For some people, booking a hotel can be a long and exhausting process. For others, it’s just paying for a room to sleep in while you’re out of town. Nobody wants to stay in a dump, nor do they want to pay too much. That’s why Hotwire has a really changed the game when booking a hotel room. The following is my personal Hotwire Review along with some hotel booking tips to ensure you get the best deal
How Does Hotwire Work?
Instead of researching and comparing rooms between dozens of websites, looking stock photos that never look like the room you stay in or reading fake reviews online, you can bypass all of the hassles with simply selecting a list of things most important to your stay. With Hotwire, you are presented with a list of priorities and some basic information to fill out. Things like the area, amenities, star rating, and price. From there you pay for your room but you are not told the hotel name until after purchase…and it’s non-refundable or changeable.
What Are The Benefits?
The benefits of booking with Hotwire are simple, you can stay in a beautiful room for a fraction of the price.
The way Hotwire works is all hotels in the area that are the of star rating you have selected or higher, submit empty rooms into a draw. Once you make your purchase you are randomly drawn a room from the available rooms from the hotels in the area that meet your criteria. You never know the name of the hotel as that would not make it fair to hotels. From their hotel’s perspective, they want to fill an empty room and are willing to offer it at a fraction of the price but only if it’s done in a secret ballot type format.
What Specifics Can I Choose From?
The following are the types of criteria you can enter to help get the perfect room for you:
- Star Rating (including half stars)
- 25 Different Amenities: Free Internet, Free Breakfast, Free Parking, etc
- Area (Specific Location)
- Recommended Rating
- Trip Advisor Rating
I have never had a problem with Hotwire. I live in Vancouver BC and have booked many trips using their website. I think 9 out of the 10 times we booked a room we saw huge savings and got to stay in few beautiful hotels well out of our price range (we’re cheap). Just last year my wife and I planned a last minute trip to Seattle to see a Seahawks game (Week 8 Texans vs. Seahawks.) We almost didn’t go as finding affordable tickets to the game was more difficult than I had expected. Finally, late Saturday night we found a deal on seats and after a couple late night beverages while preparing for the trip, we decided to book a room for Sunday night as a mini vacation away from the kids.
We ended up getting the Arctic Club in Seattle. I think we saved almost $80 off the regular room rate. I had stayed in the Arctic Club once before for business back in 2010 and was excited to go back.
While we’ve only ever used Hotwire for booking hotel rooms, they do offer a wide range of other options including cars rentals, flights even full on vacations.
I’ll admit booking a trip using Hotwire isn’t for everyone. It’s luck of the draw. You’ll never get a room less than the star rating you checked off when entering the basic criteria and should always save on the cost.
Hotwire Booking Tips
- Be Easy Going: Hotwire is not for everyone, so try to have fun with the idea of staying somewhere you might not have normally picked. As long as the star rating is what you want, you should have a good time and save money in the process.
- Be Specific With The Area: When entering the details at Hotwire, get specific with the location. With a little research, you can find where all the 4 and 5-star hotels are located in the city you want to stay. This gives you a slight advantage knowing what hotels will be in your Hotwire random draw after you buy your room. Remember to double check the dates, the number of rooms and the number of people. Hotwire bookings are non-refundable.
- Don’t Book Too Early: Hotels are willing to offer a great deal because they would rather make some money on an empty room than no money at all. However, a Hotel chain will wait it out as long as possible. My wife and I got an awesome deal on our trip as we booked our room literally 15 hours before you could check in. I know that’s not possible for everyone, but I don’t think you really need to rush with your booking.
- Bump The Star Rating: If you’re booking last minute, up the star rating slightly, even by half a star. You’re going to get a discount so might as well get a great room. You never know, you could get a 5-star room for a 4-star price. Of course, if you’re looking to save money, skip this step and enjoy the discount on a quality room.
- How to Cheap: Select Amenities That Match Your Favorite: If you are using Hotwire because you want to save money and have done the research for the area, you may have found a favorite you hope you get. The easiest way to rig the contest is select all the features that your favorite hotel has, and the others don’t. Something as simple as “Free Internet” could be the difference in getting the hotel you want.
- Remember To Factor in Extra Costs Like Parking: Every hotel is a little different, some provide a discount where others include free parking. Parking can be expensive if you’re staying for more than a few days, so remember to factor that into the cost of your overall trip.
- Rely on the Recommendation Rating: If you’re nervous about booking, the best thing you can do is click on the recommendation rating and check off 80% and 90% rooms as apart of your criteria. This guarantees you’ll get a great place based off of previous reviews.