Hotwire vs. Priceline.

Old Jul 10th, 2005, 06:09 PM
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Hotwire vs. Priceline.

Which do you prefer, and why? It seems like most of the people here reccomend Priceline, with Hotwire rarely being mentioned. Personally, I prefer Hotwire. I like to see the price and star rating, and being able to decide instead of committing myself right away. I've gotten some great deals with Hotwire, 3-3.5 star properties in the $50 range. There is often some kind of catch, but nothing terrible.

At the Marriot Marina in Ft. Luaderdale, there was a lot of construction work in front of the hotel, but nothing you would notice stayting there. And my room was in the motel section out back, instead of the tower, but it was still quite clean and comfortable, and the pool was incredible, perahaps the best I've seen anywhere. At the Doubletree-Cocconut Grove in Miami, The lobby and pool was all torn up for renovation, but I had a renovated room and I was able to use the pool at a neighboring hotel. Outside of D.C., near Tysons Corners I got another Doubletree, with a huge indoor pool, the best indoor pool I've seen anywhere. And I could catch the Metrobus to the train or mall out front, or use the hotel shuttle.

These are the three best deals I've gotten. Hope it helps some of you who are nervous about bidding for travel. I've never had a really bad experience, but you have to do your research.

For a long weekend trip to St. Louis in Aug., the best deal on Hotwire was $41 in the Westport area. But, after doing some research, it looked like I would probably be stuck at the Holiday Inn, which got poor reviews. I looked at what I might get from Priceline, and decided to bid $40 for a 3 star in the Illinois suburbs. I won the bid, for a 3 year old Four Points by Sheraton, near the St. Clair Mall and Metrolink Park and Ride. It's a 60% savings over the $100 a night rate given by their website. Just be careful, and you could end up with an extraordinary deal.
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 04:44 AM
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I use priceline mainline for Chicago hotel stays. In all my bidding, I've never failed to beat hotwire prices with priceline, and I always check hotwire first.

You say:

I like to see the price and star rating, and being able to decide instead of committing myself right away.

But it's not so different with priceline. If you see a 4* on hotwire for $100, or go to priceline and bid 4* for $100, it's the same in the end (except for maybe differences in fees between the two). But if you see $100 for 4* on hotwire and bid $70 on priceline and get it, that's great! That's how it has always worked for me. But if I do ever see a steal on hotwire, I wouldn't hesitate to use them.
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 06:24 AM
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This is an excerpt from

Whatever Hotwire has, Priceline will have for less more than 90% of the time. Hotwire rates hotels higher than Priceline more than 50% of the time. Bidding strategies should be based on available rates directly from the hotel websites. They should not be based on Hotwire's prices because it's not an apples to apples comparison and Hotwire's prices are sometimes higher than booking directly with the hotel.

This has been proven to be true over and over again in my case. In my experience I have found many examples where hotwire has been more expensive than the hotel's own website. There is a also a section devoted to this on bft:

as well as a section for travelers that have cashed in on Hotwire's "double the difference" guarantee:
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 08:40 AM
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I've used mostly Priceline but have used Hotwire once. I got a hotel with Priceline for some relatives going on vacation, an Embassy Suites in Fort Lauderdale, and they wanted an extra room for friends. With Priceline, of course, you can't guarantee you'll get the same hotel if you bid again even for the same dates. On Hotwire, I could tell that their 3.5-star hotel was probably the Embassy Suites (amenities listed as suite and free breakfast). So I went with Hotwire and got the right hotel, but it was about $15/night more, I think.

If you read BiddingForTravel, you'll find that in most cases people get better deals with Priceline. So it makes sense to me to bid on Priceline first before trying Hotwire. If Hotwire shows a room for $50/night, why not try bidding a little lower on Priceline? You do have to be careful understanding the star ratings - they are different (Priceline rated the Embassy Suites as only 3 stars whereas Hotwire rated it as 3.5 stars).

I almost always look at the Hotwire rate before doing my Priceline bids, and I've never bid higher than the Hotwire price before succeeding. If it comes to that, I will indeed use Hotwire again.

Andrew is offline  
Old Jul 11th, 2005, 03:20 PM
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Very interesting. Next time I'll include the best Hotwire price as part of my research, and bid a little lower on Priceline.
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