Hotels.com has been in business since 1999 and was acquired by Expedia.com in 2002. They are part of the Expedia.com group and act as a third-party booking site for discounted hotel reservations. Unlike some of their competitors, they focus on lodging rather than full vacation packages.
- Savings on room rates
- Rewards program
Savings on Room Rates
Hotels.com has relationships with over 290,000 properties in 60 countries, so one can expect to find a room pretty much anywhere that they travel. It is important to remember that using third-party sites has both benefits and risks.
The benefit of using a site such as Hotels.com to book your travel is that you may save significantly on the room rate as well as the convenience of doing comparison shopping in one place rather than visiting and keeping track of the terms, prices, etc. for hotels in the area which you will be visiting.
The risks involved are in the realm of when using a third party site, changes and cancellations are potentially challenging due to the fact that when/if one needs to make a change or cancellation, the traveler may feel like a human ping pong ball being bounced between the hotel and the third party site - in this case - Hotels.com.
Hotels.com has many positive benefits to using their service, such as:
- Rewards program (earn one free night after staying a total of ten nights)
- Ability to research the area
- Comparison between properties
- Ability to book rooms over the phone or online
- 24/7 customer service
On the flip side, upon researching Hotels.com, there are a few issues which should be noted. There are many complaints from consumers listed about Hotels.com.
It is important to note that the motivation for people writing reviews is strongly skewed to those having had a negative experience. People do not usually write letters of a congratulatory nature for services which were rendered at or even above their expectation. There are a few common themes which are in many of the reviews - changes in charges, room not available, or quality of the room booked. Each of these is potentially troublesome and nothing that one would want to willingly volunteer for.
The Bottom Line
We give Hotels.com a mixed review. This company does a very high volume of business annually and their website is cutting edge in the ability to streamline searches and find what you are looking for. However, the hundreds of complaints against and about Hotels.com and their commonalities cause us to suggest caution at this time.
For those who know exactly what they are looking for and a absolutely certain that they will not have need to change or cancel their stay, the discounts offered by Hotels.com may be worth your time and efforts. We do suggest the practice of always verifying your reservation with the property however, which is a good practice regardless of the company - third party booking or not.