We all want a bargain, but which are the best hotel booking sites online? Which ones will get you discounts, extra valuable benefits such as free breakfasts and room upgrades. Which will give you the best deal with the cheapest room rates, so that you can book your hotel for the best possible price?
I have selected the top ten best hotel booking websites to ensure you get a great deal on your next trip away.
Luxury Travel Concierge
Luxury Travel Concierge is a brilliant free personalized hotel booking service that offers incredible benefits rather than discounts at luxury five-star hotels. These benefits include free upgrades, free breakfasts, deals, gifts, and resort spend on luxury hotel stays.
The hotel prices are the same as you would find on the hotel website direct so you have nothing to lose by booking via this concierge service and everything to gain.
Taking Four Seasons Hotels as an example. You will pay the same price and get the same offers as you will find on the Four Seasons website at any time, but you will ALSO benefit from the following free perks at pretty much every Four Seasons Hotel:
- Breakfast for two people per bedroom
- Food and beverage credit of USD100 per stay
- Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (this usually excludes suites)
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary basic Internet in all guest rooms
- Complimentary welcome gift
The nice thing about this concierge is that you can request a quote for free, so it is always worth contacting this luxury travel concierge to get a quote before you finally book your hotel stay.
It is not just Four Season hotels where we offer free benefits. We offer benefits at pretty much every luxury hotel chain in the world.
At Aman hotels & resorts we offer free breakfast, a room upgrade & gift. At Belmond hotels, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade & resort credit. At Bulgari hotels, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit & gift. At the Dorchester Collection, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit. At Edition hotels by Marriott, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit. At Jumeirah hotels, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit & gift. At Grand Hyatt hotels we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit & gift. At Hyatt: unbound collection we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit & gift. At Hyatt Andaz, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit & gift. At Langham hotels, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit. At Mandarin Oriental, we offer fan club benefits which include free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit. At Marriott North America & Caribbean resorts, we offer a free room upgrade. At Park Hyatt, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit & gift. At Relais & Chateaux, we offer room upgrade, free welcome gifts, and more. At Ritz Carlton, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit & gift. At Six Senses we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit & gift. At Starwood (Sheraton) a luxury collection we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit & gift. At St. Regis hotels we offer free breakfast, room upgrade. We also offer benefits at JW Marriott, Fairmont hotels & resorts. Raffles hotels, Leading Hotels of the World, Peninsula hotels where you get free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit & gift. At Viceroy hotels & resorts you get free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit. At Waldorf Astoria, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 USD credit & gift. At W-hotels by Marriott, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade & $100 USD credit. Finally, we offer benefits at Trump hotels, Rosewood, Rocco Forte Hotels, and Anantara hotels.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Free quotes and an impressive professional, personal response. Hundreds of dollars worth of free benefits.
Cons: The personal touch means that you can’t book online and instead have to book via a real person. This can be inconvenient if you are in a hurry. Also, these benefits are only relevant to luxury hotels that are 5-star. If you want to book a 4 star or less, we offer cashback but no benefits.
Luxury Travel Diary Travel Auctions
You simply will not beat the prices of the luxury travel auctions. Usually stays sell for 30-60% of their actual price. If you bag a stay at the 30% end you will have one of the best bargains on the internet!
The concept for these auctions is pretty simple. The website, Luxury Travel Diary, has a close relationship with each of the hotels that they feature, and they auction rooms at these hotels with NO RESERVE!
This means that you can pick up an absolute steal. With 100 items to choose from, there are plenty of choices. The only issue with these auctions is that there is not always a stay in the destination you are planning to travel to, so whilst they are undoubtedly a bargain, you will need to keep a constant eye on them to spot the stays in your planned destination of travel, as and when they get loaded in.
One way to keep on top of what is available with minimal effort is to signup for their email newsletter which will keep you up to date with their latest auctions just before they end.
Pros & Cons
Pros: They call themselves the best-kept secret in luxury travel and you won’t beat the prices that these auction stays sell for.
Cons: There are only around 100 items live at any one time, so there will not always be a stay in the destination that you want to travel to. If you join their newsletter at the bottom of their auction pages, you will be kept up to date with the latest auction items just before they end.
Trivago is a hotel aggregator with an easy to use interface comparing hotel prices from lots of different websites. The problem with trivago is that the array of websites that it selects hotel prices does not include every hotel website on the internet. It also does not take into account offers such as extra loyalty points or cash back, even though it claims draw prices from 250 websites.
The bottom line, it is not always cheaper. Yes, a lot of people use trivago as it is so heavily advertised, but their algorithms do not always bring up the cheapest hotel price. Perhaps they should spend less on their (rather annoying) adverts and more on the tech behind their engine to ensure that their prices actually are the best.
That said, they are good to use as a comparison and to get a general idea of what price you should be paying. It is then wise to shop around on the websites above to be sure to get the best price.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Easy to use.
Cons: Often the prices are not always the best.
Booking.com is one of the best and most well-known sites to search for properties. Its easy interface means that searching for a property is quick and effortless. From cozy cottages to downtown studios, the choices are endless. Santorini to New York, Booking.com will have you covered.
Booking.com often comes in cheaper than other hotel websites so should always be checked, but this is not always the case, so once again, maybe sure you check booking.com, trivago before you finally make your booking, just to be sure that you are getting the best price.
One nice thing about booking.com is that their search engine displays rooms and properties that include taxes, which means an honest booking and no hidden costs.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Loads of properties, plenty of filters to choose from to narrow down your search, and the website offer some of the lowest rates making it essential to check before finally booking.
Cons: Booking.com has no ‘near by’ filter
Similar to Hotwire, Priceline gives you the ability to proceed with a ‘blind booking’, meaning that you can save anywhere between 18-60% – you do not get the name of the hotel until after you have paid, only the knowledge of the location you’re staying in, and the star rating of the hotel.
This can be a spontaneous way of saving money, and also traveling. Up against Expedia, Hotwire, and Hotels.com, Priceline is one the best in terms of finding the most accommodation in city centers.
Priceline also offers the ability to search for cruises, whereas other sites only offer hotel and flight bundles.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Save between 18-60% with a blind booking, plenty of options to choose from if you are planning to stay in a city center, cruise search available.
Cons: No specified ‘accommodation’ type filters, average on the finding the lowest price. Often, you don’t know which hotel you are staying in!
Prices on the site are neither the best of the worst and overall the search engine can be quite mediocre in terms of the use of filters. However, you can save up to a huge 60% with Hotwire’s ‘Hot Rate’ service.
You can specify either a neighborhood or star rating when booking, but do not receive the name of the hotel that has been chosen for you until after you have paid. In comparison to Expedia, both sites have almost the same search results, but can occasionally differ.
Hotwire mainly caters toward city stays in the USA, so you may find some difficulty trying to search for a property internationally.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Blind bookings means that you are able to save up to 60%.
Cons: Restricted filters, which means less specified search.
HotelsCombined offers many filters specified on property type, for example, the hotel features, theme, and whether you would prefer a boutique or a chain. The site lacks any sort of filters that define the location you would like to stay in, with the main focus of the filters suited toward a property. This is great if you know the type of hotel you want to stay in, but a disadvantage if you want to clarify a location.
The layout of the website is easy to use, however prices from the third party site tend to be higher than what is displayed on HotelsCombined, which can be misleading and sometimes a time waste, especially if you want to get the best deal and are in the rush.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Occasionally finds lower prices direct from the hotel, competing prices are displayed for each property.
Cons: Costs of hotels can be misleading, the ability to eliminate hotels from a search has gone, lacks some specific location filters.
Mirroring the same search results as Travelocity.com and Orbtiz.com. Results remain average and Expedia doesn’t really find the best or the worst prices.
Expedia offers a loyalty scheme, which, for those of you who enjoy earning points may seem like something worthwhile. You get 1 point for every £1 GBP spent on hotels, for flight and hotel packages you receive 2 points, which can be exchanged for cashback. However, their rate is low which means you wouldn’t get much back. For example, 700 points would mean receiving £5 GBP back, so £700 GBP spent on a hotel gets just £5 GBP cashback which is hardly worth it.
Their reward scheme is split into tiers of being blue, silver, and gold, and you move through the status level depending on how much money you spend, and not the points that you’ve earned. Initially, you would have to spend more to receive more money off.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Rarely found the worst prices. Combined flight and hotel deals are sometimes better than other sites.
Cons: Loyalty scheme not worthwhile, can fail to find the lowest rate in comparison to other sites, you can only select one filter at a time.
Near Far Collection
Still in soft launch phase, the Near Far Collection offers a bunch of free benefits at some gorgeous independent hotels. These benefits are exclusive to the concierge and if you are planning a stay in any of these regions, you will not get a better deal at these hotels once the benefits have been taken into account.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Brilliant benefits at independent hotels
Cons: Soft launch means that the number of hotels listed is extremely limited.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Any auction prices listed correct at time of publication, but will be subject to change.
Disclosure: Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.