Among the questions I get most from readers, there are some that are quite recurrent. One of the things that most scares people coming to New York is accommodation. It is not uncommon for people to talk to me about how frightened they are about the price of the hotels here. Actually, it is difficult not to spend a fortune. I already wrote a post here on the blog with tips on how to save with accommodation. And as tips on this issue are never too much, today I will talk about three websites that are becoming more popular because of the offers in hotel rates: Priceline, Hotwire and Hotel Tonight. In addition, some blog readers have shared their experiences using these websites.
Priceline – Focused on hotels – it also features airline tickets and car rentals. It is from the same group as Booking and Kaiak. There are regular offers and also the hotel bidding, where you choose not only how much you want to pay, but also the area, dates, and ratings – it’s called Name Your Own Price. The first step is to select the city, dates, and number of rooms. Then, you choose the area where you want to stay. Finally, you choose the rating – how many stars – and the website tells you which hotel (such as famous chains) are among those in that category. Then, it’s time to bid – that is, putting how much you want to pay for the night. The system informs you the average price for the hotel you have chosen and you offer less. The rooms are always double. On the next page, you agree to the terms and then enter your credit card information. If your offer is accepted, the charge will be made, in full amount. There is no refund. If the bid is not accepted, it is possible to try again for the same area and hotel category after 24 hours.
It is worth remembering that Priceline also offers Express Deals, which offers daily deals in hotels with up to 60% discount. These promos do not require a bidding, and you already see the price per night for the period you are searching for, as well as the hotel rating, guest ratings, location, and amenities – the hotel name, is revealed after you make the reservation. You also can not cancel or modify reservations.
“I bought tickets to New York for June 2018. I started searching on Airbnb, but I did not succeed. I’m very anxious, I like to solve all the bureaucracies at once. So I checked Priceline. I always look for the area and the rates and amenities. I found an offer at Chelsea, a 3.5 star hotel, with breakfast and internet, $139 per night. I always look for other websites like Booking and I know it is very difficult to find a hotel in Manhattan for this price. I still found a discount coupon at Retailmenot and got a further 5% discount. With the reservation confirmed, I discovered that my hotel would be the Hyatt House NY Chelsea and I loved reading the reviews about it on TripAdvisor. The area is great and has several transportation options close by.” Geane Chaves
Hotwire – it is another travel website that offers has car rentals, flights, and hotels. It works in a similar way to Priceline’s Express Deals. You put the dates, the city and the number of people per room you want – on Hotwire you can search for rooms for more than two people. The results page will show you hotel rating, guest ratings, area, and amenities – the name of the hotel is revealed after you make the reservation. You also can not cancel or modify reservations.
“I decided to use Hotwire after a friend suggested me. After understanding how it works, I decided to use it for the first time on a trip to Rome. I enjoyed it so much and I was so pleased with the cost x benefit that I used for my wife (Andressa) in Miami (DoubleTree by Hilton), following in New York because as my family has a house in New Jersey and we would go to a concert at Radio City Music Hall, we needed a hotel to spend the night in NYC (The Manhattan at Times Square). And most recently (July 2016) I used it in Boston, the best experience so far (Loews Boston Hotel – 4 to 5 stars and we had the best happy hour in town). Would use again for sure! I saved several dollars with it and with great comfort!” André Rossi.
“In November 2016, I started looking for hotels for April 2017. I started looking through Hotwire, and I saw that in the Financial District there was a 4-star hotel offer with free internet and other amenities, at a much lower price compared to other hotels at the same area. After I booked, I saw the name of the hotel: Holiday Inn Financial District. I really liked the hotel, although I did not agree with the 4 star rating. The hotel was very clean and the staff were very friendly and helpful, the room was clean and the bed was very comfortable.” Geane Chaves.
“I’ve used Hotwire twice: one in Hawaii and one in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Both times we used it because the prices on Booking and Hotels.com were very expensive so it was an alternative to pay cheaper on something good. Everyhting was great. In Hawaii, we chose a 3-star hotel in a central area of Honolulu that we could walk to the beach. That’s exactly what we got. It was not a famous or very large hotel, but it was ok for the period we needed. For Puerto Rico, as we were driving, we chose a hotel not so close to the center area or beach, but a bit more luxurious. At this time, I think we got lucky and got a Sheraton. It was amazing as we paid a very good price for the hotel we stayed in. It was very worth it! I think I still prefer Booking and Hotels.com because I can choose the hotel and be sure where I will stay, but I would consider Hotwire again if the hotels in the city where I am going are very expensive.” Thais Ambrozini Filipe.
Hotel Tonight – Hotel Tonight is an app. It is a good tool to book last minute hotels: you can book rooms for today, tomorrow and up to one week, for stays up to 5 nights. The advantage is that prices are far below than other websites. If you are with a large group of people and you need more than one room, you have to make separate reservations. As the rooms are subject to availability, there is a risk of someone running out of a room. It does not allow changes or cancellations – but you can see the name of the hotel.
Use code LPERUCHIMEZARI and get $25 OFF on your first booking using Hotel Tonight.
“I’ve used Hotel Tonight because a friend that suggested me. always used Booking, which has very good prices, but now my strategy is to make a reservation on Booking with the possibility of cancellation without fees. One week before the trip, I search on Hotel Tonight (daily, if needed) to see what it’s worth. I went to Washington DC, Boston and Providence-RI using Hotel Tonight. I am going to Portugal in 3 months and before going I will look on the app again. My experiences were excellent. Hotel Tonight does not list any hotel – only a certain level up.” Priscila Forster.
- Search the area where you want to stay and choose based on that as well. Then, look at the streets that appear delimited in the map of Hotwire and check out on Google Maps. If you stay in a hotel there, on those streets, will it be good for you? If so, go ahead.
- After choosing the rating of the hotel, always check the hotels in that region before closing. If hotels that you know are located there and they are good, there is no mistake! Otherwise, change the region!
- Always have the reservation with you at the check-in.
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.