How and where cheaper to book hotel

How to book a hotel profitable? Where to seek the best price? Is it true that it is most profitable to book directly? Who are such aggregators? Read in our article Answers and a simple explanation of the booking sites.

How do booking schemes work – simple explanation

Once upon a time there were no booking sites and aggregators. The scheme was extremely simple. Tourists booked rooms on hotels sites (there were few them), by phone, through agents, through hotel network offices.

Below are the schema. Icons in this scheme specifically selected with a dual sense. We hope that this joke has succeeded. We love humor.

It would seem that the scheme is perfect. Tourists and hotel, why do someone else? In practice, the scheme is very uncomfortable. After all, tourists need to know at least the name of hotels. You do not check all, you won’t pass on all sites.

For example, in Dubai now 740 hotels. Do not check the same price for each manually in search of the optimal option. But I want to compare the prices with one click mouse, you want a convenient search with filters.

For these reasons, booking sites appeared, which collected information on a variety of hotels and compared prices. Over time, they began to book through themselves, acting as agents of hotels.

The most famous: Booking.COM, Agoda, Hotels.Com, Ostrovok. The tourists have a choice – book directly or through these sites. And although the sites take their commission with bookings, prices turned out to be approximately equal and when booking directly.

Number of booking sites grew. Everyone had their own agreements with hotels. The room can cost differently on different booking sites, someone can have exclusive conditions. There was a need for aggregators who would collect information on different sites. The scheme is even more complicated.

Classic aggregators do not sell booking themselves. They only compare prices and then redirect the buyer to the booking site. Naturally, aggregators take their humble commission, but not from tourists. De facto aggregators are just information resources. But what useful, and the use of any additional costs does not carry.

The most famous aggregators: Trivago, Hotellook, RoomGuru.

And there is one interesting aggregator – it is Google Maps. If you choose any hotel on the map, then the card shows the left booking options, and immediately compares the prices. As you can see, even Google Corporation is not shy to "bite your piece of cake". And Yandex.Maps are now also offered to make a reservation.

It is important to know and remember that all these aggregators do not sell themselves. They only help choose the best offer and send to the seller.

At the moment (June 2021) Google maps are the most convenient aggregator. Here is the widest range of proposals, including a direct booking option (in most cases).

Book directly always cheaper?

There is an opinion that on official sites of hotels booking is always cheaper. Allegedly no intermediaries, so the price is below. But it is not even an opinion, but a delusion.

The scheme of this business is built in such a way that there are no advantages at hotels with direct booking in the overwhelming majority. The contracts are in such a way that the hotel undertakes not to "shine" at home on the official website. Lower price.

How legal agreements are legal? It is hard to say. For example, FAS Russia recently (December 21, 2020) recognized Booking.COM guilty in violation of antitrust laws. The reason was the contract for which hotels are required to not establish prices lower than that of Booking.Com. However, as we all see, Booking.COM continues to work.

However, when booking directly can be their advantages. The hotel is beneficial direct booking, so he earns more. So often in this case the hotel gives additional compliments to guests. For example, free transfer from the airport, a fruit basket in a room or dinner in a restaurant.

In any case, go to the official website of the hotel and see if any bonuses give.

There is another element of the scheme

There is another kind of participants in the scheme, which we will not show visually, as the scheme will become too big.

These are affiliate sites. These are usually information sites like our. They are masked, pretend that they do not sell anything, but simply tell something useful to their readers. And somewhere in the middle of the information article give reader a link to allegedly the most-most favorable solution to the problem.

Special link – with a special partner number. Note that there is no such reference in our article. We only give names, but not links. We tell, and not sell.

Naturally, affiliates receive their commission for attracting a client. In general, there is nothing wrong with that. But in fact, it often happens that they do not face or are simply lying to sell a service.

Conclusion simple. If you entered the page with information that persistently sends to hotel booking sites, buying tickets, ordering a shuttle or other services, then boldly press the cross. Information here has zero value. Information serves only one goal – to sell.

How and where cheaper to book hotel


This fraudulent business is now flourishing. Make sites that are masked by official hotels, airports, airlines, tourist operators. Often distinguish the fake is very difficult. Be carefull!

To greatly happiness, fakes are usually not applied to users of direct damage. Money does not steal, but simply redirect to buy services by their affiliate link.

Why on different sites different price?

The price depends on many factors.

For example, the hotel holds a promotion together with one of the booking sites – gives an exclusive discount or additional services for free.

Or the hotel broadcasts prices to different agents in different currency. Gives a single booking site in dollars, second to euros, and you are watching prices in rubles. Currency courses change constantly. Naturally, prices for you will be different.

This is valuable aggregators. They show prices current and in the right currency.


– Use aggregators. So you can get the best price. You can save up to 20%. Most Popular: Google, Trivago, Hotellook, RoomGuru;

– Go to the official website of the hotel of interest. It is unlikely there the price will be better. But they can give additional "cookies", and it can be beneficial;

– Do not trust the information pages that tell about the solution to the problem as the very best, and then give a link to the purchase (booking). With a probability of 9 out of 10, their option is beneficial only to them, but not at all;

– compare only the final prices. It happens that on some booking sites there is no tourist tax or additional fees. Make sure that compare the same type of room type and power type.

Specify the questions and leave comments below, and read our useful articles about tourism and for tourists (List of articles below).

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