General terms and conditions
1.1 HOTEL DE GmbH, hereinafter referred to as the ‘agent’, is part of the HRS Group, which owns several booking portals for travel services. In the form of www.hotel.de & www.hotel.info (hereinafter referred to as the ‘online portal’) and all related partner websites, it operates a global booking service for hotel rooms and comparable accommodation and travel services (e.g. holiday homes), hereinafter referred to as ‘accommodation’. The following general terms and conditions (hereinafter referred to as ‘GTCs’) of the HRS Group apply to all subsidiaries and the booking portals that they operate.
1.2 These GTCs apply both to all non-binding booking enquiries and binding bookings made for accommodation through the agent’s online portal. Accommodation that can be booked through the agent’s online portal is arranged through the online booking systems operated by the agent’s partners, where applicable.
1.3 These GTCs also apply in the event that users that intend to book accommodation (hereinafter referred to as the ‘customer’) have conflicting general terms and conditions. These general terms and conditions are not accepted even if the agent provides services while aware of the customer’s conditions, unless expressly agreed otherwise.
2. Services rendered
2.1 The services rendered include the arrangement and conclusion of an accommodation or travel service agreement that is formed directly between the customer and the operator of the customer’s chosen accommodation (hereinafter referred to as the ‘provider’) during the booking process. All claims and obligations arising from the accommodation or travel service agreement exist directly and exclusively between the customer and the provider. There is no accommodation or travel service agreement between the customer and the agent.
2.2 The provider of the accommodation is not the agent or another booking system operator, but the provider chosen as the contractual partner. If several accommodation facilities are booked using the agent’s online portal, the agent does not choose or arrange the individual accommodation facilities; this is the customer’s responsibility. The conditions specified by the customer (such as location, purpose, period of time, category) are taken into consideration as far as possible in the selection of individual accommodation facilities proposed by the online portal. However, it should not be interpreted, based on the selection made by the online portal, that there is no other accommodation that could better meet the customer’s requests or conditions.
2.3 Should the provider breach its obligations, the agent is not required, but is entitled, to make good the damage suffered by the customer in individual cases in order to facilitate the smooth execution of the contractual relationship for the customer. In this case, the customer assigns its claims for compensation against the provider to the agent so that the agent can endeavour to obtain redress for the expenses incurred.
3. Customer reviews
3.1 The agent offers the customer the option to access reviews written by third parties as well as additional content and images relating to the offered services on the online portal. These merely reflect a personal opinion related to a specific point in time. These opinions are also shaped by the writer’s personal perceptions and expectations. It should also be taken into consideration that the services offered may have changed since the content was uploaded or the review written; for example, accommodation may have been refurbished or renovated in the meantime. The number of reviews submitted should also be considered, as one individual opinion is often not as meaningful as a general impression given by a number of reviews.
3.2 The agent offers the customer and also third parties the option to anonymously submit such reviews or additional content and images on the online portal. The customer alone is responsible for all content that he/she provides (e.g. reports/images/videos).
3.3 The customer and any third parties are prohibited from uploading content to the agent’s online portal
- that is untrue or misleading, in particular by submitting inaccurate and/or unobjective reviews of accommodation, persons at the accommodation, leisure facilities and other conditions/events at the accommodation that could affect decisions made by other guests;
- that is derogatory, insulting, offensive, threatening, pornographic or racist:
- that violates third-party property and/or personal rights or is otherwise illegal;
- that advertises products, services or companies, either overtly or covertly; in particular by submitting reviews for which the customer has been offered payment, or by reviewing accommodation offered by providers for which the customer works or
- that includes links or similar information/references that serve to affect the functioning of third-party computers.
3.4 If the customer violates these conditions on the uploading of content, the agent is entitled to amend or delete in full content without notifying the customer and without specifying reasons.
4. Booking and reservations
4.1 Each reservation is passed on to the respective Provider through the Agent, who acts as an intermediary on behalf of the Customer. In order to ensure smooth processing of the booking, it is therefore essential that the information provided by the Customer (e.g. dates of the stay, contact details) are correct and complete.
4.2 The latest possible time for the Customer to check in to the accommodation varies according to the type of reservation made. The various reservation options are described in the course of the booking procedure and are selected by the Customer on this basis. Insofar as a deadline for checking in is specified for the reservation type selected, the reservation will be cancelled in the event of late arrival. After that time, the Customer has no right to demand accommodation.
4.3 Reselling of accommodation booked via the Agent is prohibited. This includes, in particular, reselling of accommodation to third parties at a higher price. The Agent reserves the right to exclude the Customer from agency services in future in the event of breaches of this provision. Furthermore, the Provider is entitled to cancel the booking in such cases, while the Agent mayalso declare that the booking is cancelled. In addition, the Customer is obliged to pay the cancellation fees and compensation for any losses incurred by the Agent and/or the Provider.
4.4 The accommodation is reserved as soon as the booking is made, and the reservation is valid without confirmation. The booking confirmation appears on the screen and is also sent to the Customer by e-mail and, if requested, by text message in abbreviated form. The Agent is not, however, able to ensure or verify receipt of the confirmation sent by e-mail or text message. The validity of the booking is not affected by this; this applies, in particular, if an incorrect e-mail address or telephone number has been entered.
4.5 In the course of the booking process, special rates may be displayed that require full or partial payment in advance. In these cases, the precise terms can be viewed before the final booking is made. Usually a booking of this sort can be made only by credit card, to which the charge shall be made immediately by the Provider of the booked accommodation. In the course of bookings of this sort, the Customer accepts that the booking fee or total amount, including any taxes or fees, shown on the booking screen shall be charged directly to the credit card.
If the Provider agrees to an advance payment on the price of the accommodation that is not paid by credit card, the Provider is entitled to cancel the booking if it does not receive the advance payment within the period specified in the booking confirmation. Furthermore, failure to make an advance payment does not release the Customer from the obligation to cancel the booking properly and settle the resulting cancellation costs.
4.6 Depending on the type of booking chosen, a credit card number and the date of expiry of the credit card may have to be stored as part of the booking procedure. Explicit reference is always made on the booking screen to the requirement for a credit card number to be saved. These details are passed on to the Provider of the accommodation in question and verified before confirmation of the booking. Your credit card is a guarantee of payment to the Provider of all costs incurred for the accommodation booked.
4.7 The costs are charged to your credit card directly by the Provider on site. The card must be presented to the Provider there. The time at which the charge is made is determined by the Provider's conditions.
4.8 The credit card acts as security for the Provider and any cancellation costs or losses may be charged to it by the Provider. If verification of the credit card details reveals that they are not correct or that the charge cannot be made to the card, the Provider may cancel the booking through the Agent.
4.9 If the accommodation booked is in hotels, a maximum of nine rooms may be booked online. Reservations of more than nine rooms must be made via the Agent's group booking services, the booking confirmation for which is binding. Splitting a requirement for more than nine rooms into several bookings of a maximum of nine rooms each is not permitted. There are special enquiry modules available to the Customer for special room requirements for trade fairs and for meetings, events and group bookings (10 rooms or more).
5. Changes and cancellations
5.1 Depending on the Provider's conditions, the Customer is obliged after making the reservation to pay the agreed price for the accommodation (or part of it) if the reservation is not cancelled in time or the accommodation is not taken up without cancellation. The detailed cancellation conditions depend on the Provider concerned and the type of booking and they are specified separately on the relevant booking screenand accepted by the Customer.
5.2 In order to avoid misunderstandings, all changes and cancellations must be made via the Agent's Internet portal ("Change and Cancel" tab) or on the number +49 (0)221 2077 6033. Receipt of the notification by the Agent is definitive in determining whether a change or cancellation has been made on time. Alternatively, notification of changes and cancellations may be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; in this case, the e-mail must be received by the Agent at the latest 24 hours before expiry of the cancellation period. The cancellation period is usually set in the local time at the location of the reserved accommodation. If cancellation is completed on time and in accordance with the conditions, a cancellation confirmation is issued. This provides proof of cancellation and it must therefore be retained. Whether costs are charged for the cancellation or change is then determined by the Provider's booking or cancellation conditions.
5.3 Changes and cancellations are possible before expiry of the cancellation period set in the relevant cancellation conditions. In the case of certain changes, such as a reduction in the length of stay, the Provider may, however, pursue claims for any losses. In the case of special rates, services and/or dates and for bookings at very short notice, providers often do not allow cancellation free of charge.
5.4 In order to prevent misuse of the Internet portal and avoid causing unnecessary problems for the Provider with incorrect bookings, the Agent reserves the right to cancel a reservation in individual cases if the Customer cannot be contacted using the contact details provided or the Provider declines the booking because of frequent cancellations or no-shows in the past. There is no requirement to provide the Customer with accommodation in such cases. In order to prevent a cancellation of this sort, the Customer usually has the option to make a booking by providing a credit card number, however.
6. Categories of accommodation and information on the accommodation
6.1 All information on and descriptions of the accommodation are based on providers’ own information. The agent has no influence on this information and does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness thereof.
6.2 The accommodation offered is categorised based on the categories of the agent’s own classification system. In addition to the categories in other classification systems (for example, the classifications prescribed by law in some federal states), this system is based primarily on customers’ experiences and reviews and information from providers that the agent may have checked. The classification merely provides non-binding information on the standard and features of the accommodation.
7. Accommodation ranking/listing
7.1 Following a query on the website or app, the first accommodation shown to the customer will be the accommodation that best meets a variety of criteria (including value for money, flexible booking conditions, high level of customer satisfaction, broad range of offerings, good features, free additional benefits such as parking spaces or Wi-Fi, high conversion rate, extensive description and many images of the accommodation, central location, etc.).
7.2 In promotion periods, some accommodation may, in exchange for a fee, have a more visible rank or a different rank in this list. This is just one of more than 80 criteria that affect the listing of accommodation and by itself is not enough to ensure a top rank. The customer can of course filter and sort the ‘Recommendations’ list by his/her own criteria (‘price per night’, for example).
8. Accommodation prices
8.1 Unless specified otherwise in the booking conditions, all prices are per night for each individual accommodation and, depending on the booking conditions, may include or exclude breakfast (this may also differ for a booking period of several days). The ancillary services offered depend on the provider and are to be paid for separately.
8.2 Providers are obliged to display the final price including taxes. However, price information is solely made available by the provider itself. Local provisions determine which taxes and other duties are incurred for accommodation abroad.
8.3 If the currency selected by the customer differs from the currency requested by the provider, the prices in the search results will be shown in the selected currency for ease of orientation. However, the local currency specified in the price conditions is binding for the booking, and there may be exchange rate differences.
8.4 The option to update prices constantly and bookings made by other customers in the meantime on the agent’s online portal may occasionally mean that the prices on the accommodation’s detailed page differ from the prices shown previously in the list of accommodation. The final price indicated before completion of the booking process is decisive for the customer.
9. Data protection
9.1 The agent only collects, processes and uses the customer’s personal data to the extent that the customer consents to this or a legal provision permits the collection, processing and use of the data. The agent only collects, processes and uses data that is required for the provision of its services and the use and operation of the online portal and/or the services offered on the online portal.
9.2 Under no circumstances does the agent sell the data to third parties. Data is only transferred to third parties to the extent required for bookings/reservations with the provider chosen by the customer. This expressly includes any transfer to affiliates of the agent for the purposes of executing the booking.
10.1 If the Agent has been given the Customer's e-mail address in the context of the booking, he shall make use of it in accordance with the provisions of Section 7 (3) 3 of the German Unfair Practices Act for the purpose of electronic advertising and similar services. In doing so, the Agent shall make every effort to send the Customer advertising materials that are tailored to his interests. The Customer may refuse to accept electronic advertising at any time by sending an e-mail to email@example.com without incurringany costs other than the communication costs in accordance with the basic tariff.
10.2 In addition, the Agent reserves the right to create usage profiles under pseudonyms within the meaning of Section 15 (3) of the German Telemedia Act (TMG) for the purposes of advertising, market research and design of the Internet portal in line with demand. The Customer may object to the creation of such a usage profile at any time by sending a simple e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
11. Guarantee and liability
11.1 All of the agent’s information has been compiled with the greatest care. However, no guarantee can be made for any errors in data collection or transfer. The transfer of data to other data carriers, even in part, or use for purposes other than those provided for here is permitted only with the express consent of the agent.
11.2 Some of the information on the agent’s online portal is provided by providers, other customers and third parties. All providers, customers and third parties bear sole responsibility for the accuracy, completeness and topicality of the information they upload, including the indicated prices and availability. Moreover, they ensure that content that violates the legal positions of third parties is not uploaded. The agent cannot review this information and therefore makes no guarantee for the accuracy, completeness, quality or legality of information usage.
11.3 The customer will release the agent from all claims due to third parties as a result of a violation of the obligations specified under 11.2. The customer will also support the agent in its defence of such claims and provide all necessary information to it.
11.4 The agent does not take ownership of this content or customer reviews. Rather, customer reviews merely reflect the personal opinion of the authors. The agent has no influence on the form, content and user IDs used for these reviews and therefore assumes no responsibility in this respect.
11.5 The arrangement of accommodation through the agent’s online portal is free for the customer. At the same time, however, the customer does not have any claim to the temporal and spatial availability of the agent’s services. The agent is not liable for (partial) interruptions to and downtime of the services due to repair, maintenance or update work or for other reasons that it cannot directly control or that only impede use of the services to a negligible extent.
11.6 The agent is not liable for the completion of a booking, nor is it liable for defects or damage incurred in connection with the provider’s rendering of the accommodation service. The agent makes no assurances in respect of the fulfilment of particular requests made by the customer and also assumes no guarantee in this respect.
11.7 Moreover, the agent’s liability is excluded for all damage, irrespective of the legal cause, unless the damage
- is based on the culpable breach of material contractual duties, i.e. duties whose fulfilment makes proper performance of the agreement possible in the first place and on whose observance the contractual partner should normally be able to rely;
- was caused by gross negligence or intent on the part of the agent or
- takes the form of injury to life, limb or health, damage as defined by the German Act on Liability for Defective Products or other legally binding liability bases.
11.8 If the agent is liable in accordance with clause 11.7 for the culpable violation of material contractual duties in the absence of gross negligence and intent, the agent’s entire liability is limited to the damage and the extent of damage whose occurrence the agent could typically foresee in accordance with the circumstances of which it was aware at the time of contract conclusion.
11.9 Guarantee claims and claims for compensation become time-barred no later than one year after the time at which the customer learns of the damaging event. This does not apply to claims resulting from tort.
12.1 German law applies to the exclusion of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and the conflict of law rules of private international law.
12.2 The online dispute resolution platform of the European Commission can be reached using the following link: Online Dispute Resolution. The agent does not participate in dispute resolution proceedings before a consumer arbitration board and is also not obliged to do so.
12.3 The place of performance is Cologne. Cologne is agreed as the place of jurisdiction for businesspersons and people that do not have a place of general jurisdiction in Germany. The statutory place of jurisdiction applies in all other cases.
12.4 Use of the agent’s online portal and its content is only permitted for individual queries relating to booking accommodation. Automated queries are not permitted. The data material is copyrighted and any duplication thereof (particularly by means of ‘scraping’) is therefore prohibited. Use of the data material (such as query results in particular) for resale purposes is prohibited in particular.
12.5 Links on this website to other companies’ (third-party providers’) websites are solely provided in the customer’s interest. If the customer clicks on such a link, he/she will leave the agent’s website. The agent has no influence on the content of third-party providers’ websites. The agent therefore cannot assume any guarantee for the accuracy, completeness or safety of this third-party content.
12.6 If a provision in this agreement is invalid or unenforceable, this provision should be interpreted in a manner that is compatible with the applicable law and that corresponds to the original intention of the parties as best possible. The remainder of the agreement is not affected thereby.