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#795 - 12/10/00 10:57 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
MarkB Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/00
Posts: 25
Loc: Washington, DC, USA
Well, I guess that's a "me three!" in regards to the Bancotel checks being a very very good idea for travel in Spain. Used a single book for our just completed trip.

Our first night in Sevilla was at Hotel Pasarela in Sevilla, putting us a block from Maria Luisa Park. Nice place, something like a Ramada (for US comparison). Bastard afternoon front desk manager, though (see below). Evening manager was much more helpful. One cheque.

Second night was in Marbella- at Hotel Pyr. Very nice- just off the most expensive part of Marbella, two block walk to the docks and restaurants. Excellent service, largish room, and great parking. Highly recommended, esp. for one cheque (a steal, I think).

Third night was in the upstairs bedroom of an older lady's house. I doubt she's ever heard of bancotel . No heat and right next to (a very popular, evidently) tavern, but it was a place to stay out of the rain. Lesson: Make your reservations early in Cordoba, no matter what time of year it is . . .

Last night was in Madrid, at The Palace . Umm, wow. Everything you expect it to be, and clearly worth the three cheques. Just don't plant yourself in the Rotunda and order too many drinks- it could add up Perfect place to walk from and explore central Madrid, esp. during the holiday. A truly unforgettable experience.

~

The only negative experience wrt to Bancotel was that there were no instructions at the first hotel to deliver a book of cheques to me. The front desk manager was as unhelpful as could be- wouldn't even give me the telephone number for Bancotel (really, I need to learn the spanish word for bastard, as I would have used it), and we weren't sure what we were going to do. But we'd just had a very long day (flight from DC to LaGuardia, taxi from LaGaurdia to JFK, flight from JFK to Madrid, Aerocity from airport to Atocha, AVE to Sevilla, and taxi to hotel), so I laid down the Amex, got the room, and took a nap (during which I dreamed up various nightmares of this trip costing 5x more than I'd intended).

A few hours later, as we were heading out to find a travel agency (from which I was hoping we could straighten this out- I'd originally made online purchase and delivery arrangements), we noticed a new front desk manager, and approached him. With my rapidly increasing proficiency in spanish (amazing what necessity will produce), we figured out that Bancotel had sent no authorization, he gave me the number, I called, they faxed an authorization, and he handed over the cheques (evidently most hotels keep a few new books on hand). Crisis (in my mind at least) averted.

So, in sum, what should others reading this post think of Bancotel? That they're a great value for money, they should be delivered to your home ahead of time if possible, but if not, don't worry, as even if there's a mixup at the hotel, you can just call and they'll fax an authorization. Considering the value we got out of it, I still consider the use of the cheques a ringing success.

(hope you don't mind my adding some of the hotel's URLs to your very informative posting)

[This message has been edited by MadridMan (edited 12-10-2000).]

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#796 - 04/15/01 08:38 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
[Originally posted by Evan C on 4-15-01...]

I just returned from a two week trip Madrid, Alarcon, Mojacar, Granada, Sevilla and back to Madrid. Prior to leaving I researched places to stay and found Madridman's site to be excellent. One of the truely great pearls found was the reference to the Bancotel hotel vouchers. I used them twice: once in Granada at the Hotel Princesa Ana which saved me about $85.00 a night for two rooms (1 check only/night). The checks cost about $40.00 each. I checked in first before I bought the vouchers and was told the room cost was $128.00 which was about the going rate in town for a 4 star with no rooms available without reservation. The desk guy required the voucher ASAP as I didn't have any and was told that Bancotel had made the reservation but if I didn't give him voucher right away I would be charged the higher rate. I simply went across the street to a travel agent and bought the vouchers. The hotel was very good.
The other hotel where they were used was in Madrid at the Gran Hotel Conde Duque 4 star. This one required 2 coupons /night ($80.00 +-)but the rack rate was more than $105 their best promotional rate during Semana Santa which was a little slow for them. This hotel was also great and there was no hassle using the voucher whatsoever. The onlt concern I had was whether I might have gotten a better room but there was nothing wrong with the great room I got.

So there you have it. I would use the coupons again for hotels.

[ 04-15-2001: Message edited by: MadridMan ]
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#797 - 04/19/01 12:20 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
karenwishart Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/00
Posts: 299
Loc: York,PA,USA
Thanks for reviving this thread as I have booked 5 nights w/Bancotel and have not purchased my books yet for a late June departure. I see you can buy them thru the website. Anyone have experience doing it this way versus waiting til Madrid? My first 2 nights are not Bancotel so I don't need them at my arrival but is it better to get them here?

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#798 - 04/19/01 12:42 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
Anchovy Front Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 708
Loc: Southern Spain
I would have said last year that you should hang on until you get to Spain, then pop into any travel agent, pay for them, get your voucher, exchange it at your first hotel for the book of cheques, less the number of cheques you will be using at that hotel. No problem! No worrying about if they have got lost in the post etc,. That's the way I do it each time living in Spain and there is NEVER a problem. All hotels carry a stock of the cheque books.

However it may be easy to do it online this year, I don't know. Maybe you don't need a voucher? I'd still be tempted to wait until I got here and do as I described. smile
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#799 - 04/30/01 08:26 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
tlr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 17
Loc: oxnard, ca usa
I feel guilty for not coming back and posting my experience... I used Bancotel for my travels to Madrid in March. I stayed at the Crowne Plaza and the Palace Hotel. I purchased the books over the Internet but had them delivered to the respective hotels. They do charge you for this but it was well worth it. The Crowne wasn't that nice but it was right next to the metro. The Palace had the softest bed I have ever slept in. They're down. Absolutely heaven. I made lots of changes with my reservations on-line which was great because I couldn't figure out where I wanted to go for the longest time. We stayed at the Athenas hostal in Sevilla which was fine also. Thank you for the great info!!! smile

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#800 - 04/30/01 12:25 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
karenwishart Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/00
Posts: 299
Loc: York,PA,USA
tir, what cities/hotels did you stay in?

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#801 - 05/04/01 02:42 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
tlr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 17
Loc: oxnard, ca usa
Madrid Crowne Plaza (2 checks)& Palace (3 checks) both with Bancotel. The main thing is you have to book as early as possible or be flexible with your itinerary. We stayed in Madrid 2 nights, then went to Sevilla for 3 nights (we stayed in a hostal not using Bancotel) and then back to Madrid for 2 more nights. Stay at the Plaza on your 1st night if you can. Heavenly bed...

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#802 - 05/12/01 07:17 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
karenwishart Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/00
Posts: 299
Loc: York,PA,USA
I decided to go ahead and order my coupon books online and received them here in US in 3 business
days!

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#803 - 05/12/01 09:08 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 786
Loc: New York, New York
How much did it cost to have them delivered to the U.S.? Did you pay for the voucher w/ a credit card, and how was the rate? thanks!! I think i'll buy mine once I get to spain, but maybe if it is reasonable i'll order them now.

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#804 - 05/19/01 06:54 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
karenwishart Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/00
Posts: 299
Loc: York,PA,USA
rgf. Yes I paid w/creditcard, received e-mail confirmation, and paid total US$431.99 for 10 coupons (2 books)incl.SH. In euros it was 234.39 each plus $10US SH. I'm not sure if it is $10 no matter how many you buy.I also rec'd a catalog of all their hotels and a CD about them which I haven't watched yet. So far I'm impressed.

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