If you book a hotel in an EU country, Norway or Iceland, you are entitled to a level of service that corresponds with the description. Hotel bookings are not specifically regulated by EU law. However, there are some general rules you can keep in mind when booking a hotel in Europe.
Before booking a hotel room, we advise you to thoroughly read the cancellation, (pre)payment and no-show policy of the hotel. Hotel policies vary hugely.
You can book a hotel room in different ways: by phone, by e-mail, at the local travel agency, or through the internet — either directly on a hotel’s website or using booking portals. Once you book the type of accommodation, price, and length of stay, the contract is concluded — regardless of whether you sign a contract, send an e-mail, make a deposit, or make a verbal commitment. The hotel must provide the room you selected at the time of booking for the booked period, and you — the guest — should pay the agreed price.
When you book accommodation with a hotel, you are entering into a contract so make sure you carefully read the terms and conditions. These should include information on refunds and rescheduling, penalties for changes and cancellations, and information on cash refunds or vouchers in certain circumstances.
If you have made a booking through a third-party website, your contract is still with the individual hotel, but the price you have paid on the third-party booking website might come with some restrictions. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of the booking website as well as the hotel.
If you decide not to go on your trip, you should inform the hotel of the cancellation as early as possible. Your booking’s terms and conditions will say whether you can cancel free of charge or if you will need to pay a cancellation fee.
You should consider buying a travel insurance that covers cancellation fees — especially if you make the hotel booking a long time in advance and/or cancellation fees are high.
This type of insurance covers cancellation fees in certain events specified in the conditions, such as the death, accidents, or illness of the insured person and family members, dismissal, a change of job, or damage to property of the insured person.