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#51842 - 04/23/02 05:13 PM Hotel reservation cancelation policies  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2
seahunt Offline
seahunt  Offline
I haven't travel very much, so I was surprised in looking cancelation policies of most of the hotels. They all seem to want to be paid at least 30-45 days before you arrive, and if you should need to cancel anytime two weeks before you are to arrive, they get to keep all of your money. Whenever I have taken rooms in the states you don't actually pay until you leave, so to fully pay for a room that I haven't seen, and might not see at all if an unseen event should happen shortly before I am to arrive seem odd. It seems that I'm taking all the risk.

Is this somehow negotiable, or is there some other solution?

#51843 - 04/23/02 05:35 PM Re: Hotel reservation cancelation policies  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 17
Mississippi Joel Offline
Mississippi Joel  Offline
Ther's always trip insurance. I wouldn't book a trip in another country without it. Use it once for cancelling a trip and it's paid for several times over.

#51844 - 04/23/02 05:56 PM Re: Hotel reservation cancelation policies  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2
seahunt Offline
seahunt  Offline
How and where do you get it?

#51845 - 04/23/02 05:58 PM Re: Hotel reservation cancelation policies  
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 713
susangg Offline
susangg  Offline
Mass tourism destinations and facilities can afford to keep a certain percentage of their units vacant to accommodate for looky-loo's who change their mind at the last minute.
But Ambergris Caye does not have mass tourism. Virtually all accommodations are small mom and pop operations, and many are individual homes and condos.
The only way we can stay in business is to be relatively sure of our bookings. We simply cannot afford to block dates for people who decide to change their mind at the last minute.
Of course, we all give refunds when there is a disaster (like a hurricane) or something that makes the place uninhabitable. I personally will give refunds if there is a true medical emergency (somebody breaks their leg or has a heart attack two weeks before their visit). If I get a cancellation and am able to re book the dates, I will refund as a courtesy.
As far as "not seeing the place" in advance, many of us get the majority of our business from our home pages. They contain pictures and detailed descriptions. We exchange emails with potential guests and answer all kinds of questions ("how far are you from the beach, do you have TV, how many beds in the bedroom" etc.) It is very difficult to blatantly misrepresent what you are offering when you are doing business on the internet. And I don't think that happens on Ambergris Caye. Anybody is free to seek info on places like this very board.
So I guess you have to decide whether you want to come to Ambergris Caye or to Cancun. It may indeed be easier to make reservations in Cancun that you can cancel at the last minute for no reason and at no cost. But the price you pay for that are in Cancun and not in San Pedro!

Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email:
#51846 - 04/23/02 07:54 PM Re: Hotel reservation cancelation policies  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 17
Mississippi Joel Offline
Mississippi Joel  Offline
Check on the internet. I found mine at, but there are numerous ones. It just depends on what and how much coverage you want or need.

#51847 - 04/23/02 08:08 PM Re: Hotel reservation cancelation policies  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2
inund8ed in MT Offline
inund8ed in MT  Offline
Insurance sounds like a good idea. I'm wondering about leaving our options open. We'll be going to AC in August, which is a slower month for tourism. Is it possible that we might be able to just wing it for motels?

#51848 - 04/24/02 09:44 AM Re: Hotel reservation cancelation policies  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
Susan makes the case very well for deposits and advance cancellation fees.

As a practical matter, however, off-season you can just show up and you will have no trouble finding a place to stay. One or two popular or very good value places may be fully booked, but you can ALWAYS find something. Walk-in rates are often available, at savings over even direct Internet bookings.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
#51849 - 04/24/02 10:04 AM Re: Hotel reservation cancelation policies  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 7,055
Chloe Offline
Chloe  Offline
Make sure you read the fine print on the travel insurance. It varies, you have to buy enough to cover your fully prepaid reservation, per person.

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