I am in love with an app! I guess it is 2015 and our lives are reliant on such things now. That is surely the case when it comes to travelling. We have often stopped and looked at each other, in the midst of getting lost (even with GPS) and said – “How did people travel before???!”
Back to the point.
The best part of Hotwire is the hot rate deals – you book a hotel not knowing what it is called, only the rough location. And for this somewhat risky booking you save a tonne of money.
The best hotels don’t want to advertise rock bottom prices and have their name attached to it. It is like lucky dip, but I will explain how you can be smart and have a good chance at booking the best one, even without the name of the hotel given upfront.
Hotwire came into my life when in San Francisco. I somehow found hotwire through Google searching and thought YES.
The Hotwire hot rate deals mean you get the best hotels in town, but for GREAT prices, ridiculously good prices.
I won’t say cheap, because I wouldn’t wish cheap upon any of you lovely readers (almost tempted to write a smiley face there but that’s just not professional) but to put it into perspective, we stayed at a luxurious Westin right on the main square with the wonderfully famous San Francisco tram stop right outside the lobby entrance. It was very very flash and stunning. It is important where you stay. First impressions last with cities.
Ok, now the advice begins. With this ever so brilliant app you must still be a bit savvy. The parking hurt a little bit that stay because it was right in the best location in the bustling city. Being a 4 or 5 star hotel it does usually have hefty parking prices. Make sure you are willing to pay for it on top of the hotel price. If the hotel is a bit out of the way, which often they are for the top rated hot rate deals, then it is usually free with lots of parking space.
That brings me to my next point.
Hotwire is especially great if you have a car.
During our road trip Coast to Coast of the U.S. last year, we were able to stay in very fine accommodation, luxury living at normal prices because it wasn’t right in the centre of town. Which works better when you have a car anyway. Most hotels right in the middle of the action either don’t have parking or hike the prices right up.
In Washington DC we stayed at a very luxe place and were not bothered that it was out of the city a considerable amount. We were happy to drive in and park with a good parking app (that’s for another review) so in effect, this is the Hotwire experience I have come to know and appreciate.
I might record a video of this soon for your viewing pleasure because let’s face it technology is still a bit fiddly.
This is what has worked:
1. I open Hotwire app on my phone. I select all the relevant details and it takes me to the options to filter and sort further to my liking.
2. I immediately sort it by price Low – High. The later you make your booking the better the price I have found. So evening booking for that night are even better prices. I guess the hotels are in panic mode to fill the rooms.
3. I don’t sort it by recommendation/reviews/popularity but I keep this in mind as it is extremely important. If it is still gathering reviews, no, if it is less than 50 or 60 percent recommend? No. I go for good recommendation and then also check the written reviews because people are kind enough to steer you right. These people are what makes the world go round. This is highly important because the only time I have had to change a booking – which they made an exception for (as it is strictly no refunds due to the nature of not knowing where you are booking for until you have paid) is when we booked a hotel with no reviews. I then went to another site, after feeling uncertain and saw hundreds of bad reviews so immediately contacted them with my distress. As I say, you still have to be savvy!
4. Keep in mind that that price is not the final price. Hotwire adds their fee on and they do deserve this fee so don’t hold it against them. They just got you a night at the Hilton for 70 odd pounds! On other sites it says over 200 pounds!! Another Hotwire wonderful win.
5. I will keep it to 5 steps. Most importantly, make sure the recommendations are good in star rating and hopefully in written reviews too and that the price suits your budget (the final price after their fee) have a look through the amenities and tick those off too. Quite often if they don’t have free breakfast it is a good thing! All of the fancy places don’t – you can always sip a good coffee, enjoy a fresh croissant at a reasonable price in the very lovely restaurant area. Then have a bigger lunch later.
If you have any questions feel free to ask. I just may be able to help from experience.
Make sure to give your own Hotwire hotel review. Hotwire will email you for one after your stay. Pass on the kindness to other weary travellers.
All the best!