When it comes to booking hotel stays, travelers have many options, including the hotels’ own websites, online travel agencies (Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, etc.), and aggregator sites, like Kayak and Trivago, which compile results from multiple booking engines and sites.
The sheer number of options can be overwhelming. And adding to the difficulty of making a confident choice, the landscape is in constant flux, with once-trusted names falling by the wayside as shiny new upstarts bring more robust technology and better user interfaces to the space.
For those who find themselves overwhelmed, or just need a refresher on the latest and greatest, Frommer’s newly released “Best and Worst Hotel Booking Websites” survey will help narrow the field.
Here’s how Frommer’s described the survey’s methodology: “In order to rank them, we ran all the major sites through a battery of tests to determine which found the most options and the lowest rates – both in various price categories and on specific hotels – in Boston, Rome, and Hong Kong.”
The alluded-to “battery of tests” appears to have been quite exhaustive. In reading the reviews of the listed sites, it’s clear that Frommer’s considered a host of variables, including the number of hotels and destinations covered, choice filters, sort options, success in locating the lowest price, and so on.
The result is a compilation of booking sites that includes some of the old standbys but also some sites that many travelers will be hearing about for the first time.
Frommer’s 10 best:
Note that most hotels only award loyalty-program points for bookings made on their own websites. That doesn’t make the Frommer’s list irrelevant, however; it’s still worth checking third-party sites to see whether the rate quoted on the hotel site is the lowest available.
Reader Reality Check
Quibbles? Sites that should be on the list but aren’t?
After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.
This article first appeared on SmarterTravel.com, where Tim Winship is Editor-at-Large.