Many travel agencies and hotel booking websites operate on the same business model. You check off your preferences and filter out the ones you don’t want based on price, amenities, location and the reviews of the hotel you are looking at. You may even Google the name of hotel to see where it is on the map and to see for yourself if it is a place you want to stay in. This is where Hotwire differs.
In a way it is very similar to other OTAs in the sense that it is a discount travel website which offers competitive prices on airfare, hotels, rentals and even vacation packages. It was launched in 2000 and decided to go down a different route. Their method of operation works in selling unsold rentals, flights and hotels given by travel companies. As Hotwire does not want to directly compete with the regular retails sales of their travel partners, they keep the name of the hotel a mystery until the transaction has been completed and payments have been made.
This particular type of sales model is known as ‘opaque’. This strategy is quite smart in the sense that they are able to clear out their inventory that would otherwise not be sold. All prices and travel dates are revealed upfront and they do not believe in an ‘auction’ or bidding operation model.
Many people wonder why bother with booking with Hotwire. Well, it offers a low price guarantee and with no hotwire cancellation fee as compared with other OTAs, it definitely sounds like an attractive option. We all love to save money, that’s no secret. But many of us take comfort in the fact of knowing which hotel we will be staying in before making a final payment. There is a way to predict your Hotwire mystery hotel in advance.
Every city is broken down into different geographical locations by Hotwire. Select more areas than just one in which you would be comfortable in staying during your trip. This will give you the chance of having ore options to compare both price and location. By trying out this method, it is possible to get a better idea on what hotel you may get but with Hotwire, you cannot know with certainty on which one. You are able to narrow down your choices with this information.
Pay attention to the Hotwire rating and don’t go below a 3 star rating. Sort from a low – high price to get accurate results. Narrow your search by using filters such as pet friendly hotels, free wifi etc. Using this information provided by Hotwire, you can now have a selection of hotels that you would be comfortable staying in. For example, you could choose a 4 star hotel in the location of your choice after all filters have been applied and if you notice that it offers a complimentary breakfast, toiletries etc, you may have just saved yourself a good amount.
One tip would be to stay away from hotels that have a Hotwire rating of less than 70% because that would be just asking for trouble. Now, you use another website betterBidding.com where many Hotwire hotel names have been revealed. Also using TripAdvisor in conjunction with your search will help you narrow down the hotel names and by using the TripAdvisor score which is usually displayed on Hotwire deals, you can get a better idea in which hotel you may end up. But all in all, if this seems like too much, just sit back, relax and take it as it comes. You definitely will get a good deal.