Should I book a Hotel room thru, Expedia or some other OTA?

I’m travelling to England this summer and want to book a room at a smallish non-chain hotel with no loyalty program. I’ve never used an online travel agent like or Expedia, but I noticed that the hotel I’m thinking about is charging significantly more when a book direct than it would if I book online.

Do others have experience booking non-chain/non-loyalty program hotels? I’m wondering whether I’ll likely get a worse room or worse service if I book the hotel room thru an OTA like or Expedia?


You should be just fine. You could try emailing them, and ask if they’d like to match the OTA rate directly. I’ve used OTAs a few times, though I generally try to book direct. It’s a little unusual to find much of a discrepancy in pricing. One thing to think about is that if you have any problems, need to change or cancel, dealing with an OTA can be more difficult.

I ALWAYS book direct. Call and ask for the best rate; odds are you will get it.

I normally book via Expedia (and then use the resulting points to get nice holiday options) and have never had an issue. Many Expedia options allow free cancellations - and I have found Expedia staff happy to try to get me a free cancellation if I call and give a good reason in the cases where that is not automatically available.

I always use and book via quidco (U.K. referral site, not helpful to you but maybe there are US equivalents) to get an additional 12-20% off.

There’s a false choice in the hotel booking market. In effect all the websites are owned by the same two (ish) companies.

I’ve used them all with no problem except one time and that was 90% on the hotel.

But, I prefer to good direct and let the hotelier keep the money them self.

I (mostly) book chain hotels directly and have used (increasingly, and more recently) and (earlier) for booking non-chain hotels and apartments.

I had pretty good experience with in Italy last year. They often provide specific descriptions on the rooms and type of booking you can get by room that I find helpful. I do tend to stick to properties with lots of recent reviews. Overall, the reviews are legit.

That said, if you book directly with the property, it does put a bit more money in the hotelier’s pocket.

OTA’s usually charge hotels above 25% commission. You can get much better perks booking direct or working with a travel adviser. OTA’s are a necessity in the business but definitely frowned upon by hotels compared to booking direct.

But as I said above. If you use and quidco (or equivalent) you can benefit from most of that commission.

If that makes you feel bad then go ahead and book direct.

My understanding, perhaps wrong, is that if you need something done - a change, a cancellation, etc. - and you’ve booked through an OTA rather than directly, you’re likely to be met with resistance or more difficulty.

I was booking a lot of hotel time via Expedia for a while and they would always reach out on my behalf to the hotel to negotiate a no-fee cancellation etc -not always successfully but they would call while I was on the phone with them.

I usually book direct, but I’ve found some wonderful discounts using and previously on smaller B&B and inns. has been my go to online travel agency when I have to book a paid rate (rather than using my points). I’ve found the rates to be less expensive than some of the others. Many rates let you cancel without charge.

I’d also check Agoda. They’re pretty good too.

But, are you likely to get a lesser room in the same category using if there’s a high demand for rooms in that category? As I mentioned in the OP, the hotel i’m thinking about is a non-chain place on the small side.

You have to read the choices. Many times, if you click through, they’ll show you the room size. If in Europe, it’s good to know how to make the conversion.

I’ve booked both ways and prefer booking direct with the hotel. My biggest complaint using non direct web sites is the continuing emails for deals for locations I’ve already booked as well as offers for locations I haven’t been to for years and never likely to return. Once used they hard are to get rid of, at least for me.

Sorry. I’m a bit slow. Not sure I follow.

By “they” do you mean
And what do you mean by “make the conversion.”


Another benefit of is that they will match a cheaper price elsewhere. I’ve used that three times today!

Just booked my latest business trip via Expedia. Going to Warsaw for first time and so had no idea where I wanted to stay. Expedia’s ratings have always been pretty reliable and the verified customer reviews useful to scan for an overall impression. Booking a package got me an acceptable flight and a room at the five star Sofitel on edge of Old Town for a very good price I could not match otherwise - esp booking only 7 days out. I also get a good number of points that I’ll use for my next personal vacation - and many of my favorite relaxation spots give double credit for those points (Loews Coronado, etc).

The only thing I watch out for is that chains like Marriot will not credit points for stays not booked through them.