Some time last year, I traveled to Pretoria with two of my research students for a one week research stay at Tshwane University of Technology as part of an NCRST and NRF funded project on Broadband Free Space Optical Communication. On our previous visits, we stayed at Hotel 224 in Arcadia; this time round, we needed a quiet guest house out of town.

After searching on the Internet, I stumbled on booking.com. This is basically a travel fare aggregation service and travel meta-search engine for accommodation reservation.

I will not comment on their travel fare service because I have not used them for that. I will focus on their accommodation service. Booking.com maintains a listing of property available for booking in many cities and towns of the world.

When I first visited their website, I found a lot of lodging places in Pretoria. Their system allows you to arrange the listings  based on the price. We managed to get a very affordable guest house in Corbyn, a very quiet place, where we could easily focus on our research work. We paid for it on arrival.

Last month, when I was going to Beijing, China, for the 2017 International Workshop on Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics IWACIII Conference, I searched for accommodation places on Booking.com again and found a very affordable guest house in Sanlitun. Again I paid on arrival.

The guest house was very convenient and close to Dongsi Shitiao Station (on Line 2), many supermarkets, Macdonalds, and Burger King. It was also very easy to get to the airport from this place because Dongzhimen Station, the interchange station for Line 2 and the Airport Express, is just one stop from Dongsi Shitiao Station.

Booking.com really makes accommodation reservation easy and straightforward. I strongly recommend that you try it.