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Reservations cancelled at private albergues

Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
I suppose two instances does not create a trend, but to advise fellow pilgrims that make advance room reservations . . . Today, I received notice from Booking.com that a room reservation I made some time ago was cancelled by the private albergue without explanation. Fortunately I was able to make an alternate reservation at a place we stayed at in 2019. Three weeks ago, the same thing happened; our room reservation on Booking.com was cancelled without explanation. There were no available private rooms nearby, so we shortened our hike that day to stay in another town, which lengthened our hike the following day. Crossing my fingers that there are not additional room cancellations for our upcoming camino! Bob
 
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PadreW

Bearded Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I've thought about this. I have most of my stops for next month booked through Booking.com, but a couple of reservations are simply through email with little proof of confirmation. Undoubtedly, this will be an interesting year with reduced capacities and short staffing in many places.

I am a planner. Someone who doesn't just plan but has backup plans in place. This is where I'll need to adjust. I hope to be at a place when I arrive in Spain that, no matter what happens, I'll remember that I'm on Camino and there will be some hiccups. Nothing some red wine and some sleep won't make a little better.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I suppose two instances does not create a trend, but to advise fellow pilgrims that make advance room reservations . . . Today, I received notice from Booking.com that a room reservation I made some time ago was cancelled by the private albergue without explanation. Fortunately I was able to make an alternate reservation at a place we stayed at in 2019. Three weeks ago, the same thing happened; our room reservation on Booking.com was cancelled without explanation. There were no available private rooms nearby, so we shortened our hike that day to stay in another town, which lengthened our hike the following day. Crossing my fingers that there are not additional room cancellations for our upcoming camino! Bob

That is something I have also experienced with Booking.com, once on Camino Frances and twice during Camino Ingles.

The Camino Ingles cancellation in Betanzos was especially aggravating because there were no other option available thru Booking.com, but was able to find a far better replacement thru AirBnB, however, so consider that incident to be a 'happgravation' (happy aggravation)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
There have been reports, in the UK at least, of bookings being cancelled at the last minute as a result of owners making the property unavailable to companies like Booking.Com.

My eldest brother fell foul of this when the cottage he had booked was suddenly unavailable and yet he spotted it, for the same period he had booked, on another website but at a much inflated cost.

Draw your own conclusions!
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I had this happen with a booking in St Jean. Just a few days before arrival.
They cancelled my booking because they had a large tour group book in!
They actually told me that!!

Won't be staying there again........
:(
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
The ability to make bookings and to cancel (if you are in Lockdown with an irrelevant passport) works both ways. If the owner gets a better offer they have no contract with you until there has been an exchange at value. So, make your bookings for 2023, pay for them all up front and, sit back, relaxed, knowing all you need to worry about is whether the business you've done your business with will still be in business in 2023.
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
I've thought about this. I have most of my stops for next month booked through Booking.com, but a couple of reservations are simply through email with little proof of confirmation. Undoubtedly, this will be an interesting year with reduced capacities and short staffing in many places.

I am a planner. Someone who doesn't just plan but has backup plans in place. This is where I'll need to adjust. I hope to be at a place when I arrive in Spain that, no matter what happens, I'll remember that I'm on Camino and there will be some hiccups. Nothing some red wine and some sleep won't make a little better.
Yup nothing like a Camino to bring out the Soviet Central planner in me - the gods own joke as I know that the best laid plans rarely survive when faced with reality. That said I've bookings for every night from Lisbon to Porto starting this Saturday.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I had this happen with a booking in St Jean. Just a few days before arrival.
They cancelled my booking because they had a large tour group book in!
They actually told me that!!

Won't be staying there again........
We had the same thing happen to-us once inSJPdP!

In Sept., we are walking part of the CF. Rooms in certain establishments are fully booked already. If the numbers of Covid cases continues to decrease in Spain, I expect the CF to be very busy then, so do make reservations!
 
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S.Duffenais

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
If you have paid for the room on Booking.com, would they potentially still cancel or just when you reserve?
 

The Austrian

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Nov 11, 2016
CF Oct 31, 2018
As a host on bookingcom here in Austria (www.hausedlinger.com), it is extremely difficult to cancel a booking. It did happen twice last year for a good reason and I was made responsible to find alternate accommodations for the guests AND I had to pay for the difference in price to the other property. Bookingcom still charged me the 12% commission....
It would be of interest if there ever was a reason given in your case
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte, Jul 2021
I suppose two instances does not create a trend, but to advise fellow pilgrims that make advance room reservations . . . Today, I received notice from Booking.com that a room reservation I made some time ago was cancelled by the private albergue without explanation. Fortunately I was able to make an alternate reservation at a place we stayed at in 2019. Three weeks ago, the same thing happened; our room reservation on Booking.com was cancelled without explanation. There were no available private rooms nearby, so we shortened our hike that day to stay in another town, which lengthened our hike the following day. Crossing my fingers that there are not additional room cancellations for our upcoming camino! Bob
Happened to me too. Twice.

DO NOT BOOK AT BOOGALOW in Gijon....they cancelled my room and put me in a lower quality room just bc someone else wanted the room I booked! Plenty of availability too! They do not honor resevations apparently! Booked 9n booking.com....waiting to hear if booking.com is gonna allow this.
 

HappyValley Bob

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Hoping for September 2020
I suppose two instances does not create a trend, but to advise fellow pilgrims that make advance room reservations . . . Today, I received notice from Booking.com that a room reservation I made some time ago was cancelled by the private albergue without explanation. Fortunately I was able to make an alternate reservation at a place we stayed at in 2019. Three weeks ago, the same thing happened; our room reservation on Booking.com was cancelled without explanation. There were no available private rooms nearby, so we shortened our hike that day to stay in another town, which lengthened our hike the following day. Crossing my fingers that there are not additional room cancellations for our upcoming camino! Bob
I haven’t been canceled yet but there is definitely a shortage of rentals. We also had to cut one day short by 6 miles because rooms were all booked.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Happened to me too. Twice.

DO NOT BOOK AT BOOGALOW in Gijon....they cancelled my room and put me in a lower quality room just bc someone else wanted the room I booked! They do not honor resevations apparently!
Something similar happened to me once in Zubiri. This new small pension was run by a younger man (who had a day job) and his mother. They had two rooms - one had two twin beds ( which I-had a printed booking for) and the other room had only a double bed.

Two men arrived without a reservation before us, and they told her that they were men and could not sleep together, so she gave them our reserved twin room! When we two women arrived at 4pm, the mother showed us the double bed - I politely showed her our reservation. She became rude and insisted our reservation was incorrect. I had a print-out, clearly stating we had the twin bedroom. She told us if we didn’t want the double - to go elsewhere…and said The men would each then have their own rooms because they did not want to sleep together. She knew there were no rooms available in Zubiri at that point.

When the son got home, he came to our room and profusely apologized for his mother’s rudeness and mistake. As a token he gave us one free dinner that evening. She was very embarrassed.

I was frankly more annoyed with the two sexist American men (I am from USA) , who talked about how important they were in their diocese (laymen) at dinner and breakfast, but who thought nothing of usurping our reservation…

I am pretty sure the mother would not do this again…she was honestly contrite…so much so- that I did not lodge a complaint to booking.com!
 
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Schamber

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May and June 2022
I had this happen with a booking in St Jean. Just a few days before arrival.
They cancelled my booking because they had a large tour group book in!
They actually told me that!!

Won't be staying there again........
Yikes!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Times have changed, and are changing all the time, so it might be a couple of years before the Camino returns to "normal". This is what Spain recommends:

Booking albergues on the Camino

It should be noted that only 50% of the spots will be available compared to what they have offered in other years, since they have had to adapt to the new security and hygiene rules: limiting space, equipment and public spaces, so one of the changes derived from this ‘new normal’ after Covid-19 is the strong recommendation to book ahead a place at albergues or other types of accommodation. This will ensure that you find available spots and open places.

This year much of the accommodation along the Camino may not be open, and most will have a bed limit, so we suggest making sure beforehand of the places where you want to spend the night. You can find a list with over 4.000 albergues, hotels and hostels on the Correos website, with phone numbers and e-mail addresses so you can plan ahead. www.elcaminoconcorreos.com/en/accommodations

The Xunta de Galicia has created a website where you can check availability and book a place at public albergues. (https://alberguesxacobeo.gal/) There is a phone number, as well: (+34) 881 250 888.

According to the Consellería, pilgrims will now be able to book a reservation from the day before to 1pm of the same day. From then on, if there are remaining spots, they will be available for pilgrims who arrive without a reservation.

The Asociación de Albergues Privados de Galicia (Agalber) has created a map and listing of all all albergues that will be available throughout the different Caminos during the winter months. You can check it out here on their interactive map with the location and contact of the Network of Safe Albergues https://www.amcsantiago.com/. This map is updated weekly including all available albergues.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Times have changed, and are changing all the time, so it might be a couple of years before the Camino returns to "normal". This is what Spain recommends:

Booking albergues on the Camino

It should be noted that only 50% of the spots will be available compared to what they have offered in other years, since they have had to adapt to the new security and hygiene rules: limiting space, equipment and public spaces, so one of the changes derived from this ‘new normal’ after Covid-19 is the strong recommendation to book ahead a place at albergues or other types of accommodation. This will ensure that you find available spots and open places.

This year much of the accommodation along the Camino may not be open, and most will have a bed limit, so we suggest making sure beforehand of the places where you want to spend the night. You can find a list with over 4.000 albergues, hotels and hostels on the Correos website, with phone numbers and e-mail addresses so you can plan ahead. www.elcaminoconcorreos.com/en/accommodations

The Xunta de Galicia has created a website where you can check availability and book a place at public albergues. (https://alberguesxacobeo.gal/) There is a phone number, as well: (+34) 881 250 888.

According to the Consellería, pilgrims will now be able to book a reservation from the day before to 1pm of the same day. From then on, if there are remaining spots, they will be available for pilgrims who arrive without a reservation.

The Asociación de Albergues Privados de Galicia (Agalber) has created a map and listing of all all albergues that will be available throughout the different Caminos during the winter months. You can check it out here on their interactive map with the location and contact of the Network of Safe Albergues https://www.amcsantiago.com/. This map is updated weekly including all available albergues.

Excellent advice and much safer!
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
I suppose two instances does not create a trend, but to advise fellow pilgrims that make advance room reservations . . . Today, I received notice from Booking.com that a room reservation I made some time ago was cancelled by the private albergue without explanation. Fortunately I was able to make an alternate reservation at a place we stayed at in 2019. Three weeks ago, the same thing happened; our room reservation on Booking.com was cancelled without explanation. There were no available private rooms nearby, so we shortened our hike that day to stay in another town, which lengthened our hike the following day. Crossing my fingers that there are not additional room cancellations for our upcoming camino! Bob

The only explanation I can come up with is that the accommodation is closed. Otherwise they will have to pay for another room for you.

What places are we talking about and when? If you don't mind me asking. I would like to investigate this a little bit as this is not supposed to happen at all with Booking.com.
 

deniseketcham

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
It may be coincidence but one of my booking.com reservations was cancelled yesterday also (Casa Lixa Hotel Rural Albergue). Luckily I was able to find a replacement booking. It’s a bit tough finding economical accommodations in some of the towns.
 

Gregory Stegman

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
9/2014 Camino Frances. 5/2015 Lepuy. next 6/16 ?
I suppose two instances does not create a trend, but to advise fellow pilgrims that make advance room reservations . . . Today, I received notice from Booking.com that a room reservation I made some time ago was cancelled by the private albergue without explanation. Fortunately I was able to make an alternate reservation at a place we stayed at in 2019. Three weeks ago, the same thing happened; our room reservation on Booking.com was cancelled without explanation. There were no available private rooms nearby, so we shortened our hike that day to stay in another town, which lengthened our hike the following day. Crossing my fingers that there are not additional room cancellations for our upcoming camino! Bob
I would love to have your problems of cancelled accommodation on the Camino. Living in Australia we are unable to leave the country and overseas travel to a European destination may be another six months away. Yes I’ve been vaccinated, however our Government is playing it overly safe and keeping our country like a fortress. To a keen world traveller like myself it’s difficult staying home. Enjoy your journey.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012-2018 Frances, Via de la Plata, Portugues Central and Seaside, Norte
Maybe i am a dinosaur...i hardly ever book...if i do not find a place i move on...God and his little helper Santiago.. provides ;-)
I agree. I can't remember booking on the Camino. This year I was going to, but couldn't because the rules kept changing. I think maybe the lesson here is don't book and have a traditional Camino experience. I have never booked and never been without na bed. Maybe it will be different this year. I guess, I'm betting on the hope that it won't.
 
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camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
I agree. I can't remember booking on the Camino. This year I was going to, but couldn't because the rules kept changing. I think maybe the lesson here is don't book and have a traditional Camino experience. I have never booked and never been without na bed. Maybe it will be different this year. I guess, I'm betting on the hope that it won't.

Booking or reservations is recommended this year and next year because of holy year and the pandemic. This is unusual times. A lot of places are closed, some permanently. And more pilgrims than usual are expected. In Portugal multiple albergues have been full the last couple of days.
 

psheehan

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF, CPo, CdN, CPr, F, CS, CV, CI, VdlP, CS, CA
I suppose two instances does not create a trend, but to advise fellow pilgrims that make advance room reservations . . . Today, I received notice from Booking.com that a room reservation I made some time ago was cancelled by the private albergue without explanation. Fortunately I was able to make an alternate reservation at a place we stayed at in 2019. Three weeks ago, the same thing happened; our room reservation on Booking.com was cancelled without explanation. There were no available private rooms nearby, so we shortened our hike that day to stay in another town, which lengthened our hike the following day. Crossing my fingers that there are not additional room cancellations for our upcoming camino! Bob

That’s very interesting… the same thing happened to me yesterday. I had a private room booked for this September 2021 in Las Herrerias and I got an email saying my reservation has been cancelled by the property!
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
It may be coincidence but one of my booking.com reservations was cancelled yesterday also (Casa Lixa Hotel Rural Albergue). Luckily I was able to find a replacement booking. It’s a bit tough finding economical accommodations in some of the towns.

I know they just got a new owner there. Maybe someone should call her and ask about the reservations. They might got canceled due to shift of owner. They will open officially tomorrow.

+34 987 134 915
+34 679 376 680
info@casalixa.com
 
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RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
Are these cancellations at private places/hotels?
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2019
What I get from this is that you can't trust any reservation you make even if you paid upfront. I think we have to understand that walking any camino this year and next will be much more expensive and that you might have to stay in the more expensive hotels when you reach town. All the places that had to close are trying to recoup the money they lost and some are not beyond cancelling a booking because a better one came along. Not an honest thing to do but sadly understandable.
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
What I get from this is that you can't trust any reservation you make even if you paid upfront. I think we have to understand that walking any camino this year and next will be much more expensive and that you might have to stay in the more expensive hotels when you reach town. All the places that had to close are trying to recoup the money they lost and some are not beyond cancelling a booking because a better one came along. Not an honest thing to do but sadly understandable.

Not true at all. It is most likely because the places closed or changed owners.
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
That’s very interesting… the same thing happened to me yesterday. I had a private room booked for this September 2021 in Las Herrerias and I got an email saying my reservation has been cancelled by the property!


I know they just got a new owner there. Maybe someone should call her and ask about the reservations. They might got canceled due to shift of owner. They will open officially tomorrow.

+34 987 134 915
+34 679 376 680
info@casalixa.com
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
You also have to be careful of booking.com as there were many times they showed nowhere to stay in a town but when I phoned up the hotels, there were plenty of spaces. Happened to me on the Portuguese and the Ingles. When I spoke to one hotelier about it they said that they were only allowed to show a small number of rooms as available and those went quickly.
 
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camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
If you have paid for the room on Booking.com, would they potentially still cancel or just when you reserve?
You also have to be careful of booking.com as there were many times they showed nowhere to stay in a town but when I phoned up the hotels, there were plenty of spaces. Happened to me on the Portuguese and the Ingles. When I spoke to one hotelier about it they said that they were only allowed to show a small number of rooms as available and those went quickly.

Booking.com does not have those limitations. But some places prefer cash in hand and just uses Booking.com to fill the empty beds.
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
In travelling round Portugal--not as a peregrino but as a casual, and penny-conscious traveller, I've found a lot of the smaller places don't actually use booking.com. They tend to cater to Portuguese travellers rather than foreign ones, I suspect many times because of the perceived language barrier and their lack of confidence talking to non-Portuguese-speakers.

These places tend to focus on workers, who often make their living doing jobs in smaller towns for a week or two, and needing a place to stay in the meantime. The lodgings are usually small, extremely clean, very reasonably priced, and entirely adequate for a night's sleep.

In my experience, if you arrive, having noticed their (usually small) sign outside the business, fumble your way through asking for a room, and they have space, they're overjoyed to be getting the extra business. And the good thing is, you build up their confidence in dealing with travellers, so they are encouraged to deal with foreigners. You, as a peregrino, are likely to be a positive experience for them, with probably less over-the-top expectations than some "normal" tourists have.

I don't know if Spain is the same, but I'd think so. Some of my best travel experiences have come from situations like this!
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
You also have to be careful of booking.com as there were many times they showed nowhere to stay in a town but when I phoned up the hotels, there were plenty of spaces.
That's not unusual. The albergues, pensions, hotels, etc. don't make all of their rooms available to Booking.com, hotels.com, Expedia, etc.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
In travelling round Portugal--not as a peregrino but as a casual, and penny-conscious traveller, I've found a lot of the smaller places don't actually use booking.com. They tend to cater to Portuguese travellers rather than foreign ones, I suspect many times because of the perceived language barrier and their lack of confidence talking to non-Portuguese-speakers.

These places tend to focus on workers, doing jobs in smaller towns for a week or two, and needing a place to stay in the meantime. They're usually small, extremely clean, very reasonablly priced, and entirely adequate for a night's sleep.

In my experience, if you arrive, having noticed their (usually small) sign outside the business, fumble your way through asking for a room, and they have space, they're overjoyed to be getting the extra business, I've found.

I don't know if Spain is the same, but I'd think so. Some of my best travel experiences have come from situations like this!
When I walked the Frances is 2018 I often made a point of selecting albergues that were not on booking.com. I figured (usually correctly), the Booking ones would fill up first and I stood a better chance of just showing up at a place that didn't use online services. They were some of my best experiences-- often family-run, easier to snare a bottom bunk 😄, and the vibe just seemed friendlier all around.
 
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camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
When I walked the Frances is 2018 I often made a point of selecting albergues that were not on booking.com. I figured (usually correctly), the Booking ones would fill up first and I stood a better chance of just showing up at a place that didn't use online services. They were some of my best experiences-- often family-run, easier to snare a bottom bunk 😄, and the vibe just seemed friendlier all around.

I remember those days before the pandemic as well.

All the Xunta albergues require reservation before 13:00 same day now, or they won't let you get a bed.

Things work differently now. Not just because of the pandemic. Xunta made this because of Holy Year.

And the general reccommendation now is to make a reservation or booking. And I'm sure it will be the same reccommendation next year. And then maybe things will go back to how it used to be. It might actually.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
I suppose two instances does not create a trend, but to advise fellow pilgrims that make advance room reservations . . . Today, I received notice from Booking.com that a room reservation I made some time ago was cancelled by the private albergue without explanation. Fortunately I was able to make an alternate reservation at a place we stayed at in 2019. Three weeks ago, the same thing happened; our room reservation on Booking.com was cancelled without explanation. There were no available private rooms nearby, so we shortened our hike that day to stay in another town, which lengthened our hike the following day. Crossing my fingers that there are not additional room cancellations for our upcoming camino! Bob
Hi there. As a co-owner with my wife of a B&B style accommodation in Huelva Province of Andalucia and a client of Booking.com, I know that it is very difficult to just cancel a reservation made by a client. In the normal course of events one has to pay for your client's accommodation in a comparable lodging close to your house. That Booking.com are just allowing these cancellations without any comment suggests that the accommodation has been removed from the Booking site because the owners have stopped providing accommodation. I fear that these are straws in the wind and that the true devastating effect of the COVID pandemic upon accommodation in Spain and not just on the Camino is still to be appreciated. The economic importance of the Camino, especially to villages, towns and cities on the Frances, is so overwhelming that it is inevitable that subsidies must be forthcoming from central government and/or the regional governments. Fingers crossed.
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
Denise, one of the two cancelations was at Casa Lixa Hotel Rural Albergue in Las Herrerias, just like you. So possibly it shut down. The other cancellation was at Hostel El Palomar in Atapuerca. Bob

Casa Lixa got new owners and are officially opening today. That is probably the confusion.

Their contacts are:

+34 987 134 915
+34 679 376 680
info@casalixa.com
 

Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Casa Lixa got new owners and are officially opening today. That is probably the confusion.
That sounds plausible.

Also good to learn that when an owner has a good reason to cancel a Booking.com booking they are responsible for finding alternate accommodations for the guests. So there are some advantages for customers when using the often criticised Booking.com ... not to mention the customer-friendly booking conditions especially along the Camino Frances where you don't have to pre-pay and can usually cancel your booking until the last minute without penalty.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
The other cancellation was at Hostel El Palomar in Atapuerca
It says: "This property isn’t taking reservations on our site right now" on Booking.com. I hope this is not a bad omen. I have fond memories of the couple who owned and managed El Palomar in Atapuerca when we stayed there in 2018. Their former website has also been inactivated.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Draw your own conclusions!
I am not drawing such conclusions for the Camino Frances yet! There was a report on FB from an American pilgrim who had stayed at Refuge Orisson a few days ago. They were 10 guests and it was the highest number of pilgrims staying at the place this year!

Santiago may bounce back quickly because they welcome many kinds of tourists, not only long-distance foot pilgrims, and they are beating the PR drum for their Holy Year, but the rest of the Camino Frances? I remain skeptical.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
You also have to be careful of booking.com as there were many times they showed nowhere to stay in a town but when I phoned up the hotels, there were plenty of spaces. Happened to me on the Portuguese and the Ingles. When I spoke to one hotelier about it they said that they were only allowed to show a small number of rooms as available and those went quickly.

It's often the case I think that places only release a few rooms to Booking . com. Perhaps they hope to get higher rates on the remaining rooms, or more likely, sell them without needing to pay booking . com a commission. I've only that that one instance of having my s=room cancelled in many years of using booking . com
 

Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
When I spoke to one hotelier about it they said that they were only allowed to show a small number of rooms as available and those went quickly.
If they said that they are not allowed to show all their rooms it must be true.

Hotels are on Booking.com not only to sell rooms but also to be visible. Others don't bother. Others may well put all their beds on Booking.com. Is everyone's IT system fully synchronised with the Booking.com system and automated to show availability of all their beds in real time? I doubt it, and that may be one of several reasons why hotels limited the number of their beds available on Booking.com.

Booking.com also indicates this: This property has no availability on our site from 9 Jul to 10 Jul. Or: Only 1 room left at this price on our site.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Bummer about those cancellations, whomever is at fault.

[Reminding myself for future reference, even if it's scarier with my crummy Spanish: if I take out the middleman, people on the ground reap much more benefit. In 2019 on the Invierno (where there are hardly any albergues), when I booked it was done directly with pensiones and CRs; they often thanked me for not using booking.com, because of the hefty commission they take.]
 
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camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
That sounds plausible.

Also good to learn that when an owner has a good reason to cancel a Booking.com booking they are responsible for finding alternate accommodations for the guests. So there are some advantages for customers when using the often criticised Booking.com ... not to mention the customer-friendly booking conditions especially along the Camino Frances where you don't have to pre-pay and can usually cancel your booking until the last minute without penalty.

I agree. Booking.com is the most secure way. Reservation by phone you might not even know you got canceld until you are there.

I wrote Casa Lixa an email. And they said they had logistic problems with the reopening. So they will open later than planned, and they are really sorry for the inconvenience.

They also said they offered alternative accommodation to all those who contacted them, and they will continue to do so. Here are their contact information:

+34 987 134 915
+34 679 376 680
info@casalixa.com
 

Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
if I take out the middleman, people on the ground reap much more benefit.
I understand this plea and it is good that you mention it.

OTOH, the middleman offers a useful service (information, reaching a larger pool of customers, ease of booking and cancelling for the customer), and both property owner and guest benefit from it. Whether the commission is too high and the market dominance too big, is something I cannot judge because I don't understand much of business anyway.
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
I understand this plea and it is good that you mention it.

OTOH, the middleman offers a useful service (information, reaching a larger pool of customers, ease of booking and cancelling for the customer), and both property owner and guest benefit from it. Whether the commission is too high and the market dominance too big, is something I cannot judge because I don't understand much of business anyway.

Exactly, they add value to all parts.

If you are on a very tight budget just call for reservations and take the risk of whatever comes with it. You might save one or two euros at some places. And at some places you don't save anything.

But this year everyone recommends to use Booking.com where available. And if you are planning ahead, I will suggest that to everyone.
 

norfolk-keith

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Hi Brown Country Bob
I too have experienced exactly the same problems. I have walked the Camino in the same years you have and I doing it again this August but as a new challenge I've decided to cycle it this time starting the 5th August. Three weeks ago I started finalising my plans which included reserving my Albergues. The biggest problem is due to Covid restrictions Albergues have reduced the number of beds they have available for pilgrims and some are reducing the number as much as half. Anyway getting back to my reservations, I secured my reservations and received confirmation all within a few hours only to find the following week I started to receive messages that the Albergues had cancelled my bookings without so much as by your leave, this made it extremely difficult as I'm cycling an average of 65km a day and I didn't really want to start having to reduce or extend my daily stages but at least there are still enough Albergues operating who got me out of the jam.
My suggestion to all the Pilgrims starting towards the end of July is start reserving now, places are being booked up at a rate of knots, don't be left disappointed.
Buen Camino Keith (Norfolk England)
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I have already booked on booking.com my accommodation in Santiago for November (can be cancelled with no cost up to two days before arrival); I appreciate finding a place in a good location and at a very reasonable price. But for my accommodation in Valencia in September, and for as many other places where it will work, I plan on using referrals from the local camino association. They provide email addresses for booking and the quality of the choices appears to be better at a lower price, and often not offered on booking.com. You can also look at other pilgrim oriented websites, including some camino planning threads on this forum, when choosing accommodation. You may not need to pay in advance and options chosen by camino associations, on pilgrim websites or in guidebooks may offer quality accommodation at reasonable prices. Searching for options may take time, but will help pilgrims find suitable accommodation at reasonable cost. If you have time, you might try it.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
I used Booking.com to make around 70% overnights for our upcoming Camino Frances. I've generally found their processes and communications to be very good. This is the third time we are making advance reservations and we've only experienced a few minor issues. I rarely pay in advance. This trip there is only one reservation that is non-refundable, but we've stayed there before and it is a risk worth taking. I anticipate that this fall there will be a huge number of pilgrims and therefore shortage of beds for those that do not make advance reservations. Bob
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2018)
It seems to me that the need for reservations creates a vicious cycle. Not only on the Camino, but national parks, and other popular destinations. As more and more people make reservations, it becomes more necessary to make one yourself or else take a chance of not having a place to stay. Then the situation progresses so that you have make reservations farther and farther in advance in order to secure a spot. Eventually it becomes impossible to do anything spontaneously.
 

CalgaryLynn

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I used Booking.com to make around 70% overnights for our upcoming Camino Frances. I've generally found their processes and communications to be very good. This is the third time we are making advance reservations and we've only experienced a few minor issues. I rarely pay in advance. This trip there is only one reservation that is non-refundable, but we've stayed there before and it is a risk worth taking. I anticipate that this fall there will be a huge number of pilgrims and therefore shortage of beds for those that do not make advance reservations. Bob
Me too, all bookings made with option to cancel (generally 2 days before arrival date) so I can be flexible. I just want the security this year especially of knowing I have something private. If you book regularly with them, you get Genius rates which can be a savings of 15 - 20% as well.
 

CalgaryLynn

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
It seems to me that the need for reservations creates a vicious cycle. Not only on the Camino, but national parks, and other popular destinations. As more and more people make reservations, it becomes more necessary to make one yourself or else take a chance of not having a place to stay. Then the situation progresses so that you have make reservations farther and farther in advance in order to secure a spot. Eventually it becomes impossible to do anything spontaneously.
True, I have noticed that more and more with camping in the past few years. I think with Covid and all the restrictions camping has been the "go-to" vacation plan. I don't know about other countries but in Canada RV sales have gone through the roof. Everyone bought an RV and the parks are full and that is with the border being closed between Canada and the US. But on the other hand, if you are looking to buy an RV - in the next couple of years, there will be some great second hand deals. ;)
 
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