So why don´t you see our houses on Tripadvisor or Booking.com?
Tripadvisor would cost us £329.00 ( +VAT) every year and they give us just 48 hours to confirm or reject a booking. We´re a small family business and we already advertise in various places and maintain our own websites. This would simply not be a viable option and the timetable would be hard to keep up with. We would spend more time servicing Trip Advisor than looking after our guests!
With Booking.com, there´s also the issue of money, they take 15% of the rent you pay, but worse, they insist on real-time booking. This means that we would have to keep their booking calendar absolutely up to date, all the time, or run the risk of double booking our houses. As many of our visitors need two or three days – or longer! – to contact chums, sort out flights, decide who pays what etc etc, we would be forever provisionally booking and then un-booking on the Booking.com website. So, useful as they are, we have decided not to have a contract with them.
This is quite apart from our unwillingness to be on the Booking.com website which says “311 out of 422 properties are available in and around Sella” Hmmm, well, Booking.com, I know Sella very, very well and there are perhaps 15 local houses or B&Bs with up to 80 beds ( pretty good for a small village!) but 422? Where do you find them? The answer, of course, is that want to divert you down to the hotels on the coast where everyone is a client of theirs and that they know nothing about the little village of Sella.
Of course there´s another reason – we´re doing quite well without them – most years we have about a 40% “fully booked” rate and at peak times, Christmas, New Year, Easter, all our houses are full. In the winter we look after climbers from all over the world, in Spring and Autumn, our houses host groups of hill walkers and trekkers, in summer there are families and couples very keen to share Sella´s relaxed and friendly lifestyle, its mountain swimming pool and unique location up in the hills but close to the beach.
So that´s it – you can find us on www.sella-costablanca.com, www.sella-alicante.com , www.casaroc.com, www.sellawalks.com , www.sellabunkhouse.com, www.micasarural.com, www.viajacontumascota.com www.atlasrural.com, www.ownerdirect.com , and quite a few more which have escaped my attention. But you won´t find us on the two big American sites!