Lodging is usually one of the big ticket items on a travel budget. In addition to other pre-departure costs like airfare and car rentals, finding a place to stay is essential. So with tons of booking websites that compare hotel rates, how do you find the best prices? Although you can generally save money on hotels by booking directly, what if I told you that there’s a new hotel comparison website that is challenging big brands by allowing travelers to not only compare hotel rates between different meta-search engines but also offers the savings and perks of booking directly with a hotel. Well, let me introduce DirectHotels.
DirectHotels is a hotel comparison website that compares over 200 booking sites to make sure that members book their favorite hotels at the lowest possible price. Yet, unlike sites like Trivago who also do extensive price comparisons but link externally to booking websites, DirectHotels wants to streamline the booking process by allowing users to find great deals by booking a hotel room directly with the hotel.
Booking Hotels For Less
How it works
Since hotels generally pay high commissions to online travel agents (OTAs) of up to 30%, hotels usually save their best rates, luxury rooms and other perks for their guests who book directly on their website. Ditching the third-party sites means that hotels can afford to offer add-ons that reward loyalty and enhance a guest’s experience like free breakfast, wi-fi, room upgrades or late check-outs.
With that, DirectHotels wants to sweeten the deal by offering its members exclusive hotel coupons for an instant discount of up to 20% on rooms. Use the coupon voucher to book directly with a hotel via its website. Although creating an account and searching for hotels is free, DirectHotels’ coupons cost $1 USD per hotel.
The DirectHotels website is currently in beta mode but overall, the site wants its members to pay less than they would on other OTAs or have access to exclusive on-site benefits.
Filter by star rating, price or guest rating and sort by popularity.
To compare rates, the site lists a handful of prices sourced from different booking websites. The site also has 27 currencies to choose from including the South Korean Won and Czech Krona something I hadn’t seen before on other sites.
What if a hotel doesn’t have a hotel reservation system?
If a hotel doesn’t have its own online reservation system, you can still use your hotel promo code while booking a reservation over the phone or via email. It’s similar to how you can contact a hotel directly for a better rate or price match.
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In addition to being a powerful hotel comparison website, DirectHotels is the only site where you can see the difference between booking through OTAs and directly with a hotel. You can also save money with a coupon or access special benefits like welcome drinks and free shuttle buses.
However, when I tried to use the site, on several occasions, instead of being routed to a hotel website and getting a promo code, I was routed to an online travel agency (OTA) like Hotels.com. It seems like the exclusive membership portal is still in beta mode so all the features (like getting instant coupons for $1 USD or special perks) are not fully operational yet.
In the meantime, I’m on the waitlist for updates and I look forward to sharing how DirectHotels can save travelers a substantial amount of money booking directly in the future.
This is a collaborative post with DirectHotels, all opinions are my own.
Danielle is a travel finance strategist, writer, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 26 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.