What’s different about BE THE FIRST?

BE THE FIRST is a travel agent that scours the world to bring you the best of the brand new, luxury and boutique hotels that open each year.  We also find those elusive, but great value soft-opening deals that offer excellent value for money.  When you choose and book a brand new hotel, you can expect photographs of the property and surroundings to be a true reflection of the accommodation and facilities as they are today.

Is BE THE FIRST a flash sales site?

No.  Even though our offers are usually bookable for a limited time, these aren’t ‘flash sales’ but genuine opening offers from new or fully refurbished hotels looking to attract their first guests.

Hotel classifications – what are these?

People who regularly stay in hotel accommodation are familiar with the “star” rating given to hotels around the world.  This star rating is between one and five stars (there are a couple of six star hotels in the world) as well as the five star GL (Grand Luxe) version which is regarded as the highest quality.  Please be aware that star ratings correspond to criteria laid down by local regulators and a five star hotel in one country may only make the four star grade in another. BE THE FIRST has chosen to work with mainly five star hotels, however, we also include some fabulous four star hotels as sometimes if a hotel doesn’t have a “business centre” or a swimming pool, that could preclude them from achieving five star accreditation.

We assess the quality of our hotels on a case by case basis and if we feel the property meets the high standards required by BE THE FIRST clients, we will include the hotel in our inventory even if it only attains three (very rare) or four stars.  We clearly state the star rating of each hotel on our website but we cannot be held responsible should you feel that the hotel doesn’t live up to its star rating.  If you have any complaints during your stay, please raise them with the hotel directly.

How frequently will I receive emails if I sign-up for your newsletter?

We will usually send out emails once a week to people who’ve indicated that they are interested to receive our latest new hotel opening offers.  If you feel this is too often, you may unsubscribe at any time.  You may prefer to visit the website regularly to check for new hotel openings instead.

Does the room rate include breakfast or other meals?

If breakfast or other meals are included in the stay, this will be clearly stated in the description of the room and rate.  “All-inclusive deals” and “half-board”, will also be clearly displayed.

All-inclusive deals – I was placing a booking for two people, but the room holds a maximum of four.  Does that mean the other two people can stay for free?

When booking an all-inclusive hotel deal, please ensure you double-check both the max room occupancy and whether the hotel is an “adults only” destination.  When booking a hotel room in an all-inclusive resort, ensure you include the TOTAL amount of people who are intending to stay in the room as all-inclusive stays charge per person staying in the room/including meals.  BE THE FIRST cannot be held responsible for any charges levied by the hotel for additional guests, other than those clearly stated in the booking forms on our site which are sent to the hotel directly.  Every guest planning to stay in the hotel room must be listed.

I have to enter my credit/debit card details; when will the payment for the hotel room(s) be taken?

BE THE FIRST will not deduct the payment from your credit card for the hotel room(s) you are booking.

The payment for your hotel stay will be processed by the hotel you have chosen to book.  If you have selected a “prepaid in full” or “non-refundable” room booking, the total price of the reservation may be charged any time after completing your booking, but generally this is at the time of booking or within a couple of days.  The amount taken is charged in the local currency where the hotel is located.

If you select a room that requires your credit/debit card details to be taken to secure the room booking, full payment will only be charged by the hotel either on arrival, during or after your stay (at check-out), unless otherwise stated under that hotel’s ‘policies’ in the ‘terms & conditions’ part of your booking confirmation.  You may be required to pay for your stay via your credit/debit card in the local currency of the country where the hotel is located, or you may be given a choice as to pay in your own national currency.

A booking request can only be processed where you have provided us with payment authority (credit/debit card details) and it has been accepted as a firm booking.  Please ensure you carefully check all booking details before you submit your booking.  We accept no liability for any errors you make.

Are my credit/debit card details safe?

BE THE FIRST ensures a secure connection for your booking.  Your personal data and credit/debit card details are encrypted and our secure server uses SSL technology (Secure Socket Layer).  Our SSL certificate has been issued by DigiCert.

Which credit/debit cards do you accept?

Our Mastercard Exclusive offers can only be booked with a Mastercard card.  For other offers we currently accept Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Maestro – but hotels vary in the cards they accept so please check before filling out the booking form.  If you chose to pay by American Express there is an additional charge to cover the card processing fee which is currently 2%.  We can accept European debit cards with a Visa logo.

When will the booking fee be deducted from my credit/debit card and is it refundable should I choose to cancel my hotel room stay at a later date?

BE THE FIRST do not deduct a fixed booking fee payment from your credit/debit card for any online bookings.  

Why do some hotels request full, up-front payment?

Terms and conditions for each hotel do vary and we will make you are aware of these prior to you accepting the booking terms. Full payment is usually required for our best deals due to the short time between booking and taking the holiday or the fact that the hotel are offering a great opening offer/deal that they require full payment as a condition of this particular offer.  Mastercard Exclusive Offers are prepaid/non-refundable as this reflects the great deals we have negotiated on behalf of Mastercard cardholders.

Do any of the hotels bookable via your website require a deposit payment in advance to secure the booking?

Most of the hotels on BE THE FIRST do not require an advance deposit payment, they tend to require payment in full, or a credit or debit card as a guarantee, however, should a hotel stipulate a deposit to secure the room, this will be clearly stated on the booking form for that particular property.

Do I need to have the same credit/debit card I used to make the booking reservation with BE THE FIRST with me once I check-in to the hotel?

If you have booked an Exclusive Mastercard Offer you will need to present your Mastercard card upon check-in at the hotel.  For other bookings, you don’t have to present the same card, however, the hotel will require a valid photo ID and any valid credit/debit card in order to check you into the hotel.

Does my booking include VAT and additional rates?

Your booking may include VAT where stated but this depends on the country where the hotel is located.  A small number of hotels charge a local tax or City tax (US hotels in particular) and some charge a resort or facilities fee that is payable upon check-out (in resort hotels in the Maldives for example). Where possible, we are as clear as we can be regarding which taxes are included in the price and which may be payable at the hotel.  Generally, we show the room price including taxes so there are no big surprises on the booking page or at the hotel.

Can I make any special requests at the time of booking?

Yes, there is a box on your booking form where you can write requests such as requesting a cot or an early check-in or late check-out (payment may be required at the hotel). Hotels will usually do their best to honour these requests, but certain requests will depend on availability.  You should expect to hear from the hotel if you have requested an extra bed for example.  Any extra beds will be charged for once you are at the hotel.

Can I let the hotel know what time I will be arriving?

Yes, under our “special requests” box, there is a field to indicate approximately what time you will arrive.  Don’t forget if you get severely delayed en route to call the hotel and inform them that you will be much later than the stated time, especially if you won’t reach the hotel until after midnight on the first day of your booking.  The hotel’s ‘phone number is listed on your booking confirmation documents.

Can I book several rooms for larger groups of people?

Currently, we are restricted to booking a maximum of three rooms per booking (although at some hotels the number may be fewer (Hilton Hotels typically only allow one room per booking) and of course booking several rooms will depend on availability). We welcome group bookings by contacting us on the following email address:  [email protected]  please supply us with the number of rooms/people you are looking to book, the hotel name and dates and someone will respond to your request as soon as possible.  If your request is urgent ie you wish to travel within two weeks from the date of your email, please mark your email as “urgent group booking”.

What is the difference between a non-refundable booking and a free cancellation?

Hotels have different cancellation policies depending on the room rate.  Whether the room you are looking to book is cancellable or not is listed under the description of the room in orange text.  Please check this policy carefully before booking so you are clear as to whether a cancellation fee will be incurred should you decide to cancel or make changes to your booking.  Some hotels offer a free cancellation service, which means you can cancel your booking free of fees if done so within the time period set by the hotel.  This is stated as:  “Can cancel up to x days prior to booking” or “cancel before hh:mm on dd/mm to incur no charges”.  All times/dates are local to the country where the hotel is located.

If I cancel, will there be any fees to pay?

BE THE FIRST will not charge any cancellation fees, however, depending on the individual rate booking policy at the hotel you have chosen, there may be cancellation fees charged.  You can review the hotel’s cancellation policy before you complete your booking.

What happens if I make a booking then don’t arrive at the hotel on the stipulated date?

If you get delayed on route to the hotel, we advise you try and contact the hotel (by telephone which is listed on your booking documents) and advise them of your delay and expected new arrival date/time.  If you are what is called in the industry a “no-show” in that you do not cancel your stay within the cancellation period stipulated in your booking, you would incur the charge stated in the booking conditions relevant to your booking with that particular hotel.  A non-refundable booking is exactly that, you will not receive a refund if you don’t arrive at the hotel for your planned stay.  We always advise our customers to take out fully comprehensive travel insurance to cover unforeseen circumstances that would prevent you travelling to your hotel.

How is my reservation with BE THE FIRST confirmed?

Once you have completed the booking process a confirmation page appears.  This page will show the reservation details and will include your booking confirmation number.   (Should you need to cancel your booking you will need to quote your surname/family name and booking confirmation number.)  We will also send you the confirmation details via an email and attached to that confirmation email are the booking details/cancellation policy and the hotel’s address/phone number and a local map and the hotel’s cancellation terms and conditions under which you made your booking.

Can I change or cancel my booking via BE THE FIRST?

You cannot make changes to your booking if those changes are to dates/additional guests/more rooms and we encourage you to contact us or cancel your booking via the confirmation of booking email you received when you placed the booking. Please remember to check the hotel’s cancellation policy before making any changes to your booking (cancellation) though, as you may have selected a “non-refundable” rate, in which case you may cancel, however, you will NOT RECEIVE A REFUND.

Placing a booking with BE THE FIRST.

By choosing to book with BE THE FIRST and selecting:  “Book my holiday!” on the booking page you are agreeing to BE THE FIRST’s T&Cs as well as the hotel’s booking terms.

If I want to cancel a booking that allows cancellation, how will I know if this has been accepted by the hotel?

Once you have cancelled your hotel booking via the “cancellation” link within your booking confirmation email with BE THE FIRST, you will receive an automatic email confirming those changes.  If you don’t receive an email, please contact us at [email protected]

Do I need to take out holiday insurance?

We consider adequate travel insurance to be essential. Please ensure that you have a valid travel insurance policy for the countries you will be travelling to or through. It is essential that all members of the party are covered by the policy (in case of families) or have their own policy.  You must ensure you read all conditions and information applicable to any policy you purchase and BE THE FIRST cannot be held liable for any insurance policy selected and paid for by you that does not fully cover any expenses paid out should you need to cancel your booking.

Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on holiday. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. We do not check individual insurance policies and cannot advise on insurance matters.

End Supplier Failure Cover – what is this?

In the very rare circumstances the hotel cancels your booking, they will contact you directly via the email address you used to place your booking, with an explanation as to why they have done so.  Including End Supplier Failure Cover in your comprehensive travel insurance will usually cover this eventuality when a hotel, for example, may be declared bankrupt and need to close with very short notice.  This doesn’t happen often, but it also isn’t unheard of.

What should I do if I have a complaint about the hotel whilst I am there, or after I return home?  

Please complain directly to the hotel as your contract is with them.  However, please also let us know about your specific complaint by emailing us at: [email protected] as your feedback and complaint are important to us and may reflect our future choices of hotels.  We take your custom with BE THE FIRST seriously and of course, we want you to remain as a customer of our luxury hotel openings for years to come.