Precios Económicos de Habitaciones de Hotel y Cómo Encontrarlos!

En este blog hablaremos sobre cómo encontrar o negociar precios de habitación de hotel económicos para su próximo viaje.

Cuando la mayoría de las personas hacen un viaje de vacaciones o negocios, necesitan realizar una reserva en un hotel para quedarse mientras están fuera. La forma más fácil de hacerlo es encontrar un OTA (Agente de viajes en línea) como Booking.com, Expedia.com o uno de los muchos OTA para reservar una habitación.

Algunas personas llegan incluso a buscar hoteles, bed & breakfast o algún otro tipo de alojamiento en un sitio como Tripadvisor.com antes de realizar la reserva para ver imágenes reales de las habitaciones, instalaciones ya sean piscinas u otras, servicios ofrecidos y demás antes de tomar una decisión sobre dónde alojarse. Es muy prudente hacer todo esto, pero antes de presionar el botón de reserva para arrendar su habitación, hay una manera menos costosa de viajar.

Por favor, permítame unos minutos para explicar la mejor manera de ir!

Cuando los hoteles están enlistados en las OTA, el propietario del hotel tiene un costo por hacer esto y el costo del negocio del propietario del hotel es bastante alto. Verá, Booking.com cobra una comisión al propietario del hotel del 18% del total de la venta por el derecho a incluir su propiedad en el sitio de reservas. Del mismo modo, Expedia.com, Hotels.com y otras OTA cobran más del 15% del total de la venta al propietario del hotel por el derecho de enumerar la propiedad del hotel para los vacacionistas y otros para reservar habitaciones en sus sitios. Números bastante asombrosos, sí lo digo yo mismo, y debido a esto, los dueños del hotel deben subir sus precios para obtener una ganancia.

Teniendo en mente esta valiosa información, ahora le diré cómo puede ahorrar en su próximo viaje. En primer lugar, use Tripadvisor.com para investigar dónde le gustaría quedarse. Cuando haya tomado una decisión sobre la ubicación de sus sueños, escríbala en el motor de búsqueda Google.com y busque el sitio web de su alojamiento deseado, o incluso simplemente su número de teléfono de contacto y llámelos directamente (no reserve a través de su sitio web como usted usualmente haría, tendrá que hablar con alguien del alojamiento directamente para obtener un mejor precio).

Al reservar directamente en el alojamiento deseado, sabiendo cuánto tendrían que pagar a las OTA por comisión, encontrará que puede negociar un buen ahorro de 10% o menos para usted,  menos de lo que pagaría en el sitio de OTA. Incluso puede descubrir que el hotel que está mirando tiene una promoción o un especial mensual que le ahorrará aún más, pero nunca lo habría descubierto si hubiese reservado en una OTA. ¡Esto también le dará al propietario del hotel un ahorro del 5-8%! Estarás contento con los ahorros y el propietario del hotel también estará contento de no tener que pagar las comisiones. ¡Esto es un “gane y gane” para ambos lados! ¡Se dará cuenta que el descuento puede ser un ahorro suficiente para pagar una comida en la ciudad para usted y su familia mientras está de viaje!

En Casa de Montana Bed & Breakfast siempre tenemos especiales y recompensamos a nuestros huéspedes por reservar directamente con nosotros. Visite nuestro sitio web en www.casademontana.com o llámenos directamente entre las 8 am y las 8 pm todos los días al (+507) 730-9427 (Panamá) o 952-931-9770 en los EE. UU. para ver cuánto puede ahorrar con nosotros en su próxima visita a Boquete, Panamá.

Sé que le costará un poco de trabajo reservar su próxima habitación de esta manera, pero creo que el ahorro que obtendrán les provocará sonrisas a usted y a los demás, ¡incluso antes de comenzar su viaje!

“Pruébalo… te gustará!”

 

Ed Crupar- Co-propietario de Casa de Montana Bed & Breakfast 

Traducido por: Generoso Guerra.

 

 

 

Affordable Hotel Room Prices and How to Find Them!

In this blog we will talk about how to find or negotiate affordable hotel room prices for your next trip.

When most people take a trip for vacation or business they need to arrange for a hotel to stay in while they are out and about. The easy way to do this is to find an OTA (Online Travel Agent) such as Booking.com or Expedia.com or one of many other OTAs to reserve a room.

Some people even go as far as research hotels, bed & breakfasts, etc. on a site like Tripadvisor.com prior to booking to see actual pictures of rooms, facilities like pools, amenities offered and the like, before making their decision on where to stay. All this is very wise to do, but before you press the reservation button to purchase your room, there is a less expensive way to travel.

Please allow me a few minutes to explain the better way to go!

When hotels list on the OTAs there is a cost to the hotel owner for doing this and it is quite a sizeable cost of doing business for the hotel owner. You see, Booking.com charges a commission to the hotel owner of 18% of the total sale for the right to list their property on the Booking site. Likewise, Expedia.com, Hotels.com and other OTAs charge upwards of 15% of the total sale to the hotel owner for the right to list the hotel property for vacationers and others to book rooms from on their sites. Pretty staggering numbers, if I do say so myself, and because of this the hotel owners must pad their prices to realize a profit.

Keeping this costly info in mind I will now tell you how you can save on your next trip. First, please use Tripadvisor.com to do your research on where you would like to stay. When you have come to a decision on your dream location, type it into the Google.com search engine and find your location’s website, or even just their contact phone number and give them a call directly (do not book through their web site as you will need to talk to someone directly to get a better price).

Reserving directly with the location, and knowing how much they would have to pay to the OTAs for commission, you will find that you can negotiate a nice savings of 10% to you, or so, less than what you would pay at the OTA site. You may even find that the hotel that you are looking at is running a Special Monthly Promotion that will save you even more, but you would never have found this out if you booked on an OTA. This will also give the hotel owner a savings of 5-8%, too! You will be happy with the savings and the hotel owner will also be happy not to have to pay the commissions. This is a “Win-Win” for both sides! The discount that you will realize may even be enough of a savings to pay for a meal out on the town for you and your family while you are on your trip!

At Casa de Montana Bed & Breakfast we are always running Specials and rewarding our guests for directly booking with us. Please check out our Website at www.casademontana.com or call us directly between 8AM and 8PM daily at (507) 730-9427 (Panama) or 952-931-9770 in the US to see how much you can save with us on your next visit to Boquete, Panama.

I know that this will take a little work for you to book your next room this way but I feel that the savings will give you and the others with you smiles, even before you start your trip!

“Try it… you’ll like it!”

 

By: Ed Crupar – Co-Owner of Casa de Montaña

 

 

 

Boquete’s Tuesday Market: Something for everyone!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

When you come and stay with us here at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast, you will be served a different International Breakfast daily with most of the products coming from the Tuesday Market vendors. Along with that, if you are here on a Tuesday, we will encourage you to go to the Tuesday Market and check out all the different locally made and grown products it has to offer! The market is open from 9 AM to 12 Noon and is located across the small bridge downtown in the building known as the BCP Teatro. The market offers something for everyone. Our special favorites are baked goods by Mort’s Bakery, Gluten Free goods from Gluten Free Gold Bakery, designer “Chox” chocolate and Anna’s fresh produce.  While you are at the market, see what “Tuesday Talks” are about! Below is a story of Joyce Kinnear’s experience with the Tuesday Market and Tuesday Talks:

One of the things we like about living in Boquete is the Tuesday market. For us, it fills our need for a Farmer’s Market—enabling us to purchase organic produce, bagels, hummus, freshly made food from Germany, Hungary, and the Caribbean, and also filling our Trader Joe’s requirement for premade frozen food that we can whip up during the week. The fact that said food is tasty Thai, spicy Creole, or wonderful Indian is even better, since we lack restaurants for those and other spicy foods in the area.

We also enjoy most of the Tuesday talks. One of the women in the community spends a lot of time finding interesting speakers on a variety of topics of interest to expats in Panama, from attorneys discussing changes in laws, to geologists describing the potential actions of our local volcanoes, to so many other topics. Today, we listened to four Peace Corps volunteers in small villages between here and the Costa Rican border.

Two of the volunteers are with the part of the Peace Corps that works in education and English language education. Two others work on environmental issues. They all had interesting discussions about how they live and develop projects in small communities to enable people in those areas to access available assistance and increase community interactions.
Of particular interest to us was one young man who is working to improve the quality of home cooking fires among the indigenous. He has gotten grants from the Panamanian government to construct 14 units (and
is working on 20 more) that will reduce the amount of smoke put off by cooking fires in the home and thus reduce asthma related diseases, as well as improve local air quality.

Another young volunteer is working in a school of 700 students in Volcan, a town of about 15,000 near the border. She is doing many things, from teaching English, to teaching Science classes to leading student clubs and groups. Her school gave her a room and some assistance in developing the first library in that town or school. With funds she was able to get from her own meager stipend and local teacher’s equally meager funds, they have been able to start a library with about 20 books in a school of 700 elementary students.
She told us that among these low income (and many indigenous) students, reading comprehension is extremely low. Families are mostly illiterate, books are not around, and students never learn comprehension. The majority fail college entrance exams, because they are unable to pass tests at a fourth grade level. This volunteer is working with the local government, teachers and community to try to increase reading comprehension and improve future life potential for these students.

It was inspiring. Listening to the talks gave several people in the audience ideas for ways to assist the volunteers and local communities to help to enhance the lives of these students and their families.

This small town surrounded by the Mountains of Boquete, Panama is a wonderful place to gather anything from souvenirs to intellectual stimulation! Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast is extremely proud of our community, volunteerism, and the Tuesday Market. Come and stay with us and experience this special place!

Is it worth taking the journey to Panama? Yes it is!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

I feel old! The first thing that Joyce said when she wrote about her trip back home to Boquete, Panama, from the U.S.!

The fact is that you can indeed arrive in one day to Boquete, Panama, where Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast is located. However, unless you get a head start in the morning, you may lose your sleep schedule if you are taking a red-eye flight and you may need a day or two to feel “normal”. Is it worth it? Or would it be better to make the journey slower (stop along the way)? Take the time to see what is best for you as you read a local Boquetenian, Joyce’s, recent journey:

I feel old. The trip back to Panama from Reno just exhausted me. We had a late afternoon flight to Las Vegas, which was 30 minutes late (quite a trick for a 75 minute flight). After getting our luggage in Las Vegas, we had a short night at a hotel (getting up at 1:30 am) to catch our far too early flight to Panama City.

After the 6-1/2 hour flight, we got our luggage again and went through immigration, where we had our own line as “foreign residents”! Luggage was a crazy scramble. The current terminal in Panama City is just too busy. They are building another one, but until it is finished, things are busy, busy, busy at Tocumen International Airport.

A really friendly guy–a former contractor for the US at the military bases, when the US was in Panama–drove us to the bus terminal on the other side of Panama City. We then got on a bus which left immediately for David. Of course, this bus stopped at every hamlet in the country, and we arrived in David about 11 pm.

Fortunately, we were able to get a taxi relatively quickly, and we were home by midnight. Still, it was an exhausting trip, and a couple of days later, I still have not returned to a normal sleep schedule.

You know it can be done! You can get directly to Boquete from most places around the world. But is it worth it? Several people travel from Europe and other faraway places across the globe. They do indeed have an adjustment to make with their sleep schedules, and yet, they endure the journey to get to explore the exciting trails, beaches and activities that Panama has to offer. There are also many activities in Panama City and other locations inside of Panama to see and accomplish, so take your time. If you need an adjustment or feel sleep deprived, we can offer you an excellent bed and an in-room massage. Arrive safely to Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast! Contact us now or book through our website where we offer specials and savings.

 

Medellin, Colombia – Hop, Skip and a Jump from Panama and is well worth the trip!

Blog by Terry Richmeier and Manzar Lari!

In a nutshell: It’s easy to travel from Panama to Colombia! Maybe include it in your plans for your next vacation to Panama?

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When we originally heard that Copa Airlines would be flying to Colombia, we were hesitant to travel there. Old thoughts of safety matters began to circle around in our heads. Soon, we started hearing of more and more people living in Boquete, Panama, seizing the opportunity to travel to Colombia, especially Medellin. We were told that Medellin of today is a completely transformed city and is ready to show any tourist a time of their lives!

 It all started with a 45 minute, reasonably priced, flight to from Enrique Malek (David) Airport to Tocumen Airport in Panama City and then an hour flight into Medellin, Colombia. The aerial view as we got closer and closer to Medellin was breathtaking! Such natural beauty. The hotel had set up a taxi ride and we arrived feeling overwhelmed by the beauty of the country side. The hotel was about a 45 minute taxi ride away as Medellin is in a valley and is surrounded by the Andes Mountains. We gawked at the grand homes and large farms as we journeyed down the winding roads to our hotel and could not get over the fact how green everything was. We asked the taxi driver many questions and learned much more about Colombia and the change it’s gone through since the Cartel days. Especially Medellin! After the Cartel, the city rebuilt and re-grew. It’s one of the most beautiful cities we have ever visited. Our feelings of uncertainty melted away as we made the taxi ride to our hotel. All our concerns were gone by the time we arrived at the hotel in El Poblado, an amazing part of town.

Once we arrived at the hotel and unloaded our luggage it was time to hit the pool and the steam room! A boy has to get rid of all the travel aches and pains! We, of course, wanted to relax and this was the best start to our time in Colombia. At the hotel we immediately noticed how happy the people of Medellin were. We felt the warmth of the smiles and laughter and the most important piece – how proud they are of their beautiful women! Later on in the evening we decided to walk the two blocks to Parque Poblado and found a hole-in-the-walk authentic Chinese restaurant to eat at. The food was actually quite good.

Day two, we took a bus tour through the TuriBus Company. It is designed for you to be able to get on and off the bus at different stops. We were dying to see the Fernando Botero Art Museum and the park outside, called Plaza Botero, which had many statues of his work. Botero is the most famous Colombian artist known for his paintings and artwork of heavy set people. He was originally from Medellin. We learned a great deal about him while visiting the museum. Here is some more information about him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Botero

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 From Plaza Botero we ventured into many other parks and points-of-interest such as Parque de los Deseos, Estación Estadio del Metro, Parque de los Pies Descalzos and Pueblito Paisa. Parque de los Pies Descalzos had amazing sculptures in the shape of fish and exclusively made out of plastic water bottles! We also saw the Science Museum and planetarium and a number of university students milling about over their lunch break. We ended up walking through a botanical park that was located right by the university. The butterfly garden was small but breathtaking – a must-see! We decided to eat lunch on a train car in the botanical garden that was turned into a luncheon and snack cart. It was relaxing to sit outside and enjoy our food and take in the sights and sounds of nature.

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The following day we went to the Santa Fe Mall that is located in the heart of Poblado neighborhood within a short walk down the street on the super-trendy Poblado Avenue. Wide sidewalks, handsomely dressed people walking around with a sense of purpose and tourists with their cameras and lollygagging and happily snapping away their photos that would eventually become the narratives of their travels to Colombia. As soon as we arrived at the Santa Fe Mall we realized that it was no ordinary mall. Spotlessly clean with an amusement park in the middle and four floors of specialty shops, restaurants and incredible views from each window and open terraces, it rivals a high end mall in any major city around the world. The only difference is that the surrounding mountains, tropical plants and vistas galore give this mall something “extra”. We spent some time searching for gifts and new shoes, we learned about two other malls and did get to go to one other one as well a couple of days later. This second mall called Tesoro Mall was a 10 minute taxi ride further up the mountain in a high end neighborhood of the same name (El Tesoro). This mall did not disappoint either. In fact, arguably we probably liked it better than the Santa Fe Mall. The inside/outside design, lots of plants and areas to sit and enjoy were the highlights of this place. Yet again, we found the employees at the different stores to be friendly, courteous and helpful! What is up with that?!

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One day we decided to explore around the neighborhood close to Dann Carlton Hotel (where we were staying). We stumbled upon this park called Lleras Park. What a find!? This is a park with a unique character all its own. Lots of street vendors selling handicrafts, some guys playing music and singing, tourists and locals hanging and chilling out. In two concentric circles around the park there are restaurants, bars and nightclubs galore! Every imaginable type of food is available. Since we were in the tropics, every single business has outdoor seating, palm trees and accent lights that light up as the sun goes down. We fell in love with this area and immediately decided to visit it a few different times! Starting with dinner at Angels Restaurant – steak and potato restaurant to Mexican food around the corner from Angels and finally our last night dinner at Thaico Restaurant – a Thai restaurant that we would highly recommend.

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Yes, admittedly we ate a lot during this vacation! No, it was not the food that was the favorite part of our trip. The highlight of our trip was actually the 12-hour (7 AM to 7 PM) tour to Guatapé and Peñol through the TuriBus Tour Company. This tour cost less than $35 per person and included a LOT for the price. We spent the entire day with 6 other tourists and 2 tour guides. Breakfast and lunch at authentic Colombian restaurants was included in the price. We went to Peñol first and walked around town and saw a combination Angel and Phoenix statue – yes, the town rose up from the ashes. We took a paddle boat on the lake while we took in some of the rays from the sun. We also visited a look-out point from where we could see the top of a steeple of a church that was submerged in water along with the rest of the town! This created the most amazing lakes region of the Guatapé area. Beautiful lake homes abound, each with an unobstructed view of the area. As we traveled through the winding mountain roads and took in the awe-inspiring views, we ended up at the entrance of the Peñol Rock. This is a huge rock that is visible for miles in any direction. Recently the stairs leading up to the top of the rock have been re-done. Our tour guide shared with us that there are 659 steps leading to the top. We did not do the climb (we will have to come back after we have spent considerable amount of time at the gym!) but have been told that the view from the top is worth the half hour or so it takes to climb up there. Right after our lunch, we visited the town of Guatapé during the second half of the day. We took a cruise ship onto the Guatapé Lake. We consumed a local beer called “Aguila” and the dancing and music was so uplifting that we really enjoyed this boat ride! By the time the boat ride was finished, we were getting a little tired so we took the time to take in a cup of really strong coffee that was fused with chocolate. We explored the colorful town of Guatapé on foot by walking down the narrow streets and discovered many shops selling handicrafts and objects that were uniquely Colombian. After a day of sightseeing, we were ready for the trip back. A short pit stop for more coffee, some local breads, and a bathroom break, we could manage the two hour ride back through the mountains. We arrived back at the hotel super tired but with a feeling of joy for having experienced this once in a lifetime journey. We ended our incredible day with a pizza delivered right to our room on the 14th floor! Life doesn’t get better than that!

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On one of the days we also took the “Metro” train ride around town. The crowded train was full of happy and smiling people and we felt completely at home on this train ride. Just a couple of stops from the far end of the train ride begins a cable trolley system that takes you all the way up to a park by the name of “Arvi Park”. As we climbed up the side of the mountain we started to see more and more of the city of Medellin unfold in front of our eyes until we got high enough to have a complete panoramic view of the city! All this for just a few dollars per person – you can’t beat that! Originally the cable cars were put in so people from far away neighborhoods had a quick and easy ride into the city. It has now become one of the big tourist attractions.

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Our adventures were limited to the time that we had to spend in Medellin, Colombia, nevertheless we had a wonderful time and experience. Even though we spent a whole week there, we feel that we have only scratched the surface of all that Colombia has to offer. So, as you plan your trip to Boquete, Panama, and stay with us here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast, be sure to ask us about our trip to Medellin and make Colombia part of your future tourist plans or just add it on to your trip to Panama! You will not be disappointed.

Stress-free vacation to Boquete, Panama over the holidays!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

 

As I sit in front of my computer and ponder, “Man alive, I need a vacation!” I begin to wonder why I feel so stressed. I sit here thinking that I don’t have time to ponder the “whys” of feeling stressed! I’ve got to buy this gift for that person and I’ve got to get gas on the way home and I’ve got to make something for that holiday party to share, or do I just stop off and buy something?

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Meanwhile, on Facebook, many of my Facebook friends are posting newsfeeds and I can hardly keep up! I have just fallen behind and need to focus back on these newsfeeds, “like” them and possibly comment. Oh, and my cell phone just buzzed that I have a message through WhatsApp. As I look at it, I have just received a message from a friend asking for a ride into town when I go to get groceries. Of course I say “sure, no problem” and proceed to spend the next five minutes writing a detailed response letting my friend know that I will be going on Thursday this time instead of my normal Wednesday as I already have alternate plans for Wednesday.

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While writing this detailed message on WhatsApp, my phone rings and with annoyance in my voice I answer and say “Hello”. Well, it’s Manzar and he is asking me where I am. Once again, I feel the blood pressure rise. “Why the hell did you call to ask me where I am?.” What was a simple question to make sure that I am at a point and place that I can answer my phone and that I can talk to him, became an instant annoyance for me and that is where I know that something is wrong! I’m stressed!

Upon reflecting on my level of stress, I begin to realize many different things. First I need a get-away plan. Go far away from here, where I can relax. Where I can I go to renew myself. So, let’s begin to plan a trip! I will start by getting airline tickets. Log onto the airline and pull out the charge card. Next, I need a place to lay my head. Pull out the charge card and done. Then, I need to plan some activities to help me relax. Charge card and done. I notice a pattern – it is really not that difficult to plan everything once I realized that I needed some time for myself!

Ok, I can’t wait for my vacation so I can relax. Except that it’s going to take me a year to pay that Charge Card off! Oh well, that stress factor can wait until I’m done with my trip.

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Ok, the time is here to pack. I’ve got everything including my swimsuit and my laptop. This way, I can make sure all my friends on Facebook know that I’m relaxing and having a great time!!! I will post pictures of my events and of course, all the good food I am eating! I can get a Sim Card while I’m there and that way I can get to contact with the rest of the world. Also, I can check my work emails and I can still get that project done for work. Ok, so stop and look at what just happened to me. I am taking a vacation because I needed a respite from all the social media and from the electronic world and then, I bring it with me on my respite!

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How many of us do this? What has happened that we need to be in contact on the social media all the time? Why is it that we feel completely welded to our electronic devices? How many of us feel rested and ready to come back from our vacation refreshed? If you do, I commend you. As for me, I know that when it’s time for a vacation, I’m going to “Take a trip on the Wild Side” and leave my computer. Leave my cell phone. Leave my Social media. Leave all those stress factors back at home. Live in the present. I believe that this will be a difficult but worthy task and that the gain from this will be the rest, relaxation, and respite that I need.

Perhaps, for your next vacation and get a way, maybe think about eliminating the electronic connection to the stressful world that you are living in, just for a few days anyway!

I hope to tell you that I had an incredible experience. I hope to tell you that we actually spent some quality time together! That no matter what we did with our time, it was ours and it was not robbed from us. That no one we know experienced our vacation through social media until we returned home and shared it with everyone. Tranquility, serenity and renewal can all come together. Now, that’s a “Trip on the wild side”!

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While you are waiting to take that much-needed vacation, here is a link that has ways to reduce your stress right now!

http://greatist.com/happiness/23-scientifically-backed-ways-reduce-stress-right-now

Plan your vacation during the cold winter months now and stay with us at Casa de Montaña where we can take the worry (and stress!) out of your planning. Let us help you in coordinating all the activities while you stay with us. Or you can just come and chill out and not do a thing while you de-compress from all of your responsibilities back home.

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