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Best Hotel Booking Sites Compared

Comparison of #hotel booking sites. @GetawayMavensWhen hotel booking sites first appeared on the web, they were a godsend. Suddenly, you could look up rates, availability, reviews AND book reservations all in one place. But now that online travel planning is a given, we expect more. The best travel sites not only offer the cheapest rates but also a plethora of usability features that can make all the difference to finding the perfect hotel for your trip. Which hotel booking site is best for travel planning? You decide. Then see hotel booking tips to get the most for your buck.

Most Popular Hotel Booking Sites in the US

With over thirty hotel booking sites, and new ones popping up all the time, let’s start with the ones that are most widely used according to Tnooz.com’s list of top ten travel sites in the U.S. as of February 2013.

Expedia Screenshot

1.) Expedia

What’s to like: Expedia searches draw on a database of 140,000 properties. Search filters include: price, hotels shown on map, area (airports, neighborhoods,) hotel name, star rating, most popular, accommodation type (Hotel, B&B, Apt., Condo, and All-Inclusive Resort,) and hotel preferences (WiFi, Pool, Breakfast, Newspaper, Airport Shuttle, Fitness Center, Business Center, Spa Services, Childcare, and specific accessibility options.)

Search results*: New York City – Same Day – 374 (out of an inventory of 515 properties) available, including Omni Berkshire Place, Midtown East – Grand Central, $279. Found in Daily Deal “A Sudden Amazing Price” Comfort Inn, Midtown West, $137. Advance Booking – 430 properties available, many offering free cancellation, including The Library Hotel in Midtown East, $440. Lake Placid – Same Day – 9 (out of an inventory of 21 properties) available, including High Peaks Resort, $139. Advance Booking – 15 (out of an inventory of 21 properties) available, including Mirror Lake Inn, $230.

Added value: Beautifully visual itineraries on mobile platforms provide live access to up-to-date travel data like airport maps, flight status, cruises, destination services, confirmation codes and addresses. Itinerary sharing available via email and SMS. Customer Support by phone 24/7.

Drawbacks: Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows Phone

Priceline.com screenshot

2.) Priceline

What’s to like: Priceline searches draw on a database of over 235,000 participating hotels.  Search filters include: price (customizable range,) hotels shown on map, area (city neighborhoods, airports, and nearby cities listed by distance,) star ratings, hotel amenities (WiFi, Pool, Free Breakfast, Free Airport Shuttle, Fitness Center, Business Center, Pets Allowed,) and hotels near (airports, colleges, golf courses, parks & monuments, and other landmarks.)

Search results*: New York City –Same Day – 383 hotels available, including Omni Berkshire Place, Midtown East – Grand Central, $279. Found in Express Deals: 5-Star Hotel in Times Square – Theatre District, $386. Advance Booking – 507 properties available, many offering free WiFi and free cancellation. Found: The Library Hotel in Midtown East, $439. Express Deal: 4-Star, Times Square – Theater District, $236. Lake Placid – Same Day – 52 hotels available, including High Peaks Resort, $139. Advance Booking – 64 hotels available, including Mirror Lake Inn, $245. Found in Express Deals: 4-Star Hotel $120.

Added value: Save up to 60% on hotels with Name Your Own Price® or book an Express Deal to save up to 45% without bidding. Customer Support by phone 24/7.

Drawbacks: Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Travelocity screenshot

3.) Travelocity

What’s to like: Online travel agency Travelocity searches draw on a database of over 17,000 hotels. Search filters include: price, hotels shown on map, area (airports, neighborhoods,) hotel name, star rating, review rating, hotel promotions, and amenities (WiFi, Pool, Free Breakfast, Fitness Center, Business Center, Convention Center, Dining, Laundry, Eco-Friendly, Executive Floor, Golf Course, Health Spa, Interior Corridors, Hot Tubs, Kids Activities, Kitchenette, Pets, Room Service, Tennis Courts, Wheelchair Accessible.Partner sites include LastMinute.com and IgoUgo.

Search results*: New York City -Same Day – 246 hotels available (out of 406 properties,) including Omni Berkshire Place, Midtown East – Grand Central, $279. Found in Top Secret Hotels: 5-Star Hotel in Manhattan, $560. Advance Booking – 430 properties available, many offering free cancellation, including The Library Hotel in Midtown East, $440. Lake Placid – Same Day-Showed 28 hotels available, but only listed the price for one 2-star property. Drilling down brought up High Peaks Resort at $125.  Advance Booking – Again, 28 properties were listed, with only one 2-star property showing a price. No 5-star properties were listed, and the only 4-star properties were High Peak Resort ($125) and Whiteface Lodge, $251.

Added value: Both Travelocity and TripAdvisor review ratings appear on listings, with option to compare search results to: Expedia, Priceline, Getaroom, Fly.com, Marriott, Orbitz, Hotels.com, and Hotwire. Book Top Secret Hotels at discounted rate, hotel name revealed after booking. Customer Support by phone 24/7.

Drawbacks: Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Blackberry

KAYAK screenshot

4.) Kayak

What’s to like: Comparing multiple travel websites at once, Kayak draws on a database of over 400,000 hotels. Search filters include: customizable price range; hotels shown on map; customizable distance from drop-down list of airports, attractions, and neighborhoods; hotel name; star rating; ambiance (business, family-friendly, luxury, romantic;) TripAdvisor rating (select range); include ratings from Travel+Leisure, Lonely Planet, and Jetsetter; accommodation type (B&B, Hostel, Hotel, Inn, Motel, Rental;) and amenities (air-conditioned, airport shuttle, casino, fitness, golf, Internet, kitchenette, parking, pets, pool, restaurant, and spa.)

Search results*: New York City -Same Day – 996 hotels available, but that includes 0-rated properties and apartments in New Jersey. Once again, the Omni Berkshire Place, Midtown East – Grand Central was available at $279, and Kayak showed a drop-down menu listing the price on Priceline, HotelClub, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Cheap Tickets, Orbitz, Expedia, and GetaRoom– all showing the same price. Advance Booking – 996 hotels available, including including The Library Hotel in Midtown East. Interestingly, Kayak listed the same size room at $503 and the prices listed on comparable websites were higher than what I found searching directly on those sites. Lake Placid – Same Day – 58 properties available, including High Peaks Resort ($153) and Mirror Lake ($303.) Advance Booking – 58 properties available, including High Peaks Resort ($153) and Mirror Lake Inn ($271.)

Added value: Price Alerts – Receive email updates and notifications of the latest hotel prices. Mobile app provides a number of handy add ons, including: trip agenda, flight tracker, airline directory, airline fees, airport information, packing lists, and currency converter.

Drawbacks: Booking is completed on Expedia, but with prices shown on Kayak. As we found, sometimes this results in paying a higher rate than if doing the search directly on Expedia. Note -Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, and Kindle devices.

CheapOAir screenshot

5.) CheapOAir

What’s to like: CheapOAir draws on a database of 100,000 hotels. Search filters include: customizable price range; distance from airports, landmarks, and neighborhoods; hotel name; star rating; hotel themes (boutique, design, romantic, airport, spa, luxury, business, pet-friendly, unique, self-catering, apartment, all-suite, family); hotel brand; street name; and amenities (breakfast, parking, Internet, gym, pets, pool, bar, and restaurant.)

Search results*: New York City -Tonight – 371 available hotels; the Omni Berkshire was not listed , but a number of comparable properties came up, including Eventi – Kimpton Hotel, Chelsea Theater District, $349.  Advance Booking – 430 properties available, many offering free cancellation, including The Library Hotel in Midtown East, $440. Lake Placid – Tonight – 10 hotels came up, including High Peaks Resort, $139. Advance Booking – 14 properties came up, including High Peaks Resort, $139 and Whiteface Lodge, $251.

Added value:  Deal alerts for members (free email listing.) Mobile app provides a number of handy add ons, including: currency converter, baggage fees, packing lists, and travel tips on a community blog. Customer Support by phone 24/7.

Drawbacks: Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows Phone

Orbitz screenshot

6.) Orbitz

What’s to like: Search and book hotels on Orbitz. Search filters: price; hotels shown on map; area (airports, neighborhoods); hotel name; star rating; reviewer score; hotel chain; and amenities (airport shuttle, child services, bar, business center, fitness center, free parking, golf, Internet, pets, pool, restaurant, smoke free, spa, tennis.)

Search results*: New York City -Tonight – 442 properties,  including Omni Berkshire Place, Midtown East – Grand Central, $419. Advance Booking – 442 properties, many offering free cancellation, including The Library Hotel in Midtown East, $439. Lake Placid – Tonight – 21 properties, including High Peaks Resort, $139 and Mirror Lake Inn, $214. Advance Booking – 21 properties, including High Peaks Resort ($139), Mirror Lake Inn ($230), and Whiteface Lodge ($251.)

Added value: Travel alerts with members-only hotel discounts. Price assurance (receive credits if another Orbitz customer books the same itinerary for less.) Mobile-only discounts.

Drawbacks: Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Mobile Site (any web-enabled phone)

Hotwire screenshot

7.) Hotwire

What’s to like: Purchase without knowing hotel name until after booking on Hotwire, get deep discounts on hotels looking to fill inventory. Search filters: customizable price range; hotels shown on map; area selection on interactive map (airport, landmarks, neighborhoods, points of interest); star rating; customer rating; property type (all-inclusive, condo, hotel); amenities (airport shuttle, business center, fitness center, free breakfast, free Internet, free parking, pools, pets, restaurants, and specific accessibility options.)

Search results*: New York City Tonight – 235 properties, including a 5-star hotel in Midtown East, $410 (listed as $695 on other sites.) Advance Booking – 243 properties, including a number of hotels with published rates such as Eventi – Kimpton Hotel, Chelsea Theater District, $469 (seen at $349 on CheapOAir.)  Lake Placid – Tonight – 1 Hot Rate: a 2.5-star property $75; 7 published rates, including High Peaks Resort $139. Advance Booking – 2 Hot Rates, including a 3-star property $84, and published rates such as High Peaks Resort $139 and Whiteface Lodge $251.

Added value: Trip Comparison Tool (Expedia, TripAdvisor, Hotels.com) Groupon Getaway Deals. Trip Watcher (Tell Hotwire where you would like to go within a 60-day range you specify, and they’ll watch all those dates for you at once to find your low-priced travel days.) TripAdvisor hotel reviews.

Drawbacks: Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS

Yahoo Travel screenshot

8.) Yahoo! Travel

What’s to like: Yahoo Travel search filters include: customizable price range; hotels shown on map; area (airports, neighborhoods); hotel name; star rating; and amenities (pool, breakfast, beach, shuttle, all-inclusive, parking, restaurant, Internet, pets, kitchenette, room service, hot tub, fitness facility, kids activities, all-suite property, gambling, laundry, golf, spa, ski in/out, convention center, wheelchair accessible, and tennis.)

Search results*: New York City Tonight – 246 properties, including Omni Berkshire Place, Midtown East – Grand Central, $419. Advance Booking – 246 properties, including The Library Hotel in Midtown East, $440. Lake Placid – Tonight  – 18 properties, including High Peaks Resort $139-159. Advance Booking – 28 properties, including High Peaks Resort $139-$179 and Whiteface Lodge $251-$677.

Added value: Time-based travel plan on the mobile app. Pulls up searches on comparable hotel booking sites. Secret hotel deals – deep discounts, hotel names not available until after booking. Featured travel articles. Customer Support by phone 24/7.

Drawbacks: Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS

9.) BookingBuddy

What’s to like: Multisite search engine BookingBuddy pulls up listings on: Agoda, Booking.com, BookIt, Hotwire, Trivago, Priceline, Room 77, Marriott, Orbitz, Tingo, Kayak, Hotel.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor, and more.

Drawbacks: Depending on your needs, it’s either a benefit or a drawback that Booking Buddy is basically a gateway to other search engines.

Platforms: Web

10.) Travel Zoo

What’s to like: Get the Deal Experts on Travel Zoo to find impressive savings on featured hotel deals. Multisite search engine pulls up listings on: Agoda, Booking.com, BookIt, Hotwire, , Priceline, Room 77, Marriott, Orbitz, , Kayak, Hotel.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor, Fly.com,  and more.

Added value: Get local deals via email.

Drawbacks: Again with the gateway to other search engines. Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Hip “New” Travel Websites

TripAdvisor screenshot

11.) Trip Advisor

What’s to like: Neither hip nor new, TripAdvisor is always worth checking out if only for its database of brutally honest reviews. It’s the world’s largest travel site, partnering with many of the other travel sites listed here, and booking searches are sourced out to other travel sites. Filters: price (by range, with currency options); hotel brand, hotel name, hotels shown on map (shows sponsored hotel chains); property type (hotels, B&B and inns, specialty lodging, vacation rentals); neighborhoods (with guides); traveler ratings; star ratings; theme (best value, family, business, luxury, romantic); and amenities (bar, business center, fitness center, free breakfast, Internet, free parking, kids activities, kitchenette, pets, restaurant, room service, shuttle bus, suites, pool, and wheelchair access.)

Search results*: New York City – Same Day – 296 (of 434) properties available, including Omni Berkshire Place, Midtown East – Grand Central,$389 via omnihotels.com. Advance booking – 307 (of 434) hotels available, including The Library Hotel in Midtown East, from under $480. Lake Placid – Same Day – 30 properties, including High Peaks Resort, from under $130. Advance Booking – 30 properties, High Peaks Resort $129-$295, Mirror Lake Inn $218-$464, and Whiteface Lodge $204-$$610.

Added value: Price Your Stay – Multiengine search includes pricing on the hotel’s website. TripAdvisor is an excellent resource for planning the entire trip; in addition to hotel reviews, it has restaurant and attraction reviews as well as area guides.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Nokia

Hipmunk screenshot

12.) Hipmunk

What’s to like: Hipmunk’s simple map interface makes it easy to search for hotels by location before linking to hotel or other search engine sites for purchases. Filters: Price (shown by range): hotels shown on map; neighborhood (color-coded , ecstasy rating (based on price, reviews, and amenities); star ratings; customer reviews; hotel chains (includes Airbnb and hip boutique hotel chains); property types (apartment, hostel, hotel, house, private room); and amenities (air-conditioned, airport shuttle, bar, business center, casino, child care, child activities, concierge, fitness center, golf, kitchenette, pets, pool, restaurant, and spa.)

Search results* The beauty of Hipmunk is that although it will pull up as many properties as what can be found on TripAdvisor, its interactive map will only highlight a few at a time, which is great for zeroing in on where you want to stay. So, for example, if you’ve enabled Google Calendar, you might see the best hotels near the conference you’re planning to attend. In our searches, Hipmunk brought up all the hotels that were found using other search engines, but because it was on an interactive map, it was easier to determine if the location was acceptable.  New York City –Tonight – The Omni Berkshire Place, Midtown East – Grand Central, is shown as available to book on Priceline for $279. Advance Booking – The Library Hotel in Midtown East comes up, available to book on Agoda.com at $439. Lake Placid – Tonight – High Peaks Resort is available to book on Hipmunk at  $119. Advance Booking – High Peaks Resort can be booked on Hipmunk at $139, while Whiteface Lodge can be booked on Getaroom for $178 and Mirror Lake Inn can be had on Booking.com at $245.

Added value: Pulls up TripAdvisor reviews. Shows Google Calendar event locations on the map. Multiple windows on Web version let you compare search results. Mobile app adds Walks Score Heat Map which pulls up the best hotels near preferred business or amenities (restaurants, sights, shopping, nightlife, and vice.)

Drawbacks: I like starting hotel searches on Hipmunk, but was disappointed that the calendar feature didn’t work for me. And, although the heat map feature is really cool, it only functioned on my iPhone and iPad. I would love to use it on my laptop.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Tingo screenshot

13.) Tingo

What’s to like:  As a TripAdvisor company, Tingo parlays a huge database of properties and customer reviews. But it’s claim to fame is that it tracks the price you paid, and refunds your savings to your credit card when the trip is complete. No limits. No exceptions. Filters: Price (by range); hotels shown on map; hotel name; TripAdvisor rating; star rating; specific accessibility features; and amenities (airport shuttle, fitness center, Internet, meeting facilities, parking, pets, pool, restaurant, spa, kitchenette.)

Search results*: New York City – “Win big in New York City, prices dropped an average of $50,” or so says the pop-up window announcing search results. Tonight – 491 properties, including 27 in the Broadway – Times Square neighborhood such as the W New York Times Square, $359. Advance Booking – Of 491 properties, 60 came up when filtering for “Show only money-back hotels.” The W New York Times Square came up again, this time at $599. What are the chances this will drop dramatically by the time of stay? (And yes, that’s the same rate showing up on other search engines–I checked.) “Win big in Lake Placid, 8 hotels saw prices drop (an average of $16.85) in 30 days.” Lake Placid – Tonight – 14 properties, including High Peaks Resort at $139.  Advance Booking – 14 properties, but only 9 came ups when filtering for money-back hotels. Both High Peaks Resort ($139) and Whiteface Lodge ($251) made the list.

Added value: Money-back tracking. Customer Service by phone 27/7.

Drawbacks: Free cancelation is only available to a point, sometimes as much as a week before booked stay. Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web


Room Key screenshot

14.) Room Key

What’s to like: Conduct the search on Room Key and book directly with the hotel. Searches draw on a database of partner hoteliers (Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Wyndham) offering direct booking, as well as many more included for more accurate results. Filters: price (customizable range); hotels shown on map, star rating, user rating, hotel chain, and amenities (WiFi, Breakfast, Pets, Pool, Fitness Center, Airport Shuttle, 24hr Front Desk, Child Care, Bar, Beach, Business Center, Casino, Coffee Shop, Wheelchair Access, Concierge, Compute Use Available, Express Check In/Out, Free Coffee/Newspaper, Fax Services, Golf, Jacuzzi, Laundry Room, Laundry Service, Meeting Facilities, Microwave, Mini Bar Room, Nightclub, Parking, Refrigerator, Room Service, Sauna, Spa, Tennis, and Wedding Planning Service.)

Search results*: New York City –Tonight – 326 properties, including Omni Berkshire Place, Midtown East – Grand Central, $279, (NOT direct booking.) Advance Booking – 124 (of 326) available properties, including The Library Hotel in Midtown East, $400. (NOT direct booking.) Lake Placid – Tonight – 9 (out of an inventory of 21 properties) available, including High Peaks Resort, $139. Advance Booking – 15 (out of an inventory of 21 properties) available, including Mirror Lake Inn, $230.

Added value: Don’t miss out on loyalty points when you book directly with hotels.

Drawbacks: Unfortunately, many of the hotels that come up in Room Key searches do not offer direct booking.

Platforms: Web, iOS

Momondo screenshot

15.) Momondo

What’s to like: Colorful Momondo may well be the brightest travel website. After search, book hotel on one of a number of booking sites. Filters: price (customizable range); hotels shown on map; star ratings; places (specific list of airports, sights, neighborhoods; property type (hotel, apt., inn, hostel, guest house, b&b, motel, and vacation rental); theme (sightseeing, food, shopping, business, sports, spa, city, luxury, family, backpackers, beach, and romantic); and amenities (24hr reception, airport shuttle, business center, concierge, disabled access, fitness center, golf, Internet, kitchenette, spa, parking, pets, restaurant, room service, pool–as well as many more features, too many to list.)

Search results*: New York City – Travel guide available for this popular destination; best viewed through a mood-sensitive, color-coded lens. Tonight – 924 properties, including Omni Berkshire Place, Midtown East – Grand Central, $324. Advance booking – 923 properties, including The Library Hotel in Midtown East, $481. Lake Placid – Tonight – 14 properties, including High Peaks Resort, $131. Advance Booking -18 properties, including High Peaks Resort $153, Whiteface Lodge $209, and Mirror Lake Inn $258.

Added value: Travel guides for popular destinations. Best price guarantee – If you find a lower price, Momondo will refund the difference as long as you can offer acceptable proof.

Drawbacks: Euro-centric, Momondo may be limited on US searches (although it was fine with our searches.) Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Vayama screenshot

16.) Vayama

What’s to like: Vayama.com is an online travel agency uniquely focused on international travel. In the US, it’s fine for researching hotels in popular destinations like New York City, but not so great when looking up small American towns. Filters: price (in range); hotels shown on map, within distance from airport, landmark, or neighborhood; star ratings; TripAdvisor reviews; and amenities (“disabled friendly,” Internet, parking, pets, child discount, pool, air-conditioning, fitness center, non-smoking.)

Search results*: New York City –Tonight – 338 (out of an inventory of 593) available, the Omni Berkshire Place (which was available on many other hotel booking sites) did not come up on Vayama. Instead, we pulled up The Library Hotel in Midtown East, $399. Advance Booking – 317 (of 593) available; The Library Hotel came up again, this time at $449 and the W New York Times Square at $687. Lake Placid – Tonight – 9 (out of an inventory of 12 properties) available, including High Peaks Resort, $119. Advance Booking – 12 available, including High Peaks Resort $139 and Whiteface Lodge $251.

Drawbacks: Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web

Room 77 screenshot

17.) Room 77

What’s to like: Room 77’s database of more than 200,000 hotels, multiengine search pulls up some of the lowest hotel prices we saw, and room info gives insider tips on the best rooms at the hotel. Filters: price (customizable range); shows hotels on map; star ratings; TripAdvisor reviews; awards (Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, Fodor’s 100 Hotel Awards, T+L 500 World’s Best Hotels, TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice,) views (city,courtyard, mountain, landmark, water,) and amenities (free WiFi, free parking, free breakfast.)

Search results*: New York City –Tonight – 700 hotels available, including the Omni Berkshire Place, $238. Advance Booking – 700 hotels available; including The Library Hotel at $439. Lake Placid – Tonight – 24 available, including High Peaks Resort, $107. Advance Booking – 24 available, including High Peaks Resort $125 and Whiteface Lodge $178 and Mirror Lake Inn $245.

Added value: Room IQ (data mining that considers hotel floor plans and front desk interviews.) Lists special rates for seniors, military, and automobile club members. Compares Room 77 search results to multiple search engines.

Drawbacks: Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Booking.com screenshot

18.) Booking.com

What’s to like: Booking.com lists 300, 000 hotels, 18+ million hotel reviews. Filters: prices (by range); star rating; review score; hotel type (hotel, hostel, motel, inn, apt., guest house, b&b); hotel theme (romance, spa, family, budget, city, luxury, design, shopping, countryside, gourmet, golf, business); hotel chain; and amenities (WiFi, parking, airport shuttle, Internet, fitness center, pool, spa, family room, outdoor pool, pets, restaurants, and facilities for disabled guests.)

Search results*: New York City –Tonight – 363 (of 538 properties) available, including the Omni Berkshire Place, $329. Advance Booking – 492 (of 661 properties) including The Library Hotel at $439 and the W New York – Times Square, $599. Lake Placid – Tonight – The number of available properties varies with the distance that’s included. We found 11 (of 17) properties available within a 12 mile radius, including High Peaks Resort $119 and Mirror Lake Inn $245. Advance Booking: 15 hotels (of 17) in a 12 mile radius, including Mirror Lake Inn $245 and Whiteface Lodge $251.

Added value: Low price guarantee. Secret Deals half off hotels email alerts.

Drawbacks: Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows Phone

Yapta screenshot

19. ) Yapta

What’s to like: Search for hotels on Yapta and track price drops to decide when to buy.  Filter: price (customizable range); hotels shown on map; star rating; hotel name; hotel chains; and amenities (airport shuttle, business center, concierge, conference facilities, airport shuttle, free breakfast, free parking, handicapped facilities/rooms, health club, Internet, pets, pool, restaurant, room service, and spa.)

Search results*: New York City – Tonight – 85 properties, the search did not pull up the Omni but did bring up sever 4-star hotels below $200, including the Dream Hotel at $170. Advance Booking – Brought up 87 properties, but not the Library Hotel. It did list the Dream Hotel at $379, and gave you option to track its price so as to purchase when it goes down. Lake Placid – Tonight – Advance Booking – 17 properties, including High Peaks Resort $139, Whiteface Lodge $251 and Mirror Lake Inn $230

Added value: Price tracking.

Drawbacks: Relatively limited search database and you’re gambling on whether or not prices will drop, rather than rise. Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS (app tracks airline fars)

Hotel Tonight screenshot

20.) Hotel Tonight

What’s to like: Hotel Tonight offers free app-only hotel booking of same-day unsold hotel inventory.

Search results*: Same day – On Thursday, 4/11/13 we found 15 hotels in New York City, sorted by neighborhood, including Hotel on Rivington, $300. On Friday, 4/12/13 t, Hotel on Rivington was not one of the 12 listings, although it was available on Expedia at $315. Instead, we found a “bonus luxe hotel” listing, Hotel Algonquin, Midtown West, $189. Lake Placid, NY not available at this time.

Added value: Well-designed and accurate categories sort hotels by: Luxe, Hip, Solid, Basic, Charming, or Gold (“an over-the-top, tricked-out suite or penthouse for VIPs and high rollers.)

Drawbacks: Not available online and limited selection of participating cities. Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: iOS, Android

Hotels.com screenshot

21.) Hotels (hotels.com)

What’s to like: Hotels.com claims over 150,000 hotels, price match guarantee, and no Hotels.com change or cancellation fees. Filters: price (customizable range); hotels shown on map; star rating; guest rating; area (landmarks, neighborhoods); accommodation type (b&b, hotel, condo); themes (Adventure, Beach, Boutique, Business, Family-friendly, Golf, Green, Historic, LGBT Welcoming, Luxury, Romantic, Shopping, Ski, Spa); amenities (gym, Internet, meeting facilities, pool, restaurant, and specific accessibility features.)

Search results*: New York City – Same Day – 698 properties, including Omni Berkshire Place, Midtown East – Grand Central,$389, with free cancellation. Advance Booking – Brought up 698, including The Library Hotel in Midtown East, $440, with free cancellation. Lake Placid – Same Day – 12 (of 23) hotels available, including High Peaks Resort, $119. Advance Booking – 23 properties, includingHigh Peaks Resort $139, Whiteface Lodge $251 and Mirror Lake Inn $230.

Added value: Last minute deals. Customer Support by phone 24/7. Loyalty program – earn one free night for every 10 nights stayed in more than 85,000 partnering hotels worldwide.

Drawbacks: Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows Phone

ZapTravel screenshot

22.) ZapTravel

What’s to like: Memory-based site, ZapTravel finds the best deals to naturally phrased requests which are tailored to your online profile. A relatively new travel site, ZapTravel draws on a database of “3,000 destinations, 10,000 different reasons to go, and 15,000 events” to trigger search results.”

Search results*: It’s not helpful for finding a specific hotel on a specific date in a specific city. My searches kept calling up, “I’m sorry, you mixed up a few things there. Do you want:
— Anything duration from New York to New York in a 3-4 star hotel for any budget for next 3 months?”

Added value: Photo-rich website is visually stunning, and three folios–thematic, geographic, and great events–are a wonderful source of inspiration during the initial stages of thinking about a trip.

Drawbacks: Might be excellent for finding a vacation package, but not so great when all you want is to find a specific hotel pronto. It’s also just a little creepy that the site “knows” your nearest airport and personal history.

Platforms: Web

23.) JustBook

What’s to like: JustBook is a hotel booking club that claims to offer discounts of up to 50% off on hand-picked hotels.

Search results*: Not useful for our search since it only lists hotels in Europe.

Drawbacks: Limited applicability since it only lists hotels in Europe.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Google Hotel Finder screenshot

24.) Google Hotel Finder

What’s to like: Not surprisingly, Google Hotel Finder makes full use of its sophisticated search algorithms and Google Maps. So, instead of working through the sorting filters, you can type in “four star hotel in New York City under $400 with WiFi connection.” Of course, you can still use the available search filters: price, star rating, user rating, amenities, and brand.

Search results*: New York City – Drag-drop technology of the Custom Area selection tool allows you to pinpoint your search. As a result, I was able to limit the search to specific blocks, resulting in fewer properties but in a smaller target area. Google Hotel Finder excelled at locating available properties, but not prices. Only a few hotels displayed prices, with booking available on other search engines or not at all. No prices came up for the Omni Berkshire, but the link to the hotel site was provided for direct booking. Lake Placid – Surprisingly, our search fared better for Lake Placid, calling up 44 available properties, including High Peaks $129 and Mirror Lake Inn $279.

Added value: A rate-trend calendar shows whether the price has risen, or dropped. Also of value are the Zagat and Google user reviews.

Drawbacks: Booking is done offsite.

Platforms: Web

25.) Agoda

What’s to like:  Agoda features 265,000 hotels worldwide, hotel specials listings cover the globe. Search filters include: price, map, star rating, hotel facilities, neighborhoods, accommodation type, and brands.

Search results*: New York City – Although Agoda claimed to have 248 available hotels in NYC, search results did not include the Omni Berkshire or the Library Hotel. Lake Placid – 18 properties available, including High Peaks Resort $129 and Mirror Lake Inn $279.

Added value: Cash back rewards. Translation available in a multitude of languages.

Drawbacks: The web design and search functions are not as sophisticated as other hotel booking sites.  Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

26.) Venere.com

What’s to like: The European branch of  Expedia, Venere.com features more than 120,000 hotels, Bed and Breakfasts and vacation rentals in 30,000 destinations worldwide

Search results*: Although Venere.com claimed over 400 hotels in New York City, it didn’t list the Omni Berkshire or the Library Hotel. The Lake Placid search pulled up 10 hotels, same prices seen on other search engines.

Added value: Phone operators speak 11 languages.
Drawbacks: 
Note – Some frequent hotel guest programs do not offer perks and accrual of points when booking through third parties.

Platforms: Web, mobile-friendly site

Additional Travel Sites To Consider When Researching Hotels

  • Last Minute Travel – Last minute prices on a variety of travel products, including: hotels, flights, cruises, cars, vacation homes, and activities.
  • Trivago – Compare prices for over 730,700 hotels from more than 200 booking sites, such as Expedia, Booking.com, and Priceline.com.
  • Want Me Get Me – hotel search engine lists available perks–from free WiFI to complementary champagne–when booking through site.
  • Rocket Miles – Earn frequent flier miles when booking hotel stays.
  • DealBase – Unbiased listings of thousands of hotel deals from the best hotels worldwide.
  • BackBid – Make a reservation, and then invite hotels to make you a better offer.
  • Foursquare – Check in when arriving at your hotel to receive available upgrades or other rewards.

Travel Sites Offering Alternative Accommodations

  • Hostel World – Search through listing of hostels and B&Bs.
  • Airbnb – Travel rentals at unique accommodations in 192 countries.
  • HomeAway – vacation rentals worldwide.
  • HouseTrip – holiday rentals with a protection plan.
  • FlipKey – Over 170,000 vacation rental by TripAdvisor.
  • Tripping.com – world’s largest vacation rental search engine for vacation homes and short-term rentals. With over 2.5 million properties in over 100,000 global destinations, Tripping.com makes it easy to compare prices and availability for millions of vacation rentals around the world from top travel sites including HomeAway, HouseTrip, FlipKey, Booking.com and more.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Micki June 4, 2013, 9:40 pm

    Wow – what a comprehensive review! I just discovered Room77 this weekend – I love the comparisons betweent he different search engines right on one page – no annoying popups!
    Micki recently posted…How To Find The Cheapest Flights To AnywhereMy Profile

  • Liam September 11, 2014, 12:38 pm

    Priceline owns a number of these companies (Kayak, Ogada, Booking.com). You’ll get the same results just using one.

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