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 The agent, acting as an intermediary, transfers all reservations to the respective provider on the customer’s behalf. The data provided by the customer (e.g. date of stay, contact details) must be accurate and complete in order to ensure the smooth processing of bookings.
4.2 The latest time for the customer to check in at the accommodation varies depending on the type of reservation made. Various reservation options are shown in the booking process and selected by the customer on this basis. If the type of reservation chosen specifies a time limit for check-in, the reservation is cancelled if the customer arrives late. There is no claim to accommodation after this time.
4.3 It is prohibited to sell on accommodation booked through the agent. This includes in particular the resale of accommodation to third parties at higher prices. The agent reserves the right to exclude customers from agency services in the future should they violate this regulation. The provider is also entitled in such cases to cancel the booking; the agent may also issue this declaration. The customer is also obliged to pay cancellation fees and reimburse any losses suffered by the agent and/or the provider.
4.4 The accommodation is reserved upon booking and is valid without a reservation confirmation. The reservation confirmation appears on the screen and is also sent to the customer by email and, where applicable, also by text message. However, the agent cannot ensure or check receipt of the confirmation when it is sent by email or text message. This does not affect the validity of the booking; this applies in particular if an incorrect email address and/or telephone number is provided.
4.5 Special prices may be shown during the booking process that require prepayment in part or in full. In such cases, the exact conditions can be viewed before a final booking is made. Bookings can largely only be made in this respect with a credit card, to which the provider will charge the booked accommodation immediately. When making these bookings, the customer agrees that the partial booking amount or total booking amount, including any taxes and fees, shown on the booking page will be charged directly to his/her credit card.
If the provider agrees on an advance payment on the accommodation price with the customer that does not have to be made 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 reservation confirmation. Moreover, failure to make the advance payment does not release the customer from the orderly cancellation of the booking and the payment of the resulting cancellation costs.
4.6 A credit card number and the credit card’s validity period may need to be provided in the booking process depending on the type of booking made. The requirement to provide a credit card number is explicitly emphasised on the booking page, where applicable. This information is transferred to the provider of the accommodation and checked before the customer’s reservation is confirmed. The customer’s credit card guarantees for the provider that all costs incurred for the booked accommodation will be paid.
4.7 The provider settles the costs directly on-site using the customer’s credit card. The card must be presented to the provider on-site. The time of settlement depends on the provider’s conditions.
4.8 The credit card serves as security for the provider and the provider may therefore charge any cancellation costs or damages to it. If it transpires after checking the credit card details that they are incorrect, or if charges cannot be made to the card, the provider may cancel the booking through the agent.
4.9 If the booked accommodation is a hotel, a maximum of nine rooms can be booked online. Reservations of more than nine rooms are made based on the agent’s offerings for group bookings, the reservation confirmations of which are binding. If more than nine rooms are required, these may not be split into several bookings of up to nine rooms each. Separate enquiry forms are available for the customer to cover special room requirements for trade fairs, conferences, events and group bookings (ten rooms or more).
5. Changes and cancellations
5.1 Depending on the provider’s conditions, the customer is obliged to pay the agreed price for the accommodation (or part thereof) after the reservation has been made if the reservation is not cancelled in due time or if the accommodation is not used and the customer has not cancelled. The detailed cancellation conditions depend on the provider and the type of booking and are specified separately on the booking page and accepted by the customer.
5.2 To prevent misunderstandings, all changes and cancellations must be made on the agent’s online portal. To this end, the customer must make a submission directly on the agent’s online portal, or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +49(0)221 2077 6033. The agent’s receipt of the message in due time is decisive for the timeliness of the change or cancellation. The cancellation deadline is generally based on the local time of the reserved accommodation. A cancellation confirmation is produced if the cancellation is effected on time and in accordance with the applicable conditions. It also serves as proof of the cancellation and must therefore be kept. The provider’s relevant booking and cancellations conditions indicate whether cancellation costs will be incurred.
5.3 Changes and cancellations are possible before the end of the cancellation period specified in the applicable cancellation conditions. However, the provider may assert a claim for damages if certain changes are made, for example if a stay is shortened. Providers often exclude free cancellation in the case of special prices, services and/or dates or if bookings are made at very short notice.
5.4 To prevent abuse of the online portal and so that the provider is not unnecessarily encumbered with false reservations, the agent reserves the right to cancel a reservation in individual cases if it is not possible to contact the customer using the contact details provided or if the provider rejects the booking because of frequent cancellations or no-shows in the past. There is no right to accommodation in such cases. To prevent such a cancellation, the customer can, however, make a booking by providing a credit card number.
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 Insofar as the agent receives the customer’s email address in the context of the booking, it will use this in accordance with the requirements of section 7(3) of the German Act Against Unfair Competition (UWG) for purposes of electronic advertising for similar services it offers. The agent always endeavours to send the customer advertising material tailored to his/her interests. The customer may object to the receipt of electronic advertising at any time by sending an email to email@example.com without incurring costs other than the transmission costs at the basic rates.
10.2 Moreover, the agent reserves the right to create user profiles under pseudonyms within the meaning of section 15(3) of the German tele-media act (Telemediengesetz, TMG) for purposes of advertising, market research and to ensure that the online portal is appropriately laid out. The customer may object to the creation of such a user profile at any time by sending a simple email 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: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/odr/main/index.cfm?event=main.home.chooseLanguage. 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.