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Save on hotels with Hotwire.com

On an upcoming overnight stay in Toronto, for which I had decided to use my Marriott Bonvoy points, I backed out. Indeed, I opted to save on my hotels with Hotwire.com. Presentation of the platform and explanations.

 

What is Hotwire.com?

As its advertising banner indicates:

We hide the names of the hotels so that you can find 4 star hotels at 2 star rates!

Indeed, if Hotwire. com is an online hotel booking agency (on which you will find more or less the same hotels as elsewhere), its strength lies in one part of the platform: the one where the names of the hotels are hidden!

How does it work?

In the example below for a search on Montreal, you can see that the city is divided into different neighborhoods:

  • Longueuil area
  • Brossard area
  • Downtown Montreal West area

hotwire montreal

It is possible to select only one neighborhood, which will then be displayed in red. You can see for example that here, I have only selected the “Downtown Montreal – Festival area”.

You can see, that next to the “hidden” hotels, non-hidden hotels are displayed.

hotwire montreal 2

And this example is particularly telling – and extremely easy to guess! Look at the number of Tripadvisor “Reviews” listed below the hidden hotels:

  • 1345 reviews for the first “hidden” 3 star hotel sold at 144 CA$ / night
  • 1345 reviews for the Travelodge by Wyndham Montreal Centre sold at CA$ 223 / night

There is a good chance that it is the same hotel!

Conditions of sale

Please note: once you have selected a “hidden” hotel and chosen to book it, it will be impossible to cancel it. So it’s kind of a lottery. However, you can often “guess” which hotel will come out, and by choosing:

  • a hotel with excellent reviews on Tripadvisor (4-4.5 / 5 minimum)
  • Excellent recommendations from Hotwire members (75% and above)

This ensures that you have a quality hotel!

My example of how to save money on my hotel nights in Toronto

My initial booking with Marriott Bonvoy

For an upcoming trip to Toronto, I had initially chosen to use a free night certificate that I had in my account. My choice was the Courtyard Toronto Downtown.

Marriott Courtyard Toronto Downtown

The free night certificate has a maximum value of 35,000 Marriott points.

Knowing that I got this certificate with a $120 annual fee payment from my Marriott Bonvoycard from American Express, this is a great value! In fact, I would have paid about $229 including taxes for this room if I had booked it with cash.

The use of my certificate was therefore justified.

Change of plans with Hotwire

A few days before this stay, as usual, I check again the available prices. That’s what points offer: flexibility. You can cancel your stay up to 48 hours before arrival.

Prices had not really changed on the traditional platforms. So I’m taking a tour of Hotwire.com:

hotwire fairmont toronto recherche

And here I see that in the “Downtown Toronto West area”, a 4 star hotel, recommended by 95% of Hotwire users and which has a rating of 4.5 / 5 on Tripadvisor is posted at $133 CA$ + taxes.

I jumped on the opportunity and found the 4 star hotel: The Fairmont Royal York! The total price including taxes is 160 CA$.

hotwire fairmont toronto

Save on your hotels with Hotwire.com: Conclusion

It’s not always worth the effort/cost to use your hotel points to book hotels. In this case, I prefer to keep them for better use, especially abroad, given the weakness of the Canadian dollar!

However, by using the right credit card , it is possible to apply travel points on this type of reservation. For example, when booking with the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card you can apply Scene+ points to your Hotwire reservation. This is the best use of Scene+ points: 10,000 points = $100!

As always, you’ll need to compare the rates you find on Hotwire with other booking platforms. And those with your points!

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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