee" mean? - back to top
A large percentage of hotels listed on our website offer our customers a best rate guarantee. This means that the rates available via our website are the lowest possible rates to be found ANYWHERE on the internet! And if lower rates are found for the same period and room type, etc, then the hotel is contractually bound to provide you with your accommodation at the same rate. Be assured that you have received the best deal possible for your accommodation!
What are "Special Offers"? - back to top
Throughout the year a hotel may provide us with special offers, such as even further reductions in the cost of a room, e.g. for all weekend stays, or stays of more than 5 nights – if a hotel is offering a special offer, you will find it on the hotel's description page by clicking directly on the "Special Offers" link – if the link is not there, then the hotel currently does not have any offers available. Other special offers, like incentives, can sometimes be found in the hotel description page, for example a free bottle of wine or dinner for customers staying during Valentine's Day. We are always happy to pass these offers directly to our customers.
What is VAT? And are there any additional costs? - back to top
VAT stands for value added tax, a tax which is applied in most countries for services, such as those offered by the tourism industry. Our rates include VAT and also any other taxes or service charges which may be applied. Therefore, there are no hidden charges and the rates listed on our websites are the rates you pay. However, there is the rare occasion that the hotel will charge a small commission fee if payment is made by a specific credit card. When this is the case, it will be clearly stated on the hotel's description page.
Do I pay any money directly to you? - back to top
NO, we neither charge you a booking fee nor charge you directly for your accommodation. Payment for your accommodation will be made directly by you, usually on your arrival at the hotel. We will make the reservation on your behalf and in doing so (securely) forward your credit details to your chosen hotel solely as a guarantee for your booking.
How do I pay for the booking? - back to top
You will normally pay for your accommodation on arrival. You can do so by using the same credit card as the one you used to make the booking, or alternatively you can use a completely different credit card or pay in cash. Please note that some smaller hotels may only accept cash for actual payment, and some special offers may only be available for payment in cash. Whenever this is the case, it will be clearly noted on the hotel's description page – please take some time to read this page very carefully. Finally, if you are booking an apartment, you may have to pay a deposit in advance – again, all this information can be found on the corresponding description page.
What credit card details do I need to supply? Is it safe to supply them? - back to top
In order to secure a booking, you will need to supply us with the following credit card details: Cardholder's full name, credit card type, full credit card number, expiry date, and, if required by the hotel, CVV (security) code. These details are never emailed or faxed to a hotel. They are only made available to the booking department of your chosen hotel via our secure web server, which uses the latest encrypting software to protect your data. At this point the hotel will not charge your credit card but will check that the credit card is valid and that sufficient funds are available to cover the late cancellation/no show fee which is usually the first night's stay (ALWAYS carefully read the cancellation policy of your chosen accommodation). This is standard reservation procedure used throughout most of the world.
Under what circumstances will the hotel charge my credit card? - back to top
There are only 2 circumstances when your credit card will be charged by the hotel. Firstly, on arriving at your hotel you will have to make arrangement for paying for your accommodation. Usually you can pay by using the credit card you gave as a guarantee, otherwise you may prefer to make other arrangements, such as pay by cash or a different credit card. Obviously, if you decide to use your credit card with which you guaranteed the booking, then the hotel will charge this credit card with the total cost of the agreed rate.
The second circumstance, under which your credit card may be charged, is when you violate the terms and conditions of the cancellation policy. That is, if you cancel your booking after the time period allowed which is stated in the cancellation policy (i.e. a late cancellation), or if you do not show up at all for your booking (i.e. a no-show). USUALLY your credit card will be debited the full cost of ONE night's stay. However, please always carefully read the cancellation policy which applies to your chosen accommodation.
Can I supply my credit cards via telephone, fax or email? - back to top
If you prefer, you can of course provide us with your credit cards details via telephone or fax. However, we recommend that you never email your credit card details.
Is it possible to book without a credit card? - back to top
Unfortunately a booking cannot be made without a credit card. The credit card details which are provided by a customer during the booking procedure are necessary to guarantee the booking. They are required in case the customer makes a late cancellation (with respect to the terms and conditions of the cancellation policy) or if the customer does not show up at all. The hotel then has the right to charge the credit card, according to its cancellation policy, for any lost revenue – as mentioned above this is USUALLY the full cost of ONE night's stay. In short, the use of a credit card is the only satisfactory way to guarantee a booking. However, in some cases we can arrange bookings for customers who do not possess a credit card. Although an advance deposit will normally be required. Please email us if you require further details.
Can I pay by cash for my accommodation? - back to top
Yes, you can normally pay by cash for your accommodation. However, you will still need to provide us with credit card details during the booking process, so that the booking can be guaranteed.
What credit cards are accepted? - back to top
Usually at least MasterCard and Visa credit cards will be accepted to GUARANTEE your booking. The majority of hotels will also accept most credit cards for PAYMENT as well. At the bottom of the hotel description page you will find which credit cards are accepted by the hotel as a guarantee.