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Most hotels on bookings.com almost full for November?

GeorgeC

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning (Nov 2018)
#1
Wife and I are planning to walk a segment of the Camino Frances starting this Nov 1, using a mix of albergues and hotels --- looking ahead at availability of hotels in early November on booking.com for SJPP, Roncevalles, Zubiri, Pamplona, etc. it seems as though most/all of the hotels have just a couple rooms left-- am I doing something wrong? does bookings.com just have a limited number of rooms at one time? or in fact will commercial accommodations be crowded and hard to find even in November starting from SJPP? Thanks very much.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#3
November 1, All Saints' Day, is a holiday observed in both France (Toussaint) and Spain (Día de todos los Santos). Special masses are held. Many families travel during this time to pay homage to their dead relatives. Hence roads and transport may be extra busy. Most businesses and services, but not all, will be closed on this day; generally a few restaurants and bars stay open . Banks and postal services will be closed.

Thus many people will be traveling at this time and hotels will be busy.

Furthermore many camino accommodations start to close mid October and thus fewer possibilities exist.

It is always worth checking directly with an accommodation listed by any booking service! Both availabilities and/or prices may differ. Such accommodation pays a fee to that service and thus their stated price on that service link reflects that fee. Furthermore all rooms are not always listed with any service. Thus for the lowest price and/or unlisted room find the accommodation website or telephone and ask directly.

Happy research and Buen camino to both you and your wife.
 
Last edited:

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#4
Hi GeorgeC,
@mspath gives great advice as usual, and I wanted to add that since Nov 1 is a Thursday, many Spaniards will be taking off Friday as well to give themselves a 4-day weekend. This might help explain further why the hotels seem so full. But do check with the hotels directly, and I'd recommend you book hotels as soon as you can in those cities where you don't want to stay in albergues that weekend. (I would think the albergues themselves would be fine without reservations; it's late enough in the season.)

Take care and Buen Camino!
 

GeorgeC

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning (Nov 2018)
#5
Thanks very much for your kind words. I was a bit taken aback when the rooms looked to be nearing full. We can stay in albergues if needed and good to know that there will probably be room there-we would like the flexibility of not planning where we will be staying a month ahead of the trip-don't really know how far we'll make it every day and would rather not do a forced march if we want to cut the day shorter- should we take sleeping bags (we'd rather not have to) if we stay in the albergues? or sleep sacks? or no bedding?
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#6
Take notice that many modest hotels and "pensiones" (b&b, with frequently shared bathroom) are not in booking.com. Anyway, I guess the "just only two rooms left" message is rather a marketing strategy for the booking agencies-but I can't be sure, obviously.
As regards albergues, no need of reservations in November (unless things have radically changed). But many private albergues will be closed (much less customers). Municipal and parish albergues, and those managed by the Asociacion de Amigos, will be usually open all year round.
Albergues could be a good idea in November, because they are not crowded anymore, and the socializing aspect is easier and (generally) more pleasant.
And yes, if you stay in albergues, you will need a sleeping bag. The regular, medium type. It is not as if you will be sleeping outdoors- but nights could be quite cold just before dawn.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#7
booking.com has a range of ruses to try to panic you into making an immediate booking, eg saying that 3 other people are currently checking out the same hotel as you are, which is probably a lie. Nevertheless I do use it for convenience sometimes.
 

Jeff Mayor

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French route (04,05,06) Portugues (07) VDLP (09,10,11) Aragon (0413) Levante (16) French (18)
#8
Wife and I are planning to walk a segment of the Camino Frances starting this Nov 1, using a mix of albergues and hotels --- looking ahead at availability of hotels in early November on booking.com for SJPP, Roncevalles, Zubiri, Pamplona, etc. it seems as though most/all of the hotels have just a couple rooms left-- am I doing something wrong? does bookings.com just have a limited number of rooms at one time? or in fact will commercial accommodations be crowded and hard to find even in November starting from SJPP? Thanks very much.
I think the short answer is yes they have limited bookings. Just left Santiago after 3 days. The cheapest room Booking.com had was 130 Euro per night. Stayed with the wonderful people at Albergue Lavacolla 12 miles away on the airport bus route 1.50 Euro each way 15 minute trip. Buses run 7 days a week from 7 am to midnight. The private room and bath was 30 Euros and we met a new group of pilgrims staging their final walk in to the city twice. Madrid appears to be the same through the app. I called the hotel directly and got a room for 50 Euros which Booking.com and Hotels.com said was full.
 

Aurigny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, 2016; Português Central, 2017; Port. Interior, 2017; Primitivo, 2018; Port. Coastal, 2018.
#9
In many cases, if a smaller place on Booking.com is listed as fully booked for a particular set of dates -- especially in the off-season -- it means that the owners have decided to go away for a holiday of their own. They adjust the settings on the various reservation search engines to show that no rooms are available for that period.

Source: a friend of mine who runs a guesthouse in Western Europe and does this regularly. She told me about it after I expressed surprise that her place was apparently completely full in mid-January.
 

GeorgeC

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning (Nov 2018)
#11
Thanks very much for the good information. I suspected perhaps booking.com was not telling the complete story as far as bookings--may use it, but will not rely on it. The advice about checking directly with the facilities sounds good. We have nothing against staying in the albergues, and in fact will probably be happier as far as the camaraderie, but we're older and prefer a private room at night (I am extremely light sleeper, will be up all night if others are making even a little noise) which I gather can be done at many albergues--so much the better! and will take light sleeping bags for the trip, which is very good to know. We have 35 and 40 liter backpacks (not large for us) so will be very careful with what to take, especially now with taking sleeping bags. Again, many thanks for the good advice.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March-mid April 2017 first time
#12
I was booking for next year first week of September of year 2019.
To start our second Camino from SJPP , found same situation from the beginning
of my booking, felt somewhat uneasy and difficult and thinking how am I going thru
this! I don’t want to struggle like our first Camino to find accommodation.
I could not even book for the flight at this time, but hotels are nearly booked, so my plan has to be readjusted like adding sleeping bag and just take off as long as find
one room at SJPP.
Buen Camino, George C
 
Camino(s) past & future
planning (Nov 2018)
#13
Thank you, Cathy. I guess we'll just wait and see, and take the sleeping bags. We've got our flights into Paris and out of Madrid, and don't really want to have to make a certain place by a certain time - too many uncertainties to predict how much we'll make every day. I'm not going to stress on it, apparently there are always accommodations of some sort somewhere along the way, so we'll just give it a shot and be flexible! If it's a disaster, will just make for a larger town/city/Madrid and relax and enjoy the history and spiritual time.
Buen Camino to you too!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014 sarria to muxia ,
2017 french way
#15
Bookings .com is a rip off from everyone's point of view ... the prices are always jacked up and the take a cut from the property owner .
Do yourself a favour and use them to view and read reviews but go direct to accommodation you will always get a better deal .
Personally I think trivago is good to see what's out there but again only use to gage places .....
 


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