I usually research the hotels on sites like wotif, lastminute, hotels.com etc - and then phone the hotel directly to make the booking if we have requests such as an extra baby or whatever. They are usually more flexible than the booking sites, and can often offer an even better price too.
On Wotif you can select (up the top) for it to only show you the options for 1 adult + 2 kids (or whatever combination you need).
Edited by Jersey Caramel, 19 December 2012 - 01:25 PM.
I call the hotel directly to check that the wotif/lastminute deal will allow the children I am bringing and the room is suitable, and book once I check. Often when I ring the hotel, they recommend I get a different type of room, and give me a fairly good price on it too.
I use Wotif very regularly - though recently I've done what PP's do and go direct to the hotel once I've founds something that looks good on Wotif. I find that prices are usually the same or less and you are more likely to find deals that include breakfast or have a better cancellation policy if you go direct. Wotif is great for doing initial research though, I especially the like the feature where you can view hotels on a map to compare them - this saved me from booking a Sydney hotel that appears to be built under a freeway underpass!
Just be careful. One of my friends recently lost around $1,000 from one of those sites. Hackers from overseas had gotten into it and had managed to put their bank account details into the website for the payment, rather than the hotel's. My friend later asked the site if they could do anything to compensate her and they said nope, not their responsibility. Not sure if I should say the name of the site here - can PM the name if you like. It was in the news at the time though. We have used other/similar sites and haven't had any problems.
I stayed at Crown Metropol last night with my 2 DDs in a twin deluxe room and it was lovely. They allow 3 in their twin rooms only. We had 2 queen beds which the DDs shared. The roof top pool/spa is brilliant for the kids.
I booked directly with the hotel, at the same rate as Wotif. If you book make sure you get a upper level room, we were on level 24 with lovely views.
When you do an initial search on wotif, it brings up one room type per hotel. If you click on the hotel name, then it brings up all the room types and if you scroll down they have the configurations for each room. Many hotels have more options than only for a couple.
You can normally tell which hotel the mystery hotel is, by looking at the features and the order they are listed in, and comparing to the hotels of the same star rating. I have used it several times without event.
I've used them and done it both ways, booked through them and used them to then book directly. Never had an issue either way.
Though, do google the places before booking just to get a better idea of what you are booking. Last week we decided to drive back through Melbourne and stay another night, so with 6 minutes of expensive cruise internet left I very quickly booked a motel. When we got there we found a run down dump where all the the other guests there looked rather dodgy lol. I think at 3am in the morning someone knocked on our door very loudly and yelled "my friends real drunk and needs help". We paid the same for 2 rather nice appartments on the Yarra the week prior.
I have booked a couple of times with Wotif and been very happy. One booking was for 2 adults and 2 kids .
I like Wotif's customer service and I know when I had to cancel a trip mid year (due to medical problems with 3 family members I rang with 48 hours notice and was refunded all my money bar $25.00 admin fee and it was back in my account within days and no hassle.. I was fully expecting to either loose money or have to have a site credit note etc so I was very pleased with that outcome.
Just make sure that you check the cancellation policies - some of them are "No refund" etc, others have 24 or 48hr notice etc. And also another vote for contacting the hotel direct to pricematch - often its the same or better than these websites...
Grand Mercure Swanston Street is quite good - has a pool (indoor) and a kids breakfast free deal, and very convenient. I've stayed there twice with my two kids, in a twin room with two king beds - kids in one bed, me in the other - very roomy. I've booked once through Wotif and once with hotel direct - no dramas with Wotif at all.