Traveling can be fun, and staying in hotels is one of my favorite things ever! It always makes it feel ‘special’ to be someplace new, in particular when its a boutique or luxury property. PLUS hello to no cooking or cleaning, am I right? But, as fun as all of this is, accommodation costs can eat up a big chunk of your vacation budget, and fast. Newer concepts like Airbnb and Couchsurfing have aimed to revolutionize the way we book stays, but sometimes a good hotel is just what the doctor ordered. After our week and a half long road trip, I came back so excited to share how I used my favorite hotel booking site to stay in some epic hotels and got GREAT deals along the way. Read on to see how I used Hotwire (my FAVORITE hotel booking site) to book even a luxury hotel, and how you can learn how to book hotels for less too!
As always, this article may contain affiliate links.
Using Hotwire: How to book Hotels for Less
When I start planning a trip, I USUALLY book airfare (if applicable) first. The only exception is if I am traveling with miles and don’t have to worry about prices of tickets. After I book my flights, hotel stays are next up on my list. I used to go all over the interwebs looking at a dozens of different sites trying to find the best deals, promo codes, and discounts. NOW, I am pretty loyal to Hotwire . By the way, this is not a sponsored post. I am just obsessed with the deals I get.
Hotwire’s site offers hotels, car rentals, flights, and bundles. Bundles are chances to book multiple categories together and save even more. I am not personally experienced in this category, but I want to try it!
One of the BEST things to look for while you are browsing hotels is this: HOT RATE
Now, if you are wondering how Hotwire can offer such great prices, there is a bit of a catch:
Your hotel is not revealed until you have booked it.
They will tell you the star rating, the Trip Advisor rating, show you a guaranteed area on a map as to where the hotel will be, and more. But the actual hotel is a not shown.
Lately I have seen more and more clues being given. They will say things like ‘hurry, the last person who booked this deal got the _____”, or say “This hotel is guaranteed to be one of these: (insert list of 3 hotels)”. All of this information, PLUS a clear listing of amenities, and reviews, makes me confident when booking.
If you really can’t stand the idea of surprise, Hotwire also offers a section of offers that reveal the hotel’s name. Once you do your search, just keep scrolling down and they are usually at the bottom of the list.
One of my favorite, most ‘epic’ bookings EVER on Hotwire was in spring 2017. I took my mom to London for a week as a Christmas gift. We decided to pop over for a couple days midweek to Paris. Since we took the train, we only needed one hotel night in Paris.
It was Paris Fashion Week while we were there, so everything was CRAZY. I decided to SPLURGE on the hotel for Paris since it was only one night, and then we would return to London to finish our trip. I booked a 5* hotel for around $220 USD on Hotwire. It was in a great location near the Arc de Triomphe. I used to live in Paris, so I was familiar with the neighborhoods Hotwire showed.
Two and three star hotels were running $200 or more, so it was an easy choice to use Hotwire.
The hotel ended up being the Hotel du Collectionneur. It was the EPITOME of luxury, I mean really over the top. They ended up upgrading our room when we were there, which was even better! As is typical in France, the prices for the night were clearly posted at check-in. For the night we stayed they were nearly 1,000 dollars.
Secret “Sometimes” Hack
Before you continue reading, stop here. THIS IS NOT A PROMISE. THIS IS NOT A GUARANTEE. Proceed at your own risk.
Ok, let’s move on.
If you love the idea of great deals, but the unknown scares you, there is a trick that works some of the time to tell you what your ‘surprise’ hotel is going to be.
After you have found a hotel deal you find appealing, go back to the list of search results. Remember at the beginning of this post when I told you they offered ‘named’ hotel deals at the bottom of the list? That’s where we are headed.
Search those ‘named’ hotels for the same stars, same area, and here is the key: EXACT SAME RATING AND NUMBER OF RATINGS ON TRIP ADVISOR.
What does this do? Well, its highly unlikely that two hotels with the same official star rating, in the same neighborhood will also have the exact same number of ratings and overall ratings from Trip Advisor.
The more ratings, the better the chance they are in fact the same. Two hotels could each have eight ratings. But what are the chances they both have 1,147 ratings and a 4.23/5 rating? Slim to none.
I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t USUALLY go through the trouble of checking this. Why? Because I trust that I’m getting a deal already. However, if you are looking at VERY expensive luxury properties or simply want to know how to book hotels for less but are afraid of the element of surprise, this hack may help.
Remember, this isn’t a sure thing. But, if you try it, and it works, come back and tell me!
Want to save this how-to for your next trip? Pin it to your travel board!