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A Heads Up On Hotwire "Hot Rate Fees

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I happened to notice that Hotwire seems to have greatly increased their fees for booking "Hot Rate" hotels.

 

The result is that their advertised per night rates can be minimally beneficial to more expensive than competing sites.

 

An example: Teton Village from 1/18/16 until 1/22/16 on Hotwire "Hot Rate" for a 4.5 star hotel, boutique, slopeside (so the hotel is either Teton Mountain Lodge or Hotel Terra) quoted rate: $236/night. However upon making it to check out the total is $1,571, not including the resort fee, for a total of $314 a night.

 

Checking the same dates on Trivago, and choosing Hotel Terra I was routed to Priceline and given this amount: 

In other words, the Priceline choice, where you know you are getting Hotel Terra for sure is a 3.4% discount to Hotwire's rate! Not a huge difference overall, but I certainly have soured to Hotwire's rates. I booked through Hotwire last year and did not see anything like this. Anecdotally I have noticed that the fees Hotwire charges seem to change, but I don't have visual proof of this.

 

I hope this is helpful as the flakes start flying and people are searching for deals.

post #2 of 9

I noticed this too.  I'm done with Hotwire.

 

On another note, I've noticed that over the years, the $$$ spread between these opaque room discounters and the transparent sites has shrunk.  Also, its getting harder and harder to get a decent room.  Before, I could count on a decent room in a 3-star hotel.  Now it seems that even despite ratings looking okay, you're getting a room in a tired, less than clean hotel.

 

There's still some deals out there for sure, but they're getting harder to find.

post #3 of 9

Same here.  A few years ago, I started comparing the price I got with Hotwire with what I could've gotten direct.  Usually could do about the same reserving direct, with the flexibility of canceling if plans changed.  Or do better then HotWire if I pre-paid a non-refundable rate.  The other problem is that there is no way to specify the number of beds, only the number of people.  So if have 2 people but want two beds then can easily end up with 1 bed unless put down "3" as the number of people.

 

Have friends who like Hotels.com.

post #4 of 9
I use hotels.com. You get a free night after every 10 stays equal to the average price you paid for the 10 rooms. I stay at the same hotels for work quite a bit so I know the prices. They do vary.

However, last year, I booked the Peruvian at Alta for less than I could book it direct.

I have been impressed with the hotels.com service. I would still compare prices but the free night makes it worthwhile if prices are the same.
post #5 of 9

I forgot Hotwire existed.

 

I like Hotels.com and Booking.com. I didn't even know Hotels offered the free night deal, but I like that they have a ton of properties that are "book now, pay on arrival/checkout." Maybe other sites have this now, too, but I've found Hotels and Booking to be very good, so usually just book one or the other or cross-check the two. 

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Same here.  A few years ago, I started comparing the price I got with Hotwire with what I could've gotten direct.  Usually could do about the same reserving direct, with the flexibility of canceling if plans changed.  Or do better then HotWire if I pre-paid a non-refundable rate.  The other problem is that there is no way to specify the number of beds, only the number of people.  So if have 2 people but want two beds then can easily end up with 1 bed unless put down "3" as the number of people.

 

Have friends who like Hotels.com.


Wow, Hotwire does sound outdated. I'd definitely recommend a try on Hotels or Booking.com. They usually have several options per property (e.g. king, two queens or whatever), and I've almost always found a "reserve now, pay later" option for my destination - sometimes it's the only option at a property, sometimes it involves a reasonable premium vs the "pay now" price. 

 

Not sure how their ski property selection compares because I use it mostly for other destinations, but worth checking for anyone unhappy with Hotwire and others. 

post #7 of 9
Hotwire's fees have gone up and are higher than pricelines.

But you can still get some good deals and at least it does show you the full rate + fee's before you book.
I usually use Priceline, but I used Hotwire in DC last weekend, because my wife wanted to stay in the George.

If you use Better Biddings Hotel list and the Hotwire reviews, you can narrow down the Hotels.
http://www.betterbidding.com/index.php?app=hotel_lists&tid=91

I knew from the review it was a Kimpton, because someone mentioned free bikes. We ended up at the Hotel Monaco, another Kimpton, for under $100/night.
Then we used our Kimpton Karma Rewards cards. They upgraded us to a deluxe room and give us a $10 bar credit, in addition to the free happy hour everyday.


The opaque sites aren't that competitive way in advance, but none of the other booking venues could touch that rate last minute.
Edited by SHREDHEAD - 11/10/15 at 8:21am
post #8 of 9

Yeah, last minute is quite different.

 

For one trip to SLC, one of my housemates who liked to do backcountry used Hotwire to book a 2WD car at the very last minute.  He booked the car after he arrived at the SLC airport.  It was really cheap, $20/day maybe.  He used to do long weekends around SLC several times a season flying from DC on Southwest before he moved to the PacNW.  Learned a lot from how he did travel on the cheap.  Also got introduced to Honeycomb Canyon that trip.

post #9 of 9

I use Priceline quite a bit.  No experience with hotwire.  I used to try the bidding thing on priceline, but lately just go straight to express deals as that seems to offer close to the best price the bidding defaults to anyway without the gamesmanship.  Funny, I’ve had an opposite experience with last minute attempts on priceline.  I seem to get a better deal when I purchase a room about one to two weeks out.  The night before or day of I seem to get a less favorable deal.  The thing about bidding or using express deal on priceline is you have to be willing to accept any bed arrangement they stick you with;  that is, when the buy is completed you might be assigned a room with only one king bed even if you’d prefer one with two queen beds or vice versa.  Although I have had pretty good luck getting switches on that once I physically show up at the motel.  I took an eight day trip in September where I drove to SLC and then flew home to DC.  The cheapest motel I stayed in during the whole trip was a nice Sheraton in downtown SLC that I got for $73 per night off Priceline express about a week before the trip.  Stayed there four nights.

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