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 personalised hotel booking service which 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 credit & gift. At the Dorchester Collection, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 credit. At Edition hotels by Marriott, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 credit. At Jumeirah hotels, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 credit & gift. At Grand Hyatt hotels we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 credit & gift. At Hyatt: unbound collection we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 credit & gift. At Hyatt Andaz, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 credit & gift. At Langham hotels, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 credit. At Mandarin Oriental, we offer fan club benefits which include free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 credit. At Marriott North America & Caribbean resorts, we offer free room upgrade. At Park Hyatt, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 credit & gift. At Relais & Chateaux, we offer room upgrade, free welcome gifts and more. At Ritz Carlton, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 credit & gift. At Six Senses we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 credit & gift. At Starwood (Sheraton) a luxury collection we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 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 credit & gift. At Viceroy hotels & resorts you get free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 credit. At Waldorf Astoria, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade, $100 credit & gift. At W-hotels by Marriott, we offer free breakfast, room upgrade & $100 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 for luxury hotels that are 5 star. If you want to book a 4 star or less, we offer cash back but no benefits.
Club1Hotels are a relatively unknown Luxury Hotel Club based in Chicago. They tend to offer the very cheapest way to book 4, 4.5 and 5-star hotels. You should certainly always check rates with Club1Hotels before finally making your final booking. They don’t offer benefits but they do offer a great price and are a useful sounding board to work out whether you have secured the best price for your hotel.
Here is an example of the savings that you can make with Club1Hotels over other travel websites:
6 nights 23-29 Dec at Rafayel On Left Bank London is $808.04 on Club1Hotels.
The same stay on the same rates for the same room and rate is $1,039 on Booking.com.
6 nights 23-29 Dec at Bellagio Las Vegas is 1105.51 on Club1Hotels.
The same stay on the same rates for the same room and rate is $1,597.19 on Booking.com.
They also have an interesting Best Rate Guarantee. They say they will guarantee you’ll get the best price per night, by a margin of at least $20 on four-star hotels and $25 per night on five-star hotels, if you find a better refundable or non-refundable rate before booking. Simply send it to email@example.com and they’ll beat it by $20 or $25 per night.
Pick up your FREE Club1Hotels membership and always include it in your arsenal of places to go to compare hotel prices before finally making your booking.
Pros & Cons
Pros: FREE membership.
Their inventory includes pretty much every 4 and 5-star hotel in the world and particularly for refundable rates, they tend to be significantly cheaper.
Cons: Fees are added on the last page which can make searching for rates confusing. For non-refundable rates, they are often the cheapest and but sometimes not, so make sure you shop around and take advantage of their Best Rate Guarantee to ensure that you get the very best price.
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 from 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.
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. It’s easy interface means that searching for a property is quick and effortless. From cosy 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 AND Club1hotels 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 offers some of the lowest rates making it an 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 travelling. Up against Expedia, Hotwire and Hotels.com, Priceline is one the best in terms of finding the most accommodation in city centres.
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 centre, 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 neighbourhood 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 enjoying earning points may seem like something worthwhile. You get 1 point for every £1 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 back, so £700 spent on a hotel gets just £5 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.
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.