La Basse Cour: B&B near Alencon, Normandy

Looking for AirBnB in Alencon? Stop!

AirBnB,, etc.

TripAdvisor,, AirBnB, Homeaway, Owners Direct, Trivago - the online travel agents (OTAs) with their big advertising budgets dominate the results when searching for holiday accommodation in Alencon on Google/Bing etc. We hope you will avoid using them and book directly with us instead.

Why booking direct matters

  1. Booking with online travel agents (OTA’s) incurs a commission of up to 20%.
  2. Paying Commission forces up room rates – you pay more as owners are raising their rates to meet OTA demands for commission.
  3. Commission means less revenue/profit for a family run business.
  4. Commission means less tourism revenue for regional development.
  5. Are you really getting the best room rates booking with an OTA? Unlikely - and definitely not if you stay here.
  6. Booking directly allows a owners to reinvest, maintain and improve facilities for guests.
  7. Booking directly means your payment stays local and helps the regional economy rather than the profits of a multinational OTA paying no local taxes.
  8. Who deserves your hard-earned cash more - the people providing your accommodation and serving your breakfast, or a faceless, multinational corporation?

Don't be fooled into thinking that these OTAs are giving you the "best deal" - their so-called price guarantees are worthless, with terms and conditions that make it impossible to gain redress if you find the accommodation cheaper elsewhere.

You may be paying 15% more by booking through an OTA rather then directly with the owner of a family-run hotel or bed and breakfast like ours near Alencon. These commission fees are frequently passed on to you without you knowing the fees the OTA is taking. Did you know that as well as charging you 12% AirBnB also charges the owner another 3%? Or that the lowest commission starts at 15%? Or that some hotels pay even more commission in order to appear higher in the "recommended for you" results?

On top of the commission question, there are numerous examples of AirBnB Horror Stories and pitfalls - anyone can list on the site and there are no checks as to their honesty or standard of accommodation. Will anyone be there when you turn up? Is it really someone's spare room/apartment or is it one of a dozen flophouses operated by a property tycoon? Unscrupulous landlords are known to use AirBnB to charge tourists several times the rent they could get on the local market, and if there's a problem they'll be nowhere to be seen, banking on the likelihood that you won’t be in town long enough to complain.

So if you book direct, how can you be sure that the place you're booking is to be trusted? The answer, if you're unsure, is to check out how long they have been in business, look at their reviews on TripAdvisor, make sure they have an address and contact phone number, and that they have their own website. Look up the name of the property on Google and see what comes up. Make sure they offer several payment options - not just Western Union, for example! If you're still in doubt, pay with a credit card for the payment protection it affords, if that is an option.

Don't line the pockets of the multinationals. Do the sensible thing and try to book directly with the owner - if not with us, then with another independent owner.