Monday, August 29, 2011

Bidding Goggles

If you have ever bought a hotel you should be pretty familiar with the how the system goes, but I will explain it for everyone else.

As ad's mention when hotels have unsold rooms they give them to Hotwire to liquidate at reduced prices.

So 4 star hotels in New Orleans for 2 star prices.

But where is the Catch? If everyone knew that great hotels would drop their prices in half weeks before a check-in the entire supply-demand principal would collapse.

So yes there is a catch....

Below I have shown some of the zones that hotwire uses in New Orleans. You are given the choice of a hotel in La Place, New Orleans East, Airport Area, Downtown / French Quarter and last Harvey. Assuming you are a tourist you would like to probably stay in the French Quarter, but the French Quarter, Business District, and the Garden Distric are all in one zone. (Some cities are better zoned).

Once you have chosen a location they will make 2 or 3 offers for either a 3 star, 4 star or 5 star hotel with a higher price as you work up to the 5 star level. They will tell you just a couple of key facts about your hotel such as if it has a restaurant, gym, pool or laundry service to name a few and sometimes they will tell you if the hotel has a high approval rating on (one of my favorite websites for all travel needs.

That's it, a 2 - 4 sq mile proximity, hotel class, and a few amenities. Once you have given them your money and agreed to the price they will reveal your hotel to you.

Hotwire is a good way to save 20-50% on hotels prices on any other website. I recently used them multiple times in Paris because due to conventions the city was really booked and rooms were very limited driving prices of a 3 star hotels to ~ $300 a night. Using hotwire I was able to go up a category (4 star) and save some money as well, have a safe, nice, clean upscale hotel room.

Although I like hotwire, sometimes not all hotels are created equal, It would be really nice to know what hotel I was agreeing to before they took my money. You could get the hotel on the far side of town away from everything that just got downgraded to a 3 star ect... so I came across a great website that fixes that for you.

By going to this website and launching their application, it will open along with a decoder screen. Put in the City, Dates, and Star Level, then Hotwire will provide a "nameless" 4 star hotel with certain amenities (pool, gym ect.) put that data into and they will give you a short list of hotels (hopefully 1 ) that meat that criteria. Once you have the short list go to compare the "tripadvisor rating" from hotwire and to see if you can find a match. If you like the hotel BOOK IT. This is a great way to get great rooms for a lot cheaper then anywhere on the net.