Hotwire is a major website and app for discount hotels, cruises, rental cars, vacation packages. They have partnerships with hotels in virtually every country on earth.
So What Is Hotwire?
Hotwire is basically a website that will allow you to book 4 star hotels at 2 star prices.
Hotels often have a lot of unsold inventory, meaning most of the rooms aren’t even occupied. They make zero dollars on an unsold room. So hotels use Hotwire to sell blocks of unsold rooms. The only catch is, you don’t know exactly what room or hotel you are even booking. The only thing you know is the area, the amenities included, and the rating of the hotel. You find out the name and address of the hotel once your booking and payment is confirmed.
There is one hack you can use to see what hotel you will get and I’ll share the details later in this blog.
The website and app are both easy to use even with all the search options available to you. You can:
– Select whether you are searching for a hotel, flights, cars, cruises
– Search for bundle deals (flight + hotel, flight + hotel + car, flight + car, hotel + car).
– Sort your hotel search by price, rating, stars.
– Advanced filter options such as areas, amenities, star rating, recommendations.
– With flight searches, you can filter the options by choosing how many stops you wish to have… Or not have. Which airline you prefer, and departure times.
(The Hotwire site is similar to Expedia as it is one of Expedia’s subsidiaries.)
Once you have found a listing you like, just go through their safe payment system. You’ll receive an email to confirm your booking and it will let you know the hotel name and details.
When scrolling through the listings, you’ll see the percentage of guests who recommend the hotel. If you can, I would avoid anything less than 80% on Hotwire. I prefer my hotels to be 90% or higher for the recommendation rating.
You can also rate the stay out of 5 based on your satisfaction, hotel condition, service, comfort, cleanliness, and location.
In regard to flights, you can rate them out of 10. I try and go for flights with an 8 or above rating.
Hotels: Hotwire is probably the cheapest site to find 4-5 star hotels which makes it a good option for those who prefer nice accommodation without paying top dollar.
For solo travelers on a budget, Hotwire does list some 1-2 star places which may be better for your price range. Whichever price you’re after, it’s easy to find with the ‘sort by price’ feature. Otherwise the Airbnb ‘private room’ or ‘shared room’ options might be another option as well as Hostelworld.
I have had the chance to stay in 4 and 5 star hotels that I would never have stayed at otherwise because of the price. On Expedia or the hotel’s website you might see $350 a night, whereas on Hotwire you might see the same place for $170/night. You really can grab yourself some ridiculous deals here.
Tips & Tricks
– Okay, so the hack to finding out which hotel you will be booking is by narrowing down your search to a specific area and then using another website to match the hotel. If it’s a 3-star hotel listed, find all the 3-star hotels in that specific area. You then match up all the amenities and it should narrow your options to one hotel.
– When looking on Hotwire, choose hotels with free internet and breakfast included if you can. Daily internet fees add up, as does needing to buy breakfast every morning of your stay.
– Also a $5, $10, $20 tip to the front desk staff checking you in can go a long way. Nobody ever tips them even though they have the most power for upgrading you. I have literally gone from a regular room to a penthouse suite from tipping the front desk during check in.
Don’t be that guy that says, “Hey, I gave you a tip… Now what room can I have.” Sometimes they don’t have anything available and other times they just can’t do it. I would say 70% of the time I’ve had an upgrade of some sort and they look out for you during your stay too. If they usually charge for internet, they will give you the access codes for free etc. Here’s the Golden rule though… Just be cool and don’t expect the world.
What If Something Goes Wrong?
I personally haven’t run into many problems with Hotwire. If there is an issue with the hotel, you can ask Hotwire to call them and sort out the issue (if it was something to do with the booking). Their customer service is top-notch and will respond quickly.
– Some of the best hotel prices you will find on the internet.
– Perfect for last minute bookings.
– Simple booking process and easy to use.
– Easily find accommodation worldwide.
– Good customer service.
– Great for short-term stays.
– Freebies such as free internet and breakfast.
– Half the price of regular rates or even more at times
– You don’t know the exact hotel you will be staying at.
– You can’t see any photos of the room.
– You feel bad for the suckers in the same hotel who are paying full price.
Hotwire has deals you just can’t say no to! It’s the best choice for last minute bookings or for people who just want the best prices versus earning points for rewards programs. Definitely add it to your list of sites to check out when looking for accommodation.