Hotwire Reviews | Hotwire.com

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Click Star to Rate This Site:
Rating: 1.8/5 (134 votes cast)
Save up to 40% on Last Minute Flights with Hotwire Limited Rates!  Hotwire travel deals!
  • Hotwire has Hot Rate hotels with prices guaranteed lower than any other travel site, through unsold hotel rooms
  • Hotwire claims that airline suppliers use Hotwire.com to sell their “unsold seats at wholesale airfare prices“, sometimes at savings of 40% off (this claim has not been verified)
  • Hotwire Guarantees you won’t find a lower price, or they will “double the difference
  • No payments for 90 days on bookings over $250 with Hotwire ‘Bill Me Later
  • Two airfare types:  Limited and Retail.  Limited (wholesale) airfares may save you up to 40% or more, but you don’t see the airline name and exact time departure times until after you book.   Retail Fares show flight details before you book.
Our Editor’s Review:
The hotel prices on Hotwire are hard to beat. Okay, we admit the Hotwire travel website is different. When you search for a hotel, you do not see the actual names of the hotels. You will be provided with a “price“, a “location” (an exact neighborhood), and a “star rating“.  So, you need to be a little flexible here, and not too picky about the hotel brand. We like Hotwire for when you need to book a quick couple of hotel nights, especially if you are familiar with the area that you will be staying.  You can look at a map of the neighborhood where the hotel is located, and if you know that the area is good, then this will help you make your choice.  Hotwire claims that you won’t find better prices for the hotels, because they are selling unsold hotel inventory that they have exclusive dibbs on.  In fact, Hotwire guarantees that you will not find a lower price for that exact hotel anywhere online within 48 hours of booking, or they will double the difference.  We think that this guarantee is actually quite good.  Immediately after booking, check to see if you can book the same hotel anywhere else online for less.  If you do, it’s time to take Hotwire up on their “Double the Difference” Best Price Guarantee.  Make sure to take screenshots, document everything, and read the terms of this guarantee before you contact Hotwire. The Hotwire travel site is easy to navigate.  Since Hotwire’s search engine doesn’t pull up 100′s of hotel names and reviews to search through, you generally only have a few choices based on star rating and neighborhood.   Hotwire is by far the quickest travel website to get a hotel.   We are also fans of Hotwire’s 30-day flexible airline search.  You can quickly find the cheapest days for airfare to your destination, and the wholesale clearance prices are tough to beat. Hotwire has been getting online complaints recently because their hotel star ratings are inconsistent.  This makes some people worry that Hotwire is a scam.  We highly suggest booking only “4 star” hotels or “5 star” hotels on Hotwire, because there have been reports that their “star rating” is not at all consistent with what you would find on other hotel rating websites.
Hotwire claims that for “Hotwire Hot Rate” hotels that their star-rating is based on the “average rating on 3 top travel sites” which are then, “adjusted” based on customer feedback.  We found this to be quite vague.  Hotwire does not mention what “top 3 sites” they get these ratings from, nor do they explain how they “adjust” these ratings… According to Hotwire, if you book a “3.5 star” hotel room, it could be a Hilton, Radisson, DoubleTree or even less “fancy” than those well-known hotel brands.  Whereas, a “4 star” on Hotwire is supposed to be more like a Weston.
Not to sound like a broken record, but we suggest that you stick with booking 4-star and 5-star hotels on Hotwire, as the quality is rumored to be better.  Do not count out the 3.5-star hotels, especially in areas where 4-star hotels do not exist, as some smashing deals can be found here (we’ve seen $26 a night advertised, before taxes/fees).  Keep in mind, the quality of a Hotwire 3.5 star hotel may not be what you typically would expect of a 3.5 star hotel as rated on another travel site.   Hotwire customers have been lured into booking cheap  2 star or 3 star hotels that end up not meeting their expectations and then they come onto websites (such as this one) to complain that Hotwire is a scam.  In our opinion, this doesn’t make Hotwire a scam.  Just remember that you get what you pay for, and unfortunately Hotwire is no different.   True, you can book a super cheap 2 star hotel, but you probably will be less than happy.
It is a little more difficult to book a hotel on Hotwire in a city that you are unfamiliar with, as you may not know which neighborhood to book your hotel in.  Always check the “map & details” feature to help pin-point the location.  Don’t try to book a “vacation package” on Hotwire if you are from a small town.  Hotwire’s list of “origin” cities is a little short, and your hometown may not be listed.  Finally, keep in mind that hotels booked on Hotwire are never refundable, so you really need to make sure of your travel plans before you book.
Hotwire Fees & Policies:
  • No booking fee for airfare.
  • Variable booking fee for hotels (based on the amount and location of the reservation), which is not refundable.
  • “Limited Rate” (clearance) Flights: Completely non-refundable and non-changeable.
  • “Hotwire Rate” (retail) Flights: $35 fee by Hotwire.com to change a flight (when allowed by airline), plus any applicable airline charges and penalties.
  • Hotels are completely non-refundable and non-changeable.
  • Hotels booked with “Book with Assurance“, are cancellable within 60 minutes of booking the hotel. The refund will be in “Hot Dollars”, which are good for any future Hotwire.com purchase.
*Based solely on research done by TravelSiteCritic.com, these figures may be inaccurate and are subject to change.Verify policies with Hotwire before you book. Please be aware of airfare taxes & fees, applicable to any booking that includes airfare.
Hotwire Coupon Codes & Deals:
Hotel – 4 Star hotels at 2 star prices with low Hotwire Hot-Rates! Car – $11.95 per day rental cars with low Hotwire Hot-Rates! Air – Save up to 40% off last minute fares with low Hotwire Hot-Rates! Hotwire
Hotwire Customer Reviews:
Have you used Hotwire and have an experience to share? We want to hear it! Add your own review of Hotwire in the customer comment box below. All customer reviews and comments are moderated by a human being and will be posted LIVE on TravelSiteCritic.com as soon as they have been reviewed by a moderation team member. Thank you for contributing to our great community!
Hotwire Customer Ratings:
Cast your vote for the Best Rated Travel Sites by clicking one of the dynamic rating stars for Hotwire below, or on any of our travel website reviews. Cast a vote of 1-star, 5-star, or anything in between. A user rating of 1-star indicates you had a horrible experience (its the lowest you can go and brings down the total rating), while a user rating of 5-stars indicates you had the best experience. The travel websites with the most 5-star votes end up on our Top 10 List. ________________________________________________________________________ Please be aware of airfare taxes & fees. TravelSiteCritic.com is a marketing affiliate of Hotwire.com. Read our review disclosure.
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Click Star to Rate This Site:
Rating: 1.8/5 (134 votes cast)
Hotwire Reviews | Hotwire.com, 1.8 out of 5 based on 134 ratings

Comments

  1. Cindy Gerk says:
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    HOTWIRE NOT WORTH ONE STAR! Hotwire advertises in the Entertainment book with a coupon that must accompany a form. My form was filled out and submitted with the original coupon immediately following my stay. The coupon was the only reason for me using Hotwire. I followed up and Hotwire stated that it would take 6-8 weeks to process. After following up again, Hotwire informed me that they were backlogged because of the holidays. After following up again, Hotwire informed me that they didn’t have my paperwork and to resubmit. After resubmitting and following up again, Hotwire informed me that they need the original coupon but to send a letter explaining that the original coupon was lost by Hotwire. After following up again, Hotwire informed me that I submitted my paperwork too late. I rebutted with “follow the email string of dates”. Still no resolution after 6 months. I recommend using any other travel discounter. I will NEVER use Hotwire and will always direct people here to read the truthful reviews of bad service!

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  2. Dan Rasy says:
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    Never again.. I reserved a hotel through Hotwire and NEVER Again. Hotel charged a fee for parking of $25.00 per day. That is 40% of the booking price of the hotel. Was told by the hotel clerk that this is always a problem with Hotwire bookings. When I received the survey from Hotwire they would not post my comment !! Do not use Hotwire, you will be tricked some how, someway.
    Not a fan of Hotwire, Dan

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  3. pennster says:
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    I have used Hotwire for almost 2 years. And I stop to use it recently because of one bad experience. The hotel star rate from hotwire always higher than the actual rate. That’s how they attract the first time user. Also there is no choice of non-smoking room, so you may get smoking room if the hotel is overbooked. And this happens to me twice.

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  4. LORENZ LIM says:
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    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    Found a better price after booking Prague on Hotwire. Submitted online claim.

    Hotwire replied: “Hello, Thank you for contacting Hotwire Customer Care in regards to your reservation. I understand that you have found a lower rate for your reservation and would like to submit a Low Price Guarantee.
    In order to further assist you, please provide the guest name for verification.
    If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to reply to this email or call us directly at 1-866-HOTWIRE (468-9473). Thank you for choosing Hotwire, our flights, car rentals, and hotels are backed by a Low Price Guarantee allowing you to Take More Trips.
    Sincerely,
    Dannielle H.
    Hotwire Customer Care”

    After I replied, and despite several emails and reminders, they simply refuse to reply!! Thumbs down and I consider the Hotwire guarantee a scam.

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  5. Holly A. says:
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    Rating: 2.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    I booked a hotel on hotwire on an impulse before going to the hotel website. When I went to the hotel website I discovered that the price of rooms booked directly through the hotel was cheaper!! I wrote to hotwire citing their “We’ll beat a cheaper price if you find it within 48 hours of booking” policy and asked for a refund of the difference between the room rates. I was sent a form email informing me that they were unable to find the rate I was citing. I replied sending back explicit instructions on where to find the rate and was ignored. Two thumbs way, way, down hotwire. Never again.

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    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
  6. Holly says:
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    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    I wish I had read this website before I booked a hotel reservation with Hotwire.com. When I clicked on the three star “show me” button, the Hotels.com web site automatically popped up in tandem which showed how all of the hotels were rated in that area. When I accepted the three star rate, Hotwire sent me back a reservation at a two and a half star hotel. In addition to Hotels.com, Expedia, Priceline and TripAdvisor rate it as two and a half stars as well. Deceptive advertising if you ask me. I will not use Hotwire again.

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  7. Terry says:
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    Believe these previously posted reviews and beware of HOTWIRE. I used them for two trips and both times it was a diaster. Never again… HOTWIRE I will be voicing my disgrace to everyone I come in contact with.

    1) Book air travel to leave on a cruise; the train we were on broke down and we were stuck and missed our flights. Airtran said if we had booked directly with them they could refund our money. After contacting Hotwire numerous times, Hotwire said “we have repeatedly respond with our official policy and can not provide any compensation.” We had to purchase four new tickets in order to make the ship departure on time…. COST: $1,400
    2) Took our daughter to school and needed a hotel; Hotwire booked us in a 3.5 1/2 star hotel ($140 night) What a joke! The hotel was a 1 STAR MOTEL. The room/halls smelled like mold and urine and right in front of a “gentlemen’s all night club.” Contacted Hotwire and was told “we’re sorry you’re not happy, but we can’t refund money; we can put you in another hotel but the cheapest hotel we can find is a 4 star hotel at $275 per night.” That was double of what I was paying and was told becuase they had given us a choice to change hotels, they could not refund any monies or adjust the hotel price if we didn’t agree to move to the more expensive hotel.

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  8. Pamela Jones says:
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    This is why I recommend booking your hotel directly on the hotel’s own website! I explain it all here, http://travelsitecritic.com/reviews/articles/book-hotel-direct/

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  9. Jihan Shareef says:
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    I booked a room through Hotwire. After my stay, I found out that I would have been charged $30 less for the hotel’s rate had I booked my room DIRECTLY THROUGH THE HOTEL… seriously? I thought the point of Hotwire was to SAVE MONEY!? Thanks a lot, Hotwire. Never again. Folks, listen to the overwhelming negative reviews on Hotwire and save yourself the trouble. Use another company.

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  10. Stefanie says:
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    Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes cast)

    Disappointed with Hotwire. OK I get it, package was non-refundable. I tried to explain to whomever answered me if I could please get some type of credit or at least get the ticket switched from my ex boyfriends name, who cheated on me and I bought his ticket on my credit card. I told her that I’m young and have never done this before and she got loud and said NONREFUNDABLE NONTRANSFERABLE. Then she said he will receive credit for a flight whenever he wants to use it….UNDER MY CREDIT CARD! ARGH never ever ever using Hotwire again.

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  11. Joanne says:
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    Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes cast)

    Hotwire was a rip off for me. I used their site 3 times. The first motel I booked, I was… a real treat. The second was really poor quality and overpriced. The third one I booked on Hotwire, would not allow a dog (the others charged a small fee, but were okay with it). I arrived at 9 at night, was told I couldn’t stay there, and had to start searching for another place to stay. The hotel said I would be refunded… which I believed. But when I contacted Hotwire, they refused to refund me. They said I should have contacted the hotel to see what their policy is before I booked, which is impossible, since you don’t know the name of the hotel until after you put your money down. I ended up having to pay for a night at a hotel that I couldn’t even use. NOWHERE on the Hotwire site does it say that you can be refused service… and if you are, tough luck. You still have to pay.

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  12. Susan says:
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    Hotwire does NOT send upcoming reservation reminders or provide the hotel with your contact information. If you travel alot like I do, that’s an issue. Unfortunately, I had forgot about this reservation that I bought four months ago for my sons move-in day at college. I ended up having to stay at two different hotels because everywhere was booked, I also ended up paying three times as much because it was last minute. I checked my travelocity, hotels.com and priceline accounts which all do send reminders. I even called the Holiday Inn in which I thought I booked. I searched through my emails looking for some type of upcoming reminder to no avail……since Hotwire does not provide any contact information, the hotel, which ironically I stayed before, couldn’t even call me to ask where I was or find me when I called to ask. No more Hotwire for me.

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  13. blake carpenter says:
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    Rating: 3.7/5 (3 votes cast)

    I have used Hotwire for 5 years for Hotels only primarily in Atlanta, but on occasion in San Francisco and once to London and Amsterdam. Well over 100 bookings on Hotwire. I am a bit of a Gambler and try and avoid a rut, so I enjoy the adventure. I do find that they will be .5 a star lower on occasion. I do consistently stay at nicer hotels than the businessmen I travel with for ~20% less money. I have gotten some phenomenal deals and some OK deals. I never book less than 3.5 stars on Hotwire. At 3.5 you will be safe and often but not always surprised to the upside. At 4 or 5 stars you will be pleasantly surprised. I find Hotwire MUCH more competitive at the bigger cities than the rural and small city areas. Any place with oversupply makes them a better deal IMO.

    Hotwire’s customer service has been good for me, but I definately get a break for being a frequent user (I think this matters to them). They have fixed two boneheaded mistakes on my part that were clearly my fault and I said as much when I initially talked to them. I do have a knack for solving these type of things with a good attitude (my two cents is that their staff is used to some yelling – but not honey so a little humility and friendliness goes a long way).

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    Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
  14. Lizacat says:
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    I used Hotwire fairly successfully for several years, but something happened to me last month that ended that. I, a woman traveling alone, drove to my booked motel about 10 at night. I had always gotten fairly acceptable rooms at standard mid-level name brand hotels so was expecting something similar as there were several in this mid-size town (Hastings, Nebraska). However I found myself in a dark industrial area and at a broken down, old courtyard type motel. The sign was half lit, the office was covered in graffiti and trash littered the ground. The room was reasonably clean, but there were badly patched places and dark marks on the walls. Several people were standing around drinking outside my room. I was tired, I didn’t know the town, and besides I had already paid for the room and so I wedged a chair under the door, put my purse under my pillow and slept in my clothes. I got up early, was relieved that my car was still there. When I complained, Hotwire said they only promised a clean place to sleep, and that the descriptions of the level of hotel it supposedly was were only examples. I will never let myself get into that position again, I believe it was dangerous.

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  15. mike1212hotel says:
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    Hotwire is terrible. Their hotel ratings are 1/2 to a full star overrated. Our 2.5 star hotel did not even have maid service for the 5 days we were there (only weekly).

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  16. VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 3.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    In reply to the comment below, I TOTALLY agree in most circumstances it is best to book your hotel directly with the hotel. We wrote this article about why this is true: http://travelsitecritic.com/reviews/articles/book-hotel-direct/

    One exception in my book is LuxuryLink.com. I have used them personally several times and they have fab deals on luxury hotels and resorts. Read these reviews to see why I like Luxury Link so much and why they are our TOP RATED TRAVEL WEBSITE: http://travelsitecritic.com/reviews/articles/book-hotel-direct/

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  17. Anonymous says:
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    Let me explain to you, from a hotel point of view. As a Hotwire guest, you did not pay the hotel, you paid Hotwire. We cannot and will not adjust your rate for any reason, due to contractual agreement with Hotwire. We will get paid the same amount, regardless of how much you complain. There is no such thing as getting a five star stay at a one star price…it will not ever happen. You’ll get the least desireable room every time, I promise you. As a Hotwire guest, you will not get an upgrade, a free breakfast, rewards points, or any other nice things that a guest paying full rate -or any rate directly to the hotel-will receive. You didn’t choose us out of loyalty, but rather by what hotel would take your low bid. We are well aware that the guests booking on Hotwire will be the ones that complain about anything possible and try everything in the book to get a refund, while the guest who is upstairs in bed and paying $269 a night will be nothing but nice to our entire staff, and in the event of something going wrong will allow us to fix the problem without asking for money back. I don’t tell you this to be mean, and you can believe it or not as it doesn’t make a hill of beans to us. I’ve worked in several chains and at any property it is always the same. Do yourself a huge favor and book directly through the hotel or it’s website. You might be suprised at the deals that you’ll find on the hotel’s website. And you will definitely be suprised at the difference in service, upgrades, and accomodations that you receive when you arrive. Just saying….

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  18. paul says:
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    Made reservations 3 months in advance Hotwire. They never gave me choice of seats. Me, My wife my 6 year old and my 8 ear old are now spread across the plane. Hotwire gave me the “well we don’t assign the seats.” Well why did you ask my kids ages when I made the reservations? Common sense here, no one wants to sit by a 6 yr old separated from mom between Charlotte and Aruba!

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  19. Ana says:
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    Rating: 1.5/5 (2 votes cast)

    I will never use Hotwire again. If you use them, it may not be long before you are disappointed. They gave us a hotel that was in most sites half a star less than what they state on the site. The price of the hotel was about the same if I had booked myself directly with the hotel. What about the savings the tell you you will get for booking without knowing the name of the hotel. They lead you to believe you will get a 4 star hotel for the price of a 2 star. They also lead you to believe you get a hotel that would be $119 for $63. IT WAS A LIE.

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  20. Paul Pittman says:
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    BE CAREFUL when renting a car through Hotwire. The deals sound good and may actually be good, but be careful when you rent that you have accounted for all the days you are looking at. Per the Hotwire people, once the car is booked, the dates cannot be changed, this means extending the dates. In other words, if you want to pick up earlier you will need to wait until the date you originally booked, period. There is not help or apparently they are not interested in helping after they have your money. Next time, I will go directly through the rental agency thank you! Take the money and run – that is all Hotwire seems to care about.

    Paul

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  21. jan says:
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    Rating: 3.5/5 (2 votes cast)

    I booked a room on Hotwire for 5 nights,did not know the name untill after I booked,which was ok.I thought I was paying $778 but it was 778 euros.I was not on their international site.Would not let me cancel.

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  22. Maria says:
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    Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    I have used Hotwire for years and have always been satisfied, until I recently booked a 7-night stay. The hotel I got was a very unusual lodging, and certainly did not merit 3.5 stars. I first called Hotwire, and they upheld their rating. I then emailed Consumer Relations and they still upheld their ratings. At that point, I emailed them back, copying the next highest supervisor, and sent actual traveler photos and reviews of the hotel. Within hours, a very gracious representative called me to offer a full refund. She thanked me for bringing this to their attention and stayed on the phone with me until the refund email confirmation came through. I was impressed with how Hotwire handled this situation and will definitely give them another chance.

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  23. Tom Stone says:
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    Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    Everyone wants something for nothing (or next to nothing). I’ve used Hotwire for cars several times. I understand the risk and so far it’s paid off. I’ve never booked a hotel with them because I don’t want to chance what I’ll get. Do the smart thing and book the hotel direct, spend a little more perhaps, and get just what you asked for.

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  24. Karen Husman says:
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    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    On the surface, Hotwire seems like a decent travel website to try and book car rentals from, but then IF you have ANY kind of problem, WATCH OUT! They will steal from you. I can’t believe their service. The absolute worse! I just called Hotwire to try and cancel a reservation because of a family emergency and they WOULD NOT do it. No Refunds they said, not their problem as to the reason why we had to cancel. They would not even consider crediting my account the amount for future use. If they can’t give refunds, then they need to be able to credit your account. I don’t see why Hotwire can’t do that. They still get their money. Other travel sites will at least give you a credit to be used at a later date and that is why those sites are more appealing.

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  25. Gary Hill says:
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    Rating: 2.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    I didn’t have a good experience with Hotwire. Must admit, I didn’t understand I was going to be locked into a reservation – okay, my fault. But the Sonesta Resort Hotel, Maho Bay, Sint Maarten didn’t live up to the star rating. I was charged twice for the 2 nights lodging. The hotel staff had no idea how to handle my Hotwire reservation and the fact that I had already paid $387 for two nights. So was charged an additional $306 upon checking out. AmEx card is handling the dispute. The check-in was 50 minutes and check-out at the Sonesta was 40 minutes. Good people at the desk, but major systems problems. This hotel should have had a 2 star rating on Hotwire.

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  26. Lawrence says:
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    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    Hotwire is the worst online travel booking site ever! Service people are rude and the booking is not cancellable right after booking. They just keep the full amount right away even without taking the trip. Hotwire does not have any communication with the local rental car/hotel if anything changed and caused huge confusion.

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  27. Allie says:
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    Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

    Wow I’m surprised by all of these negative reviews! I’ve been using Hotwire for quite sometime and like it a lot. I think it boils down to ALWAYS booking 3.5 star and up, having your confirmation number with you at check in, and figuring out (or at least narrowing down the hotel to just a few) before you book. For example, tomorrow I’m going to DC for my birthday. I booked a 4 star hotel on hotwire and I knew it would be one of two great hotels in the region and either would be great! I got one of the two that i thought for $83 (after taxes and fees, $100) and the cheapest price I saw for the room (knowing the hotel in advance was $179) so I saved $79. I really can’t complain about that. It all comes down to whether you want to research it and take a little bit of a chance or know the hotel and (in most cases) pay more. Although I did book once in NYC (but NYC has a million hotels so it’s almost impossible to truly narrow it down) and got a hotel, that was great, but wasn’t any cheaper than booking off of the actual hotel’s site. But another time I booked in DC and got a hotel for less than $100 and the cheapest I could find for a room there was $220! So it all depends. Do your homework and know what you’re getting before you book OR don’t use hotwire! Also never ever book anything less than 3.5 star and look at tripadvisor ratings (sometimes these reviews are on hotwire and if they’re less than 3.5 circles filled that means it’s not a great hotel)

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  28. Diana says:
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    Rating: 1.0/5 (2 votes cast)

    Hotwire misrepresents hotel amenities and services and stretches hotel star rating.
    BUYER BEWARE!!!
    I have used Hotwire many times in the past to make hotel reservations with NO problems. However, it seems they now have very POOR quality criteria control and allow hotels to put whatever they want on the site to SUCK you in. Example: I made two separate reservations arriving Christmas day. Both are not what I thought I was getting or paid. The 1st 4 star hotel offers NO restaurant open until 5:00 pm. Our early morning flight arrives at 9:00 and checking restaurants downtown San Diego most are closed. What 4star hotel especially in a downtown location is closed during the day or at least offers room service for guests? After reading reviews it is also extreme pet friendly allowing pets in all public areas even the restaurant. Where I live this is a health code violation. Also NO pool! These things should have been posted on hotel description so I would not book, again misleading. This is NOT a Hampton Inn or 4 star services or amenities I paid for. The second 4 1/2 star hotel says it is non-smoking but after reading poor reviews and checking website found it offers smoking rooms. I am allergic to smoke so always try to book non-smoking hotels. When I called Hotwire I was told they don’t have to be 100% non-smoking just offer non-smoking rooms. I’ m sorry but that is not a good answer. ALL hotels offer a NS room! Clearly Hotwire allows hotels to put whatever they want on the site to suck consumers in. The problem is after you book and pay you don’t get the services or star rating you thought you were paying for. After calling to try to change hotels to true 4 star hotels (not refund) I was told by a supervisor there are no refunds or changes and the terms state no warranty is made on hotel services. Shame on you….you have an obligation to verify hotels provide the amenities and services of the hotel rating YOU sell. Now I find out I could have booked the new NS Hilton on the water for the same price we paid of $99 on my own and had control of my vacation not to mention Christmas.

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  29. Linda says:
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    I’ve always had good luck with Hotwire. Do your homework, read the better bidding website. Every time they’ve been accurate. By using the list of hotels you’ll possibly be staying, check their websites for prices, amenities, location etc… Read reviews about the those hotels elsewhere. You can check proximity to your destination via google maps or somewhere similar.

    As far as the “extra fees” – it’s there when you book the hotel and are given your final price. Heck it’s there when you consider booking it – so I’m suspicious of anyone stating it’s a surprise. Also, that fee has nothing to do with Hotwire, and amounts vary according to location from what I understand. I can’t see anyone NOT seeing that before they hit that “book it” (or whatever) button.

    I’ve never been disappointed, but as I said, I did my homework, and didn’t rely on just Hotwire’s own star rating – which, if you read in their explanation, is not determined by your mom’s AAA book.

    It’s just like anything in life, read the fine print. Be flexible, and know you’ll probably not be getting 100% of what you’d book outright. That’s how you get the better prices, or in least my experience, it’s how it’s worked.

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    Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
  30. Matt T says:
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    Yes Hotwire is a bait and switch company and their customer service is next to nothing. Dont ever use.
    I booked a 3 1/2 star room because on their website they showed Hilton, Hyatt, Radisson etc. They gave me a Best Western. I emailed Hotwire, asking since when does Best Western rank with the hotels under your 3 1/2 star listing. In fact, they had the Best Western logo on their 2 1/2 star and 3 star listing. Do not use Hotwire. I wish I would have read some reviews on them before I booked.

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    Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)
  31. David Birch says:
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    Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes cast)

    Hotwire lies about ratings. Booked a supposed 4 star hotel in Midtown Manhattan West and got an unknown hotel called the Cassa Hotel- not a 4 star hotel by anyone’s definition. Tiny room, tiny bed, minimal service Zero amenities. Wifi is not free – an extra $10 daily on top of an exorbitant price. Do not trust Hotwire descriptions. Hotwire’s customer service is nonexistent.

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    Rating: 0 (from 4 votes)
  32. WilkinsonFamily says:
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    Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes cast)

    After successfully booking airfare with Hotwire twice, we decided to give it a try for a hotel. Booked it, got the confirmation email, not overly thrilled with the place “revealed” (didn’t really match the star rating, but whatever), hit the hotel website to get a map and directions and there it is… a price that is WAY LOWER than the one that Hotwire just charged me not five minutes ago. Well, to make a long story, short we’ve been arguing with Hotwire all day long… They’ll match the price, but not beat it and not give us a cancelation either. This doesn’t match up with the sales pitch in Hotwire’s ads at all. What about “unpublished rates to sell unsold rooms”??? Hotwire’s response was sorry, it’s policy (and the lady on the phone had the nerve to sound bored with me while she delivered the bad news). So, my husband gave it a try and got the same “we could give a flying leap” attitude and lack of response. Now we’re both completely ticked off. Why does Hotwire even exist? What is their purpose? Where is the value-add??? I reviewed their ads on YouTube – this is not what I was promised.

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  33. VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)

    We always recommend that you carefully check the “AREA MAP” prior to booking on Hotwire, because they can book you in any hotel within that area. The Area Map for “Redondo Beach, CA” on Hotwire includes Manhattan Beach, and is actually quite a large area.

    Before you book on Hotwire, click on the Area Map link to see this area.

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  34. Christian says:
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    Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes cast)

    Just made a reservation for my family in Redondo Beach, CA so that we could be close to the ocean. I picked a 3 star hotel for $100 a night. it …seemed ok, since you get a kitchenette, free parking and breakfast. HOWEVER, when I clicked the button. SURPRISE I got a crappy hotel in Manhattan beach instead of Redondo Beach, JUST BEHIND THE FREEWAY.what a great way to spend the time with my family.
    calling customer support to complain about getting a hotel in another area than I had requested they just informed me that there is nothing that they can do, and that I am bound by my contract. I travel A LOT, and this is the WORST DEAL EVER. PRICELINE IS BEST CHOICE. At least they dont screw you on the area, and TRICK YOU INTO BUYING SOMETHING THAT YOU DON’T WANT.

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  35. brian says:
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    Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes cast)

    I booked what I was told would be a Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn or a Ramada. It ended up being a Super 8. Not a big deal but our NON-smoking room had a distinct odor of a mix of mildew and cigarette smoke. It had multiple stains in the carpet and bedspread and appeared as though it hadn’t been remodeled in decades. (ie: mold growing in the cracks of the caulking in the tub. (it was filthy)

    I asked the manager of the hotel for another room and was told it was not possible as all the rooms unfortunately were the same.

    I called Hotwire to book another hotel. They would not book another hotel.

    We didn’t stay there and did not receive a refund even though we never used the room.

    Bottom line, stay clear of Hotwire, their customer service and savings are non-existent. I asked what the AAA rate would be directly from Super 8 and the rate was the same as Hotwires “lowest rate”.

    Brian from AZ

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  36. Grant says:
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    Rating: 4.0/5 (4 votes cast)

    People, do your homework. I have booked rooms 9 times with Hotwire and I could not be happier.
    I used betterbidding website and it worked out where I was staying 7 of my 9 stays.
    After Booking on Hotwire, I simply called up each hotel and confirmed the room prior to my trip.
    If a Australian can do it… so can you.

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    Rating: +6 (from 10 votes)
  37. TravelGuru says:
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    Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

    Hotwire rarely shows a bed choice, that is actually a newer feature on the website as of late. When you agree to purchasing the reservation, you bind yourself and really you would have no legal recourse of action and your case will be dismissed. All the judge will ask is that you agreed to the terms of the contract, which was to make the purchase with out knowing the property and that is exactly what you did, case closed. Availabilities of more than a single bed in a room is subject to the properties own digression, and frankly when you book a double occupancy, most of the mentality is that it is a couple traveling together and would end up sharing a bed anyway.

    If you feel that you were wronged by Hotwire, I can tell you it wasn’t a scam. Even if you book a double bed room on a hotel website it says in the disclaimer that your room choice is not a guarantee, it’s the same as picking a seat assignment on an airplane, that is just your choice, it’s not the airlines promise to allow you to sit in that seat. Your only recourse of action at this point is to submit your complaint and they may compensate you in the form of a credit on your account for future use. I highly suggest, as suggested, to use Hotwire for a higher star rated property and you will be pleasantly surprised when you only paid $89 for a $300/night room at a 4 and 5 star property.

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  38. TravelGuru says:
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    Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

    The terms and conditions with third party travel sites are very strict. Once you purchase something you agree to their terms and conditions and they are non-negotiable. The property canceled with out a problem because they had already been paid and knew that Hotwire would not make any changes. It is the same with airfare, you miss your flight for any reason, other than the airline being delayed, it is all on you…same with hotels. You are paying a negotiated rate and you choose to forgo discovery of the property until after you have completed the purchase, thus confirming the contract and sealing it at that point. The only recourse of action you have with Hotwire at that point, is after your stay, you write a complaint and they will offer you some form of compensation, which would be a credit to use with Hotwire again. I suggest, as it was stated to use 3.5 star and above properties, especially if you can find a 4 star at a good rate. I’ve stayed in $300/night rooms for $89 repeatedly and will use Hotwire for higher star rated properties. You want to steer clear of 3star and below and some 3.5 stars can be iffy. But, I suggest using them again, and treat yourself to a really good deal on a 4 star if you can find one, you’ll change your mind.

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    Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
  39. TravelGuru says:
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    Rating: 3.7/5 (3 votes cast)

    When you book with Hotwire, to the left is the break down of fee’s including taxes, these are never hidden and have to be disclosed by American Law. Also in the icon bank it will tell you if parking is not available or if you have to pay for it. Also, there is a disclaimer at the bottom warning you of such things. I’ve used Hotwire for years and at first I had some surprises, but it was because I didn’t read the icons or fine print, I was just excited to get a deal on a nice hotel room. I suggest using it again, or at least use it to search first. Then compare on a website like Hotels.com or Travelocity and compare the star ratings and amenities before booking. You can also go to bettterbidding.com and look in the forums for the selected cities, and people there help you figure out what hotels are based on star ratings, locations and amenities.

    You can always submit a complaint directly to Hotwire and if your complaints are in fact valid and it wasn’t you simply over looking or not being educated enough on how Hotwire lists their properties, no offense, then they will always be more than glad to credit your account for future use. I’ve always written reviews and if I find the property is mis-rated, I get a credit, never fails. If I’m not happy, they do something to make it right.

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    Rating: +5 (from 9 votes)
  40. Hans says:
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    I booked a hotel in Baltimore with hotwire. The price given was incorrect: instead of $94 I paid $113.73 because hotwire ignored to mention the room taxes. For a European, that is absolutely unacceptable. Also, the hotel which I got did not even have parking, and I had to use an expensive $36 overnight valet service. I don’t think I will use hotwire ever again.

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  41. jamie says:
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    Yes but as u know, u do have to agree to the tou BEFORE booking… and that is where you would see that along with all of hotwires rules… why doesnt anyone read what they are agreeing too… if you book with an agent they are required to read it to you, then maybe someone tht just agrees and flips through as you must have done, wont be confused

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  42. VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 3.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    I’m sure it’s too late for you now Susi, but for our other readers I thought I would post this tip when dealing with Hotwire:

    If you end up with a bad hotel on Hotwire,immediately search online and attempt to find a lower rate for that hotel anywhere else online. You need to find a lower rate on the same EXACT room type and dates. Search on the hotels own website, and use Kayak to compare rates on the hotel. Why do this? Hotwire has a bit of a loophole in their “nonrefundable” policy and they call it their “Low-Price Guarantee”. If you happen to find a lower rate (and people apparently do), Hotwire guarantees they will refund you “double the difference” on your reservation. You only have 48 hours from the Hotwire booking to do this…thus the urgency to act fast. As stated in the review above, you will need to take screenshots of the booking screen with a cheaper rate and document everything carefully. Go to the “My Account” section of Hotwire to submit your claim.

    Visit Hotwire’s website to review the Low Price Guarantee in its entirety, as you need to follow their terms and conditions* to qualify for the refund!

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    Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
  43. Susi Larson says:
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    I booked two single rooms on Hotwire for my aunt and father, both nearly 80 years old, after speaking to an agent to find a property similar to a Springhill Marriott. I raised her suggested star rating another 1/2 star up, just to be sure it would be a nice place. The hotel that was booked had reviews including such words as “filthy”, “unsafe” and “in need of security”. Upon calling the hotel directly, I was informed the security system was not functioning and “under maintenance”. They were not comfortable with this, thus I cancelled their reservation the same evening it was booked. Hotwire will not refund, change, or credit to another property. I will NEVER use them again. The property itself had no problem with the cancellation but HOTWIRE refused any negotiating. I will fight this through my credit card company.

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  44. Curly Surmudgeon says:
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    Hotwire cheated me out of a measly $15 but in such a way to work up my ire sufficiently to take the bastards to small claims court since their corporate offices are within 150 miles of my location.

    I bought one of Hotwire’s scams for a cheap motel for two adults. Since it didn’t specify the number of beds I telephoned Hotwire before booking. On the telephone their agent told me that the hotel would accomodate two beds if I called the hotel immediately after booking. So I booked. Then I called and was told Hotwire lied and the second bed (still two adults) would cost an extra $15.

    Hotwire first pointed to the text in my reservation confirmation page that the number of beds wasn’t guaranteed. I replied that the text in that confirmation wasn’t available *before* booking, only after. I then pointed to a copy of their webpage that advertised the rate and no such mention was made plus their agent gave me false information.

    Hotwire simply doesn’t care. They have my money and will not make good on their word nor refund the extra charge. Worse yet is that the motel told me that they charge the same rate to anyone walking in the front door!

    Never use Hotwire. Never. Never. Never, never, never.

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  45. Manuel says:
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    Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes cast)

    I was a loyal customer of Hotwire. I got a hotel in Vienna Austria the hotel was 4 star rating (not really). the problem was that I payed more than the room was listed for at the hotel. Not only that but for the price of two nigths I could have had the third nigth for free.

    Not very good way to do business.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  46. Linda says:
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    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    My boyfriend and I recently used Hotwire to book last minute accommodations for a weekend away in san diego to visit the midway. We bid on a 4 star for $85/nite and got booked in the Sheraton downtown. we were hoping for harbor island, but the downtown one was wonderful, high above the city with a view of the ocean. it was actually a spacious suite. The desk attendants and concierge were also very helpful with sights in the area. it was really nice and even with parking it was still a great deal.

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  47. Jules says:
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    Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes cast)

    Booked a 4 night stay in the Hampton Inn Dulles-Cascades hotel in Sterling, VA hotel for our family from 10/10/10 – 10/14/10. Ended up with a bed and a pull-out “sofa bed” which was not disclosed (never dreamed to ask). Offered to pay additional to get regular beds, but they declined. Also the rate was not discounted, the rate posted on the Hampton Inn site was the exact same that Hotwire offered. Hotwire suggested they just changed rates (really? – it would have to have been in minutes as I checked as soon as I received the Hotwire confirmation because I didn’t want the sofa bed). I called the hotel and they wouldn’t do anything since payment was made to Hotwire directly. Hotwire offered to give me $40 in hotwire money that could be used at their site for up to one year. Fat chance of that, I declined. Please do yourself a favor and use another service other than Hotwire.

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    Rating: +2 (from 6 votes)
  48. Greg Crucian says:
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    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    I will never use Hotwire again! I rented a car through Hotwire specifically because they offered insurance which I needed because I had no insurance in the USA. However, I found out after I picked up the rental car that no insurance had been issued!! So, not only was I sold something that I didn’t get, I am also put in the position of driving around illegally and with the added personal liability of the rental car should anything happen. Nothing was indicated on the website and the website took my credit card charge. And Hotwire will not refund the charge, saying they provided the car. What a bunch of “nonsense” (not the actual word I was thinking)!

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  49. Kevin Lutz says:
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    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    I haven’t used Hotwire in a couple years and will NEVER use it again!!!! Today I used Hotwire to book a hotel in Pittsburgh, PA. I saw that they had a good deal on a three star hotel at $95 and because I know the city well I figured I had it narrowed down to three possible hotels. Boy was I wrong! I ended up with a reservaton at what used to be the Pittsburgh Hilton, but is now known as the Grand Pittsburgh Downtown. The Grand Pittsburgh Downtown doesnt even have a friggin website i come to find out! Moreover, i find that Hilton stripped the place of the Hilton name only a month ago because the failed numerous inspections! Also, according to the Tribune-Review and USA Today, the management company that owns the hotel has filed for bankruptcy becuase the owner of the property filed for foreclosure after Hilton removed their name. All of this is easy to find out online, but apparently Hotwire doesn’t care to research the hotels that supply them. Furthermore, no other travel sites i could find were offering rooms at this hotel for my travel dates! i wonder why????? I called Hotwire customer service to voice my concerns and change my reservation but was greeted with company line after company line about their reservation policy. I was told that i could not change my reservation, and in fact i didnt have to use it but i would still be charged for it! Even after talking to a supervisor who said they understood my concerns, they still in the end, gave me the same company line and would not change my reservaton. To me a sign of a bad and struggling business is the willingness to partner with bad and struggling companies to try to survive. Hotwire is exactly that, a bad business with shotty practices! How can you send people to a hotel with bad reviews, a bankrupt owner, and no website and call it three stars? What a rip off!

    Hotwire is a joke! I recommend paying the extra fifty or so dollars to know where your staying instead of ending up at some mom and pops place with no website and bad reviews!!!

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  50. Dave says:
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    If you book a hotel with Hotwire they will sell you on a 4 star room and then place you in one that is a 2 star at best. (old bathroom, wallpaper, tv, small desk with poor lighting and worst of all a A/C that only works part of the time).

    By no means should you ever book a 4star hotel in the Reno Airport area with HOTWIRE because they will put you in the low class rooms and happily take your money. I know because i just got off of the phone with Hotwire talking to 2 supervisors and got no where. They just don’t get it and will continue the same “bait and switch” tactics.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  51. Stephen Guerra says:
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    Hotwire is such a disaster you have to wonder who runs it. You can get good prices on car rentals, but hotel bookings are a total disaster and customer service is a site out of Russia where all they are allowed to say is “No”.

    Hotwire is a complete scam at times and has been targeted by a variety of consumer complaint agencies. Not sure how they stay in business.

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    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  52. james says:
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    Used hotwire.com to book a hotel in the Florida Keys. During booking, it promised a 3.5 star hotel, stating “You’ll always get instant confirmation at a brand-name hotel”, followed with “Our 3.5-star hotel suppliers include: Hilton, Millennium, Crowne Plaza, and other respected hotel brands”.

    Once booked, it revealed the hotel to be Ocean Pointe Suites Key Largo. I’ve never heard of Ocean Pointe before, so I dont count that as a brand name. It turns out that there is only one of them, in Key Largo, so I fail to see how that makes it a “brand name” hotel. Up the road from where we stayed was a Hilton, and a Marriott – so high level hotels were in the area.

    Our room contained a queen bed and a pull out sofa. Technically, that is enough for the group of 3 we had. However, the pull out sofa was in a state of extreme disrepair (I would guess it had been used as a trampoline by many children) as the matress supporting canvas was stretched and was missing half its springs. The mattress itself was thin and full of wires – it was even uncomfortable when placed on the floor seperate to the unsleepable sofa.

    I would think that the Hilton hotels would not like to be compared to a similar level of quality as to what we were sold.

    I wrote to hotwire.com to explain the problem and received a response no better than a copy-paste of their terms and conditions.

    Don’t use hotwire.com!

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    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
  53. Steven Simons says:
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    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    Have had a very good run with Hotwire. The exception was recently when I was given a hotel which had atrocious reviews. Called them and they rebooked me at another property. Some of the hotels I have been given have been around half the price I could get elsewhere.

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    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  54. VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 3.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    Yep, sounds like your experience is not unique. If you use a site like Hotwire or Priceline, I recommend that you only book hotels rated as 4 star hotels to avoid a horrible situation such as the one mentioned here. Hotwire does still have cheap rates on 4 stars compared to the competiton, but they are not always available at your destination. Remember that you get what you pay for.

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  55. kharris says:
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    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    I had an awful experience with Hotwire. I will never use them again and I suggest you don’t either. I needed to find a hotel room in Seattle with two days heads up. I didn’t have many options, and location was more important than comfort so I went with a 2*. The hotel was fine except hotwire booked me into a SMOKING ROOM WITHOUT EVER TELLING ME. I double checked my confirmation email and there was NOTHING alluding to a smoking-ok room. I’m sure there was something hidden in the fine print during the booking process, but my god how sleazy. I felt like I took a few years off my life sleeping in that musty room. I talked to the hotel about it and they said hotwire does it to people all the time. They couldn’t move me because the hotel was full… of course. I will never use hotwire again.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  56. Ray says:
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    Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    We booked a room through Hotwire.com in Williamsburg, VA. Arrived at the hotel at 11:15ish pm with three adults and three children and upon arrival we found out there was no reservation. Hotwire cannot rebook you after 11pm and every hotel was full. What a lousy night thanks to Hotwire.com. Hotwire had three days to notify us that the room was not booked. That would have saved us a ton of stress. We had just driven over five hours and needed our hotel room. Never use Hotwire.com! And triple check your current reservation with the hotel. Hotwire.com took over thirty minutes to answer our phone call and they were helpless!!

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  57. DoNotUseHotwire says:
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    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    Don’t book with hotwire. They will not help you after they get your money. They DO NOT HAVE THE LOWEST DEAL. USE EXPEDIA. I have always used expedia and they are much better and you know what you are getting.

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  58. B luv says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 2.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    Do not ever, EVER, book a hotel through HOTWIRE. You may read one thing in the details of the hotel and when you find out which hotel it is, you are given something else. It’s like pulling teeth to get a refund, but it can be done (after contacting the hotel and speaking to a supervisor so that they can approve your cancelation and then calling Hotwire’s corporate office). The representatives that work for Hotwire, know how horrid their company is. No one can actually help you. Here is a side note…. most of the hotels that the website use are for business class travelers. So if you are 2 grown people that need separate beds, don’t be surprised if you are given one bed big enough for two people. Hell no!!! Just pay extra for another website, where you can see which hotel you are actually booking for. And, if they tell you that they don’t/can’t do refunds… don’t believe it. It can be done!!! :(

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  59. Virginy says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    We booked a hotel room on Hotwire and had to change due to the noise and lack of cleanness! Never use Hotwire! We try to contact them and they don’t do anything!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  60. John Davies says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    I wish I had checked Hotwire out before reviewing. I got charged an additional 25% in “fees and taxes”. And funny enough, these fees and taxes don’t count for the low price guarantee! Because of that instead of a $14 dollar rebate, Hotwire gave me $2. Then I got stuck in a smoking room because there weren’t any non-smoking available. Oh yeah, and Hotwire’s price was $1 less than if I had purchased at the hotel desk.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  61. Dave Stevens says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 2.0/5 (1 vote cast)

    Don’t ever book a package with Hotwire! I know I never will again! I booked a Hotel Room because it was listed as being located in Scottsdale. Surprise! It wasn’t. It was 30 miles from Scottsdale! I figured, “Oh, they just made a mistake, I’ll call and they’ll fix it.” No they wouldn’t. And, they were rude and unprofessional. Disconnected me three times just because they didn’t want to deal with it. NEVER AGAIN FOR HOTWIRE!!!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)

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