Best websites to book a hotel in 2019

Nikolay Bratanov
Jan 10 · 6 min read

There are plenty of websites online where you can book an accommodation for your trip. Many of them offer additional services like rent a car, flight booking, restaurant booking etc. However, most of the websites are already acquired by a parent company and for this reason the prices are very similar. As you may already know, once a booking is completed, the intermediary website gets paid with a commission and this fee is paid by you which increases your travel cost. Is there a way to save this money? Yes, there is and below you will find out how.

I will list the 6 best websites to book an accommodation in 2019. I will provide short description for each of them and will rate them according to 5 different categories — properties available to book, prices, how user-friendly is the website, additional services available and how easy is to contact the customer service center. The ratings are based on my personal opinion and my experience with the companies.

5. Hotels.com

Hotels.com has approximately 325 000 hotels around the world and you can book either online or on the phone. In addition, you can book also a flight or buy tickets for the attractions you would like to visit during your stay. In case you need to reach the customer service center, you can easily do it via phone or email 24/7. The website is not very stylish, but user-friendly enough and booking online is pretty straightforward. Another advantage is the special reward program. After you book in total 10 nights through the website, you will get one for free on the average price of your bookings, but this will not save you more money than you will pay for commission, so consider that you already paid for this “free night”.

E.g let’s say the commission is on average 20% and you book 10 nights for 100 USD each original price per night. In this case the booking price will be 120 USD incl. the commission. This means that Hotels.com will get 200 USD [20*10] from commissions and you will get 1 free night for 100 USD. Congratulations, the company made 100 USD profit from your bookings and you could have saved this money.

Listings: ★★★★★☆

Price: ★★★★☆☆

Website: ★★★★★☆

Additional services: ★★★★★☆

Customer support: ★★★★★★

4. Agoda.com

Agoda.com, similarly as Hotels.com, has great customer support that can be contacted via phone or email. As part of Booking.com Agoda.com has great variety of properties and you can book either online through the website or through the mobile app. All of them are stylish and easy to use. Moreover, you can book a flight and a taxi that takes you from the airport. Another good feature of Agoda.com is the “Today’s deals” feature where you can book a hotel on discounted price (sometimes up to 75%), but even in this case there is a commission included and this is not a real deal. I found such a deal and checked the price on LockTrip. It turned out that the price on LockTrip is lower even if Agoda.com offers a 75% discount. Fantastic, isn’t it?

Listings: ★★★★★☆

Price: ★★★★☆☆

Website: ★★★★★☆

Additional services: ★★★★★☆

Customer support: ★★★★★★

3. Airbnb.com

Definitely this is the game changer in the accommodation industry from the last decade. On the Airbnb.com you will find a great variety of private homes that people rent to travelers. Following the same logic, Airbnb.com gets a commission and thus made over 2.5 Billion revenue for the last year — 2017. The website is very user-friendly, the communication with the host is easy, but the communication with Airbnb.com is a bit more complicated. You can contact them either via email, phone or via social media like Twitter or Facebook. Although there are a lot of properties listed in the website, the prices are not that low. In most cases you have to pay additional fees which will increase the price. I would advise you to read very carefully before making a booking.

Listings: ★★★★★☆

Price: ★★★★★☆

Website: ★★★★★★

Additional services: ★★★★☆☆

Customer support: ★★★★★★

2. Booking.com and Expedia.com

The giants in the travel industry. With the enormous variety of listings including not only hotels, but all kinds of properties and over 2 million bookings every day, Booking.com and Expedia.com made over 20 Billion revenue for the last year and it seems they have duopolized the accommodation industry. On their websites you can book not only an accommodation and a flight, but also you can rent a car, book a taxi, book a cruise and even book a restaurant. The websites are very user-friendly and making a reservation is pretty straightforward, but sometimes there is too much information on the screen and the pop-ups like “Only 1 room left” are pretty annoying. The customer service is awesome and there are many options to get in contact with the center. The only drawback is the higher price in comparison with Locktrip.com.

Listing: ★★★★★★

Price: ★★★★★☆

Website: ★★★★★☆

Additional services: ★★★★★★

Customer support: ★★★★★★

  1. Locktrip.com

Locktrip.com is definitely my number 1. It is decentralized hotel and vacation rental platform, based on Blockchain, and aims to exclude the middlemen when booking a hotel or flight. Thus, the price will decrease on average with 20% for a hotel booking and with 5% for a flight booking. Locktrip.com has been established in November 2017, but only couple of months later the team launched the marketplace and integrated 100 000 hotels (300 000 more to be integrated very soon and almost all the airlines). The team is constantly improving the website adding new features, integrating more hotels and removing all the bugs. Based on personal experience, the website is very user-friendly, the sign-up process it pretty straightforward and it takes not more than 1 minute. Once registered, you can book either a hotel room or a home and if you have a property you can become a host and list your home. The price is the cheapest possible, because there is no middleman and thus no commission. However, contacting the customer support is a bit tricky. You have to join the community in Telegram or you can contact the company via Twitter. For any further information about the business model of the company and its future goals you can read some more articles here.

Listings: ★★★★★★

Price: ★★★★★★

Website: ★★★★★★

Additional services: ★★★★★☆

Customer support: ★★★★★☆

Bonus: Tripadvisor.com

On the website of Tripadvisor.com you will find millions of reviews and opinions (more than 700 millions) for about 7.5 millions accommodations, attraction, airlines and restaurants. It is a fact that the user generated content can impact people’s opinion significantly and drive the decision. Although you can’t book a hotel in Tripadvisor, you can compare couple of offers and to choose the best one. Once you click on “View Deal” you will get redirected to Expedia.com or another website where you can complete the booking. I mention Tripadvisor.com in this article, because it is broadly used and the content there can be considered authentic.

To conclude, I will shortly give you my modest advice.

  • Always check reviews and opinions in Tripadvisor.com.
  • Register an account in Locktrip.com and always check the price there before you make a reservation on another website.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade