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#775 - 11/13/00 11:19 AM Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
Anchovy Front Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 708
Loc: Southern Spain
You might like to try this for excellent accomodation at great prices. The company is Bancotel and the way the scheme works is that you buy a book of five "cheques" at a cost of 38.000 Pts. (You pay tax of 7% to the hotel too). The hotels in the scheme are at least 3 star and they require one cheque for each night, although some hotels require two and even three cheques (for example the Alfonso XIII in Sevilla or the Ritz in Barcelona).
A lot of places, especially in Madrid, only allow occupancy under this scheme on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, but there are many which accept Bancotel cheques any night of the week. Go to http://www.bancotel.com/hoteles/index_e.htm Here you can see the hotels in the scheme and even get on line availability. By the way, I don't have any connection with Bancotel (or indeed Ibercheque and other companies which run similar schemes). It's just that I have used them myself quite a few times over the last couple of years and I've stayed in hotels like the Gran Hotel Renacimiento in Sevilla(FIVE STARS!!), Sofitel in Madrid, the Parador in Cadiz, Beatriz in Toledo, Regio in Salamanca, Metropolitan in Lisbon etc etc. All of these are 4 star, very nice hotels and all cost about 8.000 Pts per night per room. That's about $40? Not bad at all! There are ten of us staying in the 4* Melia at Cordoba this weekend and we're using 5 cheques, so it works out with the tax at a total of 40.660 Pts for ten people!! Great value! Have a look at the site and see what you think.
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#776 - 11/13/00 12:19 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 786
Loc: New York, New York
Now THAT'S A GREAT POST!!! And since I am already a Member, you know I'm not just saying this. A super idea for top hotels (and they are) at GREAT prices. I bet the question in availibility....

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#777 - 11/20/00 04:54 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
chpdx1 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/00
Posts: 13
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
I saw your post and am going to give them a try. Two of the hotels offered I had reservtions at already, but the prices through this service are 50% less than I was paying and those were discounted to begin with. As I am leaving soon I e-mailed them about delivery of the books. They were very prompt in reply and will deliver them to my hotel in Madrid. I must say I am abit apprehensive about not having them in my hand before I leave, but we shall see. Your ringing endorsement cinched it for me. Will let you know of my experiences when I return. This trip will be interesting as I have done all the planning and reservations for it all on the internet this time. Regards to all

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#778 - 11/20/00 07:37 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
I'm usually EXTRA skeptical about 50% hotel deals etcetera, thinking that the prices are inflated by 50% in order to make up the discount. BUT, after hearing firsthand recommendations from Regular Members like Anchovy Front I have to believe it's true.

Thank you Anchovy Front for letting us all know about this and for making another board member happy, saving him/her money, and for sharing your knowledge with the masses. (Say, do you have a spare bedroom in your house there in Andalucía?? hehehe..)

Aren't we a 'SPECIAL' group!! I really love all of you. Call me a sap, but you've become like warm, understanding, helpful family members. Thank you all.

Saludos, MadridMan

[This message has been edited by MadridMan (edited 11-21-2000).]
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#779 - 11/21/00 01:23 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
laduque Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/02/00
Posts: 656
Loc: San Diego, CA, USA
MadridMan-don't be skeptical, Bancotel reall does save!
I'm glad this actually got posted here, as our friend's father started Bancotel and we have used them before!

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#780 - 11/21/00 05:57 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
nevado Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/00
Posts: 620
I've used all of the "coupon" books and yes, they are true. If Bancotel doesn't fit your needs, you can also try El Corte Ingles they have a website http://viajes.elcorteingles.es where you can check out the hotels. There is also Hotelcolor and Halcon viajes "weekend" coupons. (they are a bit more flexible- you can purchase just the coupons you'll need). Check them all out and compare- some vary in the number of coupons for the same hotels. The coupon books expire at the end of the year so plan away! I've found that they're even worth it if you have to "eat" some of the coupons. When I got married I had 15 rooms booked for out of town guests and it cost me less than $50 a night per room! The hotel was listed at 22000 pesetas a night at that time and I looked like a superstar. They have been my friend for many years.

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#781 - 11/21/00 08:08 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
Anchovy Front Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 708
Loc: Southern Spain
Thanks for confirming how good this is chaps! I just hope that there will always be rooms spare now that millions of MM's regulars have seen this and are rushing out to make their reservations as I speak......
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#782 - 11/21/00 12:08 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
connie Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 172
I have used checks from Halcon Viajes and Ibercheque and it was great. However, the hotels have just a limited number of rooms available for these checks. That means that even if theoretically you travel during a time where they accept the checks generally, they might tell you that they can just offer you a room at the general rate.
The advantage of the Halcon Viajes checks is that you do not have to buy an entire check book, but they sell single checks, too. The disadvantage is that (unless they have introduced arrangements on a webpage now) you have to call the hotels yourself in advance, unless you convince someone in a Halcon Viajes office to do it for you what they do not really want, and if they do, it could happen that they charge you, because I think the idea is that you are supposed to call yourself.

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#783 - 11/21/00 12:38 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
Anchovy Front Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 708
Loc: Southern Spain
That sounds more flexible. It's often the case where we would like to go away for just a couple of nights but don't want to buy a whole book of cheques, especially when it's coming to the end of the period in which you have to use them. How much are the Halcon Viajes cheques connie? Is there a site where you can see which hotels accept the them?

[This message has been edited by Anchovy Front (edited 11-21-2000).]
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#784 - 11/21/00 01:18 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
connie Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 172
There are three different categories of checks (according to hotel category and location), I think it ranged from 5.500 to 7.700 each one(it might be 1.000 more, I am not sure right now). I have stayed in 4-Star-Places which were really nice.
I just picked up a free booklet at a Halcon Viajes office which contained all the available hotels of the three categories and the periods of eligibility. With help of this booklet, you can call the places and see whether there is any availability before you buy the checks.
They have a homepage http://www.halcon-viajes.es or www.halconviajes.com , unfortunately, it does not contain information on these checks, but there is a service number and maybe you can convince them to mail you the booklet. I think the program was called talones weekend plan or something similar (although it is not restricted to weekends).

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#785 - 11/29/00 06:51 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
[originally posted by KCarlo - please reply to his question here in order to continue the thread]

I've learned of the Bancotel checks for good hotel rates through a post here.

I was able to reserve the Palace Hotel for my 10 day stay in Madrid. If I'm calculating correctly, it will come to approximately 137 Euros per night (about $120 US). That sounds to good to be true based on what I've read about the Palace.

I'm a bit nervous about this. Has anyone had recent experience using the Bancotel checks and their reservation system. I'd hate to show up at the Palace and find I have no place to stay.

Thanks!
KC

[This message has been edited by MadridMan (edited 11-30-2000).]
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#786 - 11/29/00 08:16 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 786
Loc: New York, New York
Did you calculate the right number of cheques the Palace requires? That is amazingly cheap for the Palace, but if you counted how many cheques they require and they accepted the rservation, you are IN! (not all rooms at the Palace are sumptuous or huge, but it is still the palace!)

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#787 - 11/29/00 08:25 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
[originally posted by rgf]

The all-important thing to have is a confirmation (fax) or a confirmation NUMBER. It is a sheraton/westin hotel. They should give you a good old real confirmation #.
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#788 - 11/29/00 09:15 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
Anchovy Front Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 708
Loc: Southern Spain
Hi KC! I just had a look at this hotel on the on-line booking page of the Bancotel website and even now they still have some dates free in December. This is the link to that particular availability chart http://www.bancotel.com/scripts/Infotel.dll/Cal?hotel=246&Format=Page&Type=2&Lang=0 You will need three cheques per night, which with the tax (which has to paid direct to the hotel) comes to, as you quite rightly calculate, roughly $120 per night. I don't know if you reserved the room on line with Bancotel, or by ringing their central reservations telephone number 906 300 401 (only from Spain?) or directly with the hotel, but certainly in the case of the first two you should receive a booking reference.

You would normally purchase at a travel agency in Spain where you will receive a voucher which is exchanged on arrival at the hotel for a book, or books, of 5 cheques. The hotel keeps however many are needed and you get the rest back to use elsewhere before the expiry date, which is at the end of March each year. I was under the impression that you could only purchase the cheque books through accredited travel agents, but I may be wrong on that point. If you have merely reserved the rooms without having purchased the cheques, then I would confirm that this is the case with Bancotel, if I were you, as otherwise you may have a problem when you get to the hotel without a voucher, as the hotels themselves cannot sell the cheque books direct to the clients. It says on the Bancotel home page that the sale of the cheque books (vouchers) is exclusively through travel agencies, so let me know if this is not the case, or indeed you can buy them at travel agencies outside of Spain?

I hope I'm not confusing you KC! I can assure you the system really does give you great deals and I have stayed in many places that would normally cost at least double what I have paid with Bancotel. Enjoy it!
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#789 - 11/29/00 09:30 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 786
Loc: New York, New York
KC-- yes, do tell us how to get this cheques if we aren't in Spain at the time of reserving....

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#790 - 11/30/00 02:40 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
KCarlo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/00
Posts: 4
Loc: Livermore, CA 94550
Hi everyone! Thanks for all of the information. This is a great site. Thanks MadridMan!!

I got a confirmation number so I think I'm set!!

To purchase and pickup the coupons in person, you do need to go through a travel agent. Ismael from Bancotel said to go to the larger agency chains such as Marsans Viajes, Barcelo Viajes, etc.

You can also purchase the coupons with a credit card on Bancotel's website. They will send them to your home and charge a small shipping charge.

If there isn't time to send the checks to your home, they will have them delivered to the first hotel your arriving at.

The Bancotel people were very helpful and informative. I'll let you know how my trip goes.

I can't wait to be back in Madrid!!

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#791 - 12/06/00 10:36 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
chpdx1 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/00
Posts: 13
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Just got back from 14 days in Spain and had a great time. This site was invaluable to me. I used the Bancotel checks after seeing the post here. It was too short notice to have them sent to me here in the States, so had them delivered to my hotel in Madrid, which they were. Used them for a couple of nights at The Palace and for one at the Villa Magna. Both amazing hotels and affordable with these checks. Absolutley no hassles using them, not getting them. They do have other more moderate hotels available as well. Their web site is easy to navigate and if you have questions they are very friendly and are quick to respond. I know that alot of people on this site are looking for more economical accomodations than these two hotels, but as I say they do have a large number of other options as well. I am in the hotel industry so I stayed in a total of 7 hotels while I was there, both in Madrid and Segovia as well as Toledo. I will be posting my thoughts, suggestions and critiques in a seperate post. Again, thanks for the help in making my trip a success, and I do highly recommend these checks. Charles

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#792 - 12/06/00 04:26 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 786
Loc: New York, New York
Charles, you did us all a great service by reporting on the cheque system! We look forward to more or your advice, espec. since you are in the travel world. We are always on this board looking for new tips on making the most of our travels. Where do you work?

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#793 - 12/08/00 07:50 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
KCarlo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/00
Posts: 4
Loc: Livermore, CA 94550
Hi Everyone! I'm currently in Madrid and wanted to send a message regarding my experience with using the Bancotel checks. My experience was very similar to Charles.

Thanks to this message board, I am very pleased to have discovered them! I didn't have time to have them sent to my home but they were waiting for me when I checked in at the hotel. It was very easy and no troubles. I'm staying at the Palace for what converts to about $120 per night. The corporate rate I could have gotten was twice that...so, I could not have stayed at the Palace if it weren't for the information that the members here have shared! Thanks again!

[This message has been edited by KCarlo (edited 12-08-2000).]

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#794 - 12/08/00 04:22 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 786
Loc: New York, New York
Sounds great! so how are you getting to and from work?

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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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#805 - 05/19/01 10:35 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 786
Loc: New York, New York
Thanks, Karen!! It's too late for me to get a book delivered now, but I have time to find one in a travel agency in Spain. I, too, got their book (what fun), but no CD!! There are some GREAT hotels in madrid and barcelona at basically one half off and, in the case of the lovely casa de suecia, about 2/3 off. No kidding!! I'll let you all know how the bancotel experience is for me.

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#806 - 05/20/01 08:48 AM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
karenwishart Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/00
Posts: 299
Loc: York,PA,USA
Sorry rgf I had missed your thread til too late. I'm actually not using Bancotel in Madrid as I had found out about Hostale Persal and wanted to try that. But I know I had checked a monestary near Haro on my own and would have paid at least 2X. The Bancotel choices helped me choose an itinerary that worked!I'll definately report back,too as I'm going to some places not mentioned much on this board.

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#807 - 06/14/01 12:55 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
lamar Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/00
Posts: 16
Loc: hillside, il usa
hi everybody!
we're going to madrid in august and plan on staying at the palace hotel using the bancotel scheme. does anyone know if my credit card is charged once i make the reservation or can i reserve now and pay once we arrive in madrid? also, if we need to cancel for any reason, will they reimburse us the cost of the checks? it's just that we would like to make our reservations as early as possible to assure us a room and to take advantage of the favorable exchange rate. i really appreciate any and all information. this is such a helpful and informative site. thanks all!! lamar smile

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#808 - 07/08/01 10:47 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 karenwishart on 7-8-01...]

Just got back and thought I'd give some info on our Bancotel experience.Segovia-Los Arcos:this was our first Banc. and it was satisfactory though in Segovia I would have much rather been closer to the historic section. The location was a little bit commercial and we had a little difficulty finding it as Segovia's layout kinda of forces traffic out & around. It seemed a little more designed for business travelers and staff wasn't overly friendly. Next was Tres Condes in Aranda del Duera. Once again this was not in the best of locations for ambience. It was away from the town center where all the shopping, bodegas and restaurants were located but the interior was charming and clean and a very sweet lady who spoke a very little English really went out of her way to give us info on the area. The man who replaced her the next morning was just the opposite..best forgotten! Also, AC was a small fan. Next came the jewel..If you have time and aren't looking for shopping & nightlife Hosteria Monasterio S.Millan (de la Corgolla) in the heart of Rioja was incredible. This was just so beautiful..simple elegance w/all ammenities, a great restaurant w/wonderful house wines set in some of the most beautiful landscape we traveled through. We walked along paths surrounding the monestary where lush gardens grew and sheep grazed and vineyards abounded. We were awakened by songbirds and sheep's bells and had there not been gorgeous marble bathrooms and piped in music to your room, you'd expect to look out you balcony window and see monks pacing the courtyard singing their morning prayers.Truly a beautiful retreat. Next we went to the coast of Cantabria to the resort town of Suance about 35 miles south of Santander and very near Santillana de Mer and Altimira. The town is a burgeoning resort town with beautiful beaches, clean water and because it was the last 2 days of June, delightfully uncrowded. Our hotel Cuevas III was very nice and clean. gorgeous flowers climbing all over it's stone construction, a little walk to the beach but free parking right on site and we had no problem driving down to beach area at night to walk around and have dinner.What the town lacked in old world Spain ambience was made up for by good beaches, really nice lodging and beautiful Santillana less than 10min away.
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#809 - 07/09/01 01:51 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
Jo-Anne Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 836
Loc: Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, Eng...
Hi Karen

Thanks for letting us know about Hotel Tres Condes in Aranda de Duero. We are commited to staying there for one night only, but want to make the most of it of course.

You say it is out of the centre, but is there anything at all around the vicinity of the hotel? Is it walking distance to the centre? Or easy to catch a bus? Is there a food shop nearby (for buying bread/cheese/jamon etc?)

What about parking? They advertise a car park.

Also, importantly, how did you manage to locate the hotel? I have not managed to get a map with it pinpointed, although I do have the address of course.

Did you find the Bancotel system easy and straightforward? Did you have all the relevant hotels already booked through Bancotel, or did you have some vouchers left to stay elsewhere?

Wow what a lot of questions - sorry! rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes

Thanks.

Jo

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#810 - 07/09/01 06:39 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
karenwishart Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/00
Posts: 299
Loc: York,PA,USA
Bancotel was easy.We had our coupons sent to us prior to leaving US and absolutely had no problem. Aranda is a small town so finding the hotel was easy. There are little advertising signs, yellow I think, as I came in from Segovia. If you go into town you've gone too far. You could walk to town though the first half wasn't much to look at soI would just drive in near to the center and park and walk which wasn't much of a problem. We parked on the street in view from our room but there is a garage. The street was easier and free at night.There's a rest. but we chose to eat in El Lagar,drive into town and park at church and wander around,you'll find it.Very nice,authentic local cuisine and good wine. They spoke very little English and just opened the gate to the wine celler and down we went on our own. With 2 teens, they loved the selfguided "tour" and it felt like a real adventure! I will write more in Favorite Places about side trips from the town. It's definately a great stopover...even with the grumpy man at the desk!

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#811 - 07/24/01 08:40 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
gsobotta Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/01
Posts: 135
Loc: Novi, MIchigan, USA
I should have investigated Bancotel before I made my reservations. However, I cancelled them. I am staying at some of the nicest place hotels for half the cost. I am spending 2 nights at the Westin Palace in Madrid, 2 nights at the Hotel Conquistador in Cordoba, 3 nights at the Hotel Alfonso VIII, and the a final night in Madrid at the Hyatt Villa Magna. Total Cost $ 607.00, that is $ 75.87 a night for double occupancy. I was able to make my reservations and purchase my checkbooks online, and they will be delivered to home before I leave on August 22,2001. What a deal!

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#812 - 07/25/01 04:37 PM Re: Luxury accomodation...cheap! (Bancotel)
gsobotta Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/01
Posts: 135
Loc: Novi, MIchigan, USA
I ordered my checkbooks with Bancotel on Sunday evening, they arrived UPS this morning, less than 72 hours. Great.

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