Accor’s website and bait-and-switch pricing

I’m going to be in Bangkok at the end of July for a couple nights and recently was looking for a hotel room for that stay. I was excited to see that Accor was offering up a pretty good sale for summer bookings. Sure, the program isn’t incredibly good for awards but they’ve got a pretty solid portfolio of properties in Asia, Africa and Europe and I spend a lot of time in those areas so getting a few points for my effort doesn’t suck. Combine that with an "up to 50% off" sale and I was clicking on the link without hesitation to find a deal.

And it was a pretty good deal. I filled in the search form and came up with a good range of rates, from $25-200, according to the display. I narrowed it down to a couple options based mostly on location and price and that’s where things started to fall apart.

The Novotel Bangkok Fenix Ploenchit was a leading candidate for my stay. Average room rate starting at $63/night according to the search page and a solid location near a SkyTrain stop. I was ready to book it and be done with that part of my trip planning.


So imagine my surprise when I clicked through to the booking link and discovered that the price was double that advertised:


Needless to say, I was not amused.

I called in to figure out why the pricing wasn’t working. The agent I spoke with was quick with an answer, informing me that the price on the first page is a monthly average, not specific to the dates I entered in the search parameters. So why have the dates there at all? He could not say.

Even more interesting to me was that the "average" price was always lower than the rates I was seeing. I did not check the full month on each of the 15 hotels listed but I checked enough that I should have been able to uncover at least one room somewhere close to the reported average starting price. I could not.

So that Accor hotel would not be receiving my business. Moreover, it seems unlikely that any Accor hotels are going to be getting my business in the near future, at least not through their own website. I’ll still consider them if the price and location are correct, but I’ll also likely be booking them through where I get better returns through the Welcome Rewards program and more accurate pricing information for my specific dates.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. You probably already know this but, just in case, is also a good source.

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