With all of the hotel websites out there, it’s hard to know where to look to find the best deals.
Booking.com is great for comprehensive searches, but I find that the best individual deals are often on Priceline and Hotwire. Both of these websites have mystery deals which can knock hundreds of dollars off of hotel rates.
Mystery Deals sound too good to be true, but they’re not
The gist of these mystery deals is that you don’t know where you’re staying until you actually book the hotel. You’ll have a list of potential hotels for a certain deal, but they won’t actually explicitly tell you where you’re staying until you fork over the cash.
While this may initially sound sketchy, there’s a clear workaround. At least on Hotwire, the number of TripAdvisor ratings for the mystery hotel will be posted. This allows you to do some research. You can know with almost 100% certainty which hotel you’re getting with a quick google search.
For example, take a look at this deal for a hotel in Seattle from May 2nd-5th:
Figuring out the Hot Rate Hotel
I know the hotel is guaranteed to be one of the four shown and that it has a four-star rating on TripAdvisor. Right away, this leads me to eliminate The Maxwell and the Silver Cloud Inn, because they’re rated 4.5/5.
I also know the mystery hotel has between 1-100 ratings on TripAdvisor. So, I do a quick search for both the Marqueen and the EVEN Hotel Seattle.
It’s now clear that the hot rate deal is for the Even Hotel Seattle. Now, I compare the Hotwire rate to the rate on the hotel’s website:
Using this quick trick nearly saved $100 on a three-night booking alone. Since this hotel is also in a prime location, it’s also competitive with Airbnb prices in the area. So, checking Hotwire and Priceline is a wise thing to do the next time you search for a hotel.