I was just talking with a friend who was telling me what a great rate they got for a weekend in Seattle. Big Cities can be expensive and using a 3rd party site can be a great way to save for the city stay or a last minute trip.
In order to do so you have to have a more open mind. So if you have no preference on hotel brand, room choice to include type of bed or size of room, this option works great. If you just need a room at a nice hotel you can easily save using other options. I use this option If I am traveling without the family or perhaps just with the wife or some friends. No need for a larger suite or room for the kids. And don’t be scared because it doesn’t mean you are going to get some crappy room or need to settle. I have received great rooms and service and would have never known I used a 3rd party booking site. So all that being said here are my favorites.
Hotwire- I have used this several times and written many posts about it. You pick the city, neighborhood and number of stars. Hotwire gives you a list of hotels plus the amenities and price. You pay, then find out what hotel you got. Hotwire can be used for last minute or in advance. I combine my research with betterbidding.com to try and figure out exactly which hotel I am getting before I buy. I have never had a bad experience using hotwire. In many cases you can actually guarantee what type of bed choice for a few more bucks too.
Hotel Tonight- Great phone app where you book hotels for tonight or up to 7 days in advance. They tell you what hotel and price ahead of time. You can use my code: RFOJTIK to get $25 off your first booking. Once you book your first then get a referral code to share. I would then share that code with a spouse who signs up and use it to book your next stay with $25 off. So you can save $50 off to hotel stays.
Travel Pony-Social media based site. You share your savings on Facebook and twitter. You get the hotel and price. They will tell you what percentage you are saving (probably percentage off “rack rate”).
CLICK HERE and get $35 off any booking of at least $200 before tax.
Lots of other choices too. those just happen to be my go to sites. I have also used Expedia, Hotels.com (booking 10 nights=1 free night), and Priceline. Happy hunting!