Defence hotel reservation service.

#1
I am about to book an all inclusive five star hotel at the expense of the taxpayer (or a cheap B&B depending on the rate).
Being army and not RAF I've never had to book a hotel via the DHRS before. Having just spoke to them, the procedure is for me to tell them what hotel I'd like, they will book it for me (subject to it being within a cost level) and I pay on my credit card, then claim it back off the army. (I also have to tell them if I'm staying longer than first anticipated so they can rebook the hotel).

My question is, why do the military use this service?

Wouldnt it be simpler to tell a soldier what his limit is, get him to book himself and then claim it back on JPA? (Its not because they can get a better deal either, they are paying the same rate I would if I booked it myself).
 
#3
As far as i understand it, the MOD has preferable rates with some hotel chains. I think the you pay then claim it back scenario is to make sure you aren't doing it for a jolly!
 
#4
If you do go down that route, double check with the hotel DHRS actually booked you in ....
 
#5
As far as i understand it, the MOD has preferable rates with some hotel chains. I think the you pay then claim it back scenario is to make sure you aren't doing it for a jolly!
I get a reduced rate for being forces which is the same rate DHRS gets. (They confirmed it).

I'm not fussed about paying and claiming back, Im just wondering what DHRS actually do or why we use them.
Surely my boss says "Stacker1 you are needed in this location, I'll signed the paperwork justifing the cost, now piss off" why do I (and the rest of the army) need a seperate agency to add another layer of management? Especially as its me using my money to pay upfront. I can't see what their function is.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#6
Central Hotel Booking Service is/was run by Hogg Robinson.....standard routine is to book through them and claim back......I've given up trying to figure out why we use them.......if you are going to London the Victory Services Club is surprisingly okay - and about a third the cost of an overnight anywhere else in the West End.....tell the CHBS operator you are a member there (serving)
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#7
They'll have bigger buying power and get a lower rate and keep the difference and no doubt also charge a fee.
It'll prevent a b&b owner writing you out a receipt for the maximum amount or people writing dodgy receipts.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#8
As FairMaid said earlier - confirm with the Hotel that they have actually got the booking from the HBS.

I once turned up at 22:38 on a wet tuesday night to the 'pre-booked' hotel in Nottingham to find it already, and no booking made for me. I produced a copy of the 'confirmation' fax - no use. A call to the HBS help line gotg me an apology. I then found somewhere, and afterwards had a devil of a job getting the money back!
 
#9
They'll have bigger buying power and get a lower rate and keep the difference and no doubt also charge a fee.
It'll prevent a b&b owner writing you out a receipt for the maximum amount or people writing dodgy receipts.
Thats just it, they dont seem to have any real buying power, other than going on the net and using booking.com which I can do by myself. I had to tell them about the forces rate. Which is lower than the rate they normally get (although obviously they are entitled to the forces rate when they ask).

I can see the logic in preventing B&B owners writing out bogus reciepts but I'd assume that would be few and far between as its normally chain hotels. Also the way it works (I'm lead to believe) if that there is a cap on amounts based on location so naturally the soldier will look for a hotel that costs up to that limit meaning the army would be paying the top ammount anyway. (The dodgy receipts come from your food claims, so I've been told)

I just cant see what their purpose is, there must have been one when someone thought it up.
 
#10
As far as i understand it, the MOD has preferable rates with some hotel chains. I think the you pay then claim it back scenario is to make sure you aren't doing it for a jolly!
As if you would?
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#11
They will get a cut from the hotel and probably a fee to the MOD for the service. Some of these things don't make any sense but often it's £ for somebody.
 
#12
They will get a cut from the hotel and probably a fee to the MOD for the service. Some of these things don't make any sense but often it's £ for somebody.
Now doubt some is making a pretty penny from the MOD. All the more the reason to question why we use this service, there may well be a valid reason but if there isnt the MOD might save some cash binning them.
 

B_AND_T

MIA
Book Reviewer
#13
Not just hotels are Hogg Robinson ripping us off for. Costed rail travel from Salisbury to Darlington (via London). £114.00 return.

If I had booked it through Hogg Robinson it would have cost £238.00 return (not via London).

Go figure.
 
#15
I am about to book an all inclusive five star hotel at the expense of the taxpayer (or a cheap B&B depending on the rate).
Being army and not RAF I've never had to book a hotel via the DHRS before. Having just spoke to them, the procedure is for me to tell them what hotel I'd like, they will book it for me (subject to it being within a cost level) and I pay on my credit card, then claim it back off the army. (I also have to tell them if I'm staying longer than first anticipated so they can rebook the hotel).

My question is, why do the military use this service?

Wouldnt it be simpler to tell a soldier what his limit is, get him to book himself and then claim it back on JPA? (Its not because they can get a better deal either, they are paying the same rate I would if I booked it myself).
Has anyone told you that it is mandatory or compulsory to book through the DHRS?
 
#16
Has anyone told you that it is mandatory or compulsory to book through the DHRS?
Yes. The clerks at my unit. It it wasnt compulsory, I'd do it all myself. (Faster,more convenient and possibly cheaper.)
 
#17
Stacker,

Just make sure you have a CHBS booking ref to support your claim on JPA. If you cannot input a booking ref then JPA will not allow you to make the claim. I stayed in university halls of residence for a resettlement course and trying to claim back the cost of the room without the reference number was problematic to say the least.

Regards

Berlin
 
#18
I have used DHRS a lot both in the UK and overseas over the last couple of years (it has undergone a number of iterations) and I have generally found them to be useful - although a bit of IPB is useful. If you are going to City X, let's say, have an idea of the area that you want/need to be located (eg close to airport links, railway station, meeting venue, etc) so that you can inform the agent at the end of the phone.

When I have had to return to London on a number of occasions (and haven't been able to get into the RAF Club or UJC), they have been particularly diligent at finding hotels at a B&B rate within the MOD ceiling. They make the reservation which is assured and also allows a very late cancellation (IIRC 1600 hrs on the day of the booking). Certainly the rate I pay in London is generally less than half of the rate posted on the hotel websites, and for somewhaere like the Park Plaza Westminster, the rate is about a 1/3rd of the internet 'walk in' rate. Fortunately I have never turned up at a hotel to find the reservation already taken, as described by another poster.
 
#19
#20
It's compulsory so NCOs don't stay in hotels suitable for Officers. Really, catchyerself on.

Besides there should be perfectly good transit accommodation for you within a couple of hours drive. Otherwise pack your basha kit.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top