Where Can You Find the Cheapest Hotels?

Where Can You Find the Cheapest Hotels?

Finding cheap hotels is easy using the Internet. There are plenty of websites advertising cheap hotel rates and package deals. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is poring over hundreds of hotel deals and gimmicky websites to find a good deal.

We’re going to talk about a few of the most popular discount hotel websites and test them by looking for the same hotel stay on different sites. For this article, we’re booking a weekend hotel in Boston in March.

Priceline

These guys are known for having goofy commercials and offering good package deals — flight + rental car or flight + hotel or some combo of all three. The thing is — you don’t have to book a flight to get a cheap hotel deal. Use their simple website interface to search for a hotel deal in a specific city or near a specific airport. As an added bonus, Priceline promises no change or cancel fees on their “published rate” hotels, meaning it is possible to book a discounted hotel room that won’t bite you in the butt if you need to change your plans.

The deal we found — $89 per night at the Courtyard by Marriott.

Discount Hotels

DiscountHotels.com is a misnomer — this site doesn’t just offer discounts on hotels, but on flights, car rentals, cruises, vacations, and surprisingly wide array of other things too. I had never heard or dealt with this website before, so I called customer service to get an idea of how the site works. Seems to be very similar to other discount sites (big shock there) in that plenty of restrictions apply to your rate, so before you get amazed by the Boston hotel deal we found, understand that it may not be the most convenient way to find a cheap hotel.

The deal we found — $79 per night at an unnamed Back Bay hotel, though the site claims it will be much nicer than the Courtyard by Marriott that we found through Priceline.

Hotwire

Hotwire.com may have the prettiest site of all three we’re looking at, but that has no bearing on the kinds of deals available there. I was shocked by the high prices on similar hotels compared to their competition. It is possible that Hotwire offers better package deals than the other sites, but their “discount” rates for top hotels are all rate and no discount. That’s really the story with Hotwire — pretty website, well known for solid customer service, but featuring hotel rates that just don’t cut the mustard.

The “deal” we found — $109 per night at the same Courtyard by Marriott that Priceline offered us at $89.

Just looking at the variety of prices we found at the above three discount hotel providers, you can tell that the market is pretty wide open. Unlike discounted flights which pretty much run the same price at all the different discount sites, hotel rates seem pretty mutable. If you’re looking for a cheap hotel (and have a few weeks to plan) you should definitely search a number of websites before deciding on a rate.

This is part of a series of blog posts we’re publishing about where to find cheap deals. The other posts in this series include: