Fact number one: there is no free lunch. Don’t expect to get a luxury hotel room for next to nothing. Hotwire® can be a tempting place for the bargain hunter looking for a low prices on hotels. Here are five things that Hotwire won’t tell you about the amazing Hot Rate® deals that look too good to pass up.
1. The deals are in Hotwire’s favor.
Very simply, Hotwire manipulates the hotel industry to make a profit. Don’t expect to get a luxury room for next to nothing by using Hotwire unless you are a very experienced shopper and have done some research into how Hotwire works. Hotwire star ratings will be listed higher than what the typical customer would rate the hotel. Hotwire plays with ratings and reviews to favor hotels with the best contracts. It is in Hotwire’s best interest to promote the ”deal” that brings them the most money. Keep in mind that hotel “taxes and fees” are charged on top of the room price, which can leave you with a total that is higher than booking directly through the hotel. For a full explanation, see Are you really Hotwire material? and Rip-off Report on Hotwire.
2. Unpublished can mean sub-par.
Selling a hotel by listing a low price to an unpublished hotel name by can be a tactic to lure travelers into purchasing rooms at aging hotels. Unpublished great deals are often a way to sell a room with a second class a experience. These include aging hotels with damaged or heavily worn equipment, the location in a declining part of town, limited or shared parking space with other businesses, and poor housekeeping service. A third party cuts into the hotel’s profits and incentive for good service. You may be placed undesirable room. In some cases, the price may be all that matters to you; however if this is a special event, look somewhere else.
3. Hotwire offers no guarantee of customer satisfaction.
4. Photos can give a wrong impression.
No, its not outright deceit, but the photo of an opulent water fountain that you are basing your impression of the hotel on, may actually be a shot of the local park. See Oyster Photo Fakeouts for examples of hotel photo manipulation and editing. Oyster.com is a great site for honest hotel reviews. Before you spend that money, check to make sure that what you are seeing is actually on the hotel grounds. Check the address on a mapping service, such as Google maps, to verify the grounds and asertain that you have not confused it with a newer hotel in the same area.
5. The hotel may be downgraded.
The sagging U.S. economy has forced many hotels to cut back on services and renovations. A heavily-used four-star hotel may be purchased and downgraded to a lower three-star hotel. Your expectations of first-class accommodations may turn out to be tired and run-down. Hotel reviews can be manipulated by the owners by having family members or associates post fake rave reviews to cover up for poor management or to gain an edge on a competitor. Look carefully for current hotel downgrades or construction work that may leave amenities unavailable. Online information may not be an accurate representation of what you find when you arrive. Be wary of a deal that is significantly cheaper than comparable hotels in the same area.
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