INDEPENDENT-
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THE  iHi -  INDEPENDENT HOTEL DIRECTORY - 2012
Small hotels you'll enjoy staying in

Independent hotel Europe
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L'ANNUAIRE iHi  DES HOTELS INDEPENDANTS -

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iHi - Frequently asked questions

How are iHi hotels chosen?
Two ways; some hotels are recommended to iHi by people who have stayed in them, or by their owners. If this is the case, iHi then always checks out the hotel's website and looks for customer reviews of the hotel on Internet, to ascertain that the hotel really does match most, if not all,  of the iHi criteria.
    Other hotels are chosen by careful perusal of hotel websites on the Internet. We look at the websites of hundreds of hotels in the countries we cover, check out what they have to offer, check out visitor reviews .... and reject about 90% of the hotels we look at, because they do not meet iHi criteria.

Must hotels meet all of the four criteria?
Many of the small hotels listed with iHi do meet all of these criteria; but some do not. Since size is also a criteria which we do not compromise on, finding hotels that meet all these criteria is sometimes impossible in some areas. When we cannot find hotels that come up to our criteria on size,  location, character, welcome and value for money (and that makes a lot of criteria to satisfy), we will list hotels with perhaps a bit less character, or that are a bit more expensive, or are located in a less quiet spot than we would otherwise prefer.
    One example is hotels in historic Spanish cities. Spanish cities are, by definition almost, not quiet places in the evening; so finding quiet hotels in Spanish cities can be quite hard!  But people like to stay in historic Spanish city centres, so we have listed what we consider to be the best options available in several Spanish cities. When it comes to choosing between the best option available, and nothing at all, we prefer to provide the best option.

How do I book hotels listed on iHi
Again there are two possibilities. For a minority of the hotels listed, you will need to contact the hotel directly through its website or by phone. Quite a few small hotels have not signed up to any online booking portal. But many others have, particularly not quite so small hotels; so whenever possible, iHi will direct you for further information about the hotel and booking to one of the portals we work with.

Can I book through iHi?
No, we do not offer a booking service. iHi is an information site, not a hotel booking site. We direct you in most cases to external online booking portals, where you can book your rooms. Alternatively, you can contact the hotel directly. iHi is not party to any transaction that you may make using a thrid party booking portal or a particular hotel. 

What about the rates?
Generally speaking, the online portals we work with offer good - indeed often the best - rates, and rates that are in many cases better than the "rack rate" (the standard rate for the room) which guests will pay if they just show up without a booking and ask for a room.

How do I pay?
The big hotel reservation portals we work with - Hotels.com (part of the Expedia group) and Booking.com (the largest European service)  will require a credit card for your booking. Depending on the circumstances, the credit card will either be debited immediately, or you will be billed by the hotel on arrival or departure. This will be made clear when you book.  If in doubt, consult the information provided by the portal through which you make your booking.

Cancellations
Hotels have their own policies on refunding, which are reflected by the booking portals. The portals themselves do not generally charge a cancellation fee.

Can I choose a room when using a booking portal?
Often you will be given a choice between different types of room, and you can choose when you make your booking. If there is no choice, or not the kind of choice you were hoping for (room at the back, not on the street, for example), we suggest that you make your reservation, then confirm directly with the hotel asking for a specific type of room. Don't forget to tell the hotel that you have already booked online, or else you may get yourself doubly booked. Online booking portals secure rooms immediately you book, but they do not always send hotels the names of people who have booked rooms until a few days before the date of arrival.

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