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Booking Albergues from Canada

2020 Camino Guides

Rosemary Boyd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
future
Good Morning!
I have my trusty John Brierley guide book. I am trying to book albergues from Canada and my e-mails are not being returned. Is calling better?
I would appreciate any tips or suggestions.
Thank you!
Rosemary
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Hi and welcome to the forum @Rosemary Boyd !

Which albergues are you looking to book? It is low season now and a lot of albergue owners are taking now some much needed time out. How long have you waited for replies? If only a few days, I would give it a bit more time ;-)

BC SY
 

Don Camillo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 04-16
Norte/Primitivo 09-16
VdlP/ Sanabres 02/3-17
Levante 09/17,
Ruta de la Lana 09/18
If you are going to walk the Frances (or Portugues) why not just leave the albergues to fate or down to the day (or night before). Why do you wish to plan yourself into fixed stages instead of letting the Camino talk to you when you are walking it.
Plenty of places to stay and eat. Water fountains in most villages. Plenty of fellow pilgrims to share plans with.
Sometimes the weight we have on our shoulders in everyday life needs to be left behind and the camino is an ideal place to do this.
Brierley will not let you down, stay flexible , enjoy your time on Camino.
Don.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2020 (Sept, Oct)
Rosemary, for our first camino, we stayed mostly in municipal albergues which do not take reservations. When my wife developed severe knee pain, we used Jacotrans to transport her backpack every day. This required us to identify the town and albergue we were staying in the next day.

Having walked the camino once, we were confident on the number of kms to walk each day and preferences for towns / albergues. For our second camino we walked with my brother and his wife and we booked advance reservations in all but four places. For our third camino, I made advance reservations for every night and had no issues.

Each camino we started in mid-September and arrived in Santiago in late October. During the early stages of the camino, there was very high pilgrim traffic and some albergues filled up quickly. In fact, there were entire towns that were filled up requiring pilgrims to keep walking or take a bus or taxi to the next town looking for beds.

Gronze is a great resource in that it shows albergues in each town and general information for each. For most albergues Gronze has a link to the albergue's website, a link to Booking.com or an email address. My wife and I are walking CF again this fall and I have firm reservations for every night. I mostly used Booking.com, reserved via the albergue's website, or via email contact with the albergue.

Many prefer to not reserve in advance so as to have maximum flexibility on where to stay each night, or if problems develop. I am a hard core planner and love to research towns and places to stay. Buen camino ! Bob
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
With respect to e-mail responses from France and Spain, over the years I have learned to: 1) be patient, or 2) forget it. I recall at one very nice little family-run hotel in Burgos, when a room had not been set aside for my companion, who had emailed from Ireland, the innkeeper rang up his son, who checked his own computer, and agreed that it had arrived, and that they were going to answer it at the end of the week, which is how they usually handled things. Arriving at a hotel in Toulouse, I had three staff peering at their inbox, wondering what these lines of print might be!!

I have found FB or Whatsapp to be more effective, especially if you have French or castellano. Some albergues can be found on hotels.com or booking.com. Other forum members have given some useful responses.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I use booking.com or hotels.com to make reservations from Canada. But I generally book only the first day or two and the last day or two in advance of my travel. On the road, if I want a reservation, I either use the same online agencies or I telephone.

Some people prefer to make reservations directly with the establishment, to avoid the cost of the middle party (which is built into the rate negotiated between the booking agency and the lodging). My experience is that the costs are likely to be very similar, but the convenience of the online booking and the ability to cancel, far outweigh any minor cost difference. Just be sure that you read the cancellation conditions/dates.

People have complaints about issues related to online booking, but people have complaints and bad experiences in any human endeavour. We have had threads debating the pros and cons of booking agencies. My experience has been 100% positive and millions of bookings are made this way every day. (Actually, I just made up that number, but you get the idea ;). I'm pretty sure there would be many thousands at least!)

Even if you don't book online, you might find that the website is a good source of information about different lodgings. You can find something in a guide book, look it up on the online agency, browse through photos, compare prices, etc. But remember that when they say a place is filled, or "only 2 rooms left", it refers to the rooms that the booking company has contracted. There may be rooms available that the owner has not made available to the booking site. So, if you want a room/bed there and it seems to be sold out, you should contact the lodging directly. They might even be cheaper, but no guarantees.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
I am trying to book albergues from Canada and my e-mails are not being returned.
Are you writing them in Spanish?
I use Google Translate to send a request in Spanish (keep it simple).
And I type the English below.
So if the Spanish is double dutch to them, and they understand English, they may reply.
So far they always have.
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
Good Morning!
I have my trusty John Brierley guide book. I am trying to book albergues from Canada and my e-mails are not being returned. Is calling better?
I would appreciate any tips or suggestions.
Thank you!
Rosemary
Hi Rosemary. Most of the albergues are closed right now. So response time can be weeks. If you are like me and want to plan now I suggest you use the pilgrim booking site I use....
You can book your own bunks or rooms in an albergue. If you have any questions send only pilgrims an email. The owner has helped me many times and lets me know the owner is on vacation or if an albergue is being sold. He is a kind man with the Camino spirit but also lives in Leon near the Camino.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Good Morning!
I have my trusty John Brierley guide book. I am trying to book albergues from Canada and my e-mails are not being returned. Is calling better?
I would appreciate any tips or suggestions.
Thank you!
Rosemary
If you must book ahead use onlypilgrims.com. Cuts out the money making hotels websites. And please, if you cannot make it to the next bed, do phone ahead to cancel it so a weary pilgrim can have it. Stayed in an albergue in Uterga a few years ago and got the last 'not reserved' bed. About 12 beds had reserved signs on them, next morning ten still only had little reserved signs, the excuse for pilgrims had not turned up, had not cancelled, the albergue lost money and quite a few weary pilgrims were turned away. As we left the dinner table that night, the hospitalera was livid and swore she would never allow so many reservations again. Book your first night or two. When you get close, say 3 to 5 days, to Santiago, book your last few nights. But why tie yourself into daily destinations and deprive yourself of the spontaneity of the camino. I have walked 5 times since 2013 and never had to sleep under the stars or taxi to another town. Got turned away from one albergue in El Acebo but walked around the corner to the parochial and got a bed. Have seen others turned away but they always found somewhere. In Santa Catalina 4 elderly ladies waited out side the albergues and offered beds in their homes to pilgrims turned away from the albergues. Once again reservations had taken up most of the beds and the albergue I was in did not fill up. BTW the dinner in Uterga albergue is excellent
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
If you must book ahead use onlypilgrims.com. Cuts out the money making hotels websites. And please, if you cannot make it to the next bed, do phone ahead to cancel it so a weary pilgrim can have it. Stayed in an albergue in Uterga a few years ago and got the last 'not reserved' bed. About 12 beds had reserved signs on them, next morning ten still only had little reserved signs, the excuse for pilgrims had not turned up, had not cancelled, the albergue lost money and quite a few weary pilgrims were turned away. As we left the dinner table that night, the hospitalera was livid and swore she would never allow so many reservations again. Book your first night or two. When you get close, say 3 to 5 days, to Santiago, book your last few nights. But why tie yourself into daily destinations and deprive yourself of the spontaneity of the camino. I have walked 5 times since 2013 and never had to sleep under the stars or taxi to another town. Got turned away from one albergue in El Acebo but walked around the corner to the parochial and got a bed. Have seen others turned away but they always found somewhere. In Santa Catalina 4 elderly ladies waited out side the albergues and offered beds in their homes to pilgrims turned away from the albergues. Once again reservations had taken up most of the beds and the albergue I was in did not fill up. BTW the dinner in Uterga albergue is excellent
The owner may have lost money but maybe not. I only can speak for the only pilgrims booking site and Orrison. If you book through only pilgrims you pay in advance. If you cancel 7 days before your arrival time you get a refund. I have tried to cancel after that so someone can get the bed and it's often difficult to reach the owner of the albergue. As for Orrison, no refunds is the rule. When I book privately I am told to call 24 hours before my booking to confirm, which I do if I expect a bed. So perhaps the owner needs to to have the phone call 24 hours before arriving rule.
I wish they offered the bed for free when it is already paid for. I have only cancelled because of injury and I can't speak for the no shows at the place you spoke about but selling a bunk twice seems unfair.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
The owner may have lost money but maybe not. I only can speak for the only pilgrims booking site and Orrison. If you book through only pilgrims you pay in advance. If you cancel 7 days before your arrival time you get a refund. I have tried to cancel after that so someone can get the bed and it's often difficult to reach the owner of the albergue. As for Orrison, no refunds is the rule. When I book privately I am told to call 24 hours before my booking to confirm, which I do if I expect a bed. So perhaps the owner needs to to have the phone call 24 hours before arriving rule.
I wish they offered the bed for free when it is already paid for. I have only cancelled because of injury and I can't speak for the no shows at the place you spoke about but selling a bunk twice seems unfair.
And sending a weary pilgrim down the road when a bed is lying empty is not unfair. It really is quite simple to phone and let the hospitaleros know you aint coming. I do believe most albergues have telephone numbers. Most pilgrims booking ahead that I have met phone the albergue the night before so it is just as easy to phone and cancel. Some albergues do say that if you have not turned up by 4pm and not phoned to either cancel or confirm you are still coming, then the bed will not be held for you. However, the few hospitaleros I know well tend to be reluctant to do so and will push it to 5 but feel really bad about turning others away. It is just my personal opinion but I believe that mass bookings months in advance is not helping the ethos of the camino
 

Cariad

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Good Morning!
I have my trusty John Brierley guide book. I am trying to book albergues from Canada and my e-mails are not being returned. Is calling better?
I would appreciate any tips or suggestions.
Thank you!
Rosemary
Don’t be discouraged. I am from Canada too. If your trying to get an alburgue in SJPDP try bellarie it’s awesome but they don’t always reply until end January February. Same with Orisson a must to stay on day 1. They do t reply either but will eventually. It’s easy wherever your from but we had to learn from fellow pilgrims that there is a date they all start replying. You do need a place ie Orisson unless you are walking right thru Ronchevalles. Go on their site send the email. They will reply. Hope it helps. Buen Camino.
 

Thomas1962

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Porto - SdC - Finisterra 2011: E4 on Crete 2012: Le Puy - SJPdP 2013: Camino Madrid -> Del Salvador -> Primitivo 2014: European Peace Walk. 2015: Amsterdam - SdC & Barcelona -Burgos. 2016:Norte & hospitalero
As a hospitalero myself I can indeed tell that many albergues are in a deep deep wintersleep at the moment. The season is long and tyring.
Also, there is hardly any albergue which is fully booked for any day this coming season. Beilari in SJPdP en Orrison might be an exeption. So no need to rush at all! In 99% of the places there are beds available 1-2 days before.
Besides, there are only very few albergues on booking and even less on onlypilgrims. For most albergues there is no need to because by far most, people use guidebooks or apps. Use booking only in case of emergency, I'm afraid you otherwise will miss the best camino places.
 

Rosemary Boyd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
future
As a hospitalero myself I can indeed tell that many albergues are in a deep deep wintersleep at the moment. The season is long and tyring.
Also, there is hardly any albergue which is fully booked for any day this coming season. Beilari in SJPdP en Orrison might be an exeption. So no need to rush at all! In 99% of the places there are beds available 1-2 days before.
Besides, there are only very few albergues on booking and even less on onlypilgrims. For most albergues there is no need to because by far most, people use guidebooks or apps. Use booking only in case of emergency, I'm afraid you otherwise will miss the best camino places.
Thank you!
 

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