I have long been a fan of Hotwire. If you aren’t familiar, Hotwire doesn’t show you the name of the hotel until after you have booked an paid for it. For many, this is too much to handle. For me, I think it is kind of fun. Much of the anxiety can be eliminated with a little research before you book. Here is how to find out which hotel you are booking from Hotwire ahead of time.
1. Check www.betterbidding.com and see the Hotwire hotel list for the area you are visiting. This isn’t comprehensive, but if you can match the amenities and star rating in the same area, you have likely found your hotel.
2. On the Hotwire details page, you will sometimes see a Trip Advisor rating. If so, check www.tripadvisor.com for hotels with the same rating in the area. This can also be used to confirm your suspicions from better bidding. Another thing I will do with Trip Advisor is search “Hotel Name City Hotwire” i.e. “Marriott Cincinnati Hotwire”. Oftentimes in the traveler reviews, people will mention that they bought it on Hotwire. This simply lets you know that the hotel does have a relationship with Hotwire, because not everyone does.
3. Finally, www.hotels.com has a handy map search view which can be useful in your Hotwire quest. Search the same area, and switch over to Map View at the top by clicking on the “Show Map” button in the upper right corner. You can filter by star ratings and amenities, so just filter to find places with the same star rating and some of the obvious amenities like a pool.
This is yet another way to find out which hotel the Hotwire is referring to. If you have matched all 3 steps above, it is nearly fool proof. Even if you haven’t, you can almost always narrow it down to a couple. If they both suit you fine; book ’em.
If you are a super picky person, don’t use Hotwire. But if you like to save money and are pretty easy to please, Hotwire is a great way to stay at a place like the Hilton for the price of a La Quinta.