Hotel Searching Experience

As I commented in this blog entry: Hello from Palo Alto, I cannot bear the noise of Travelodge. I am moving.

So I did some basic research, and here are my findings.

Price Difference

In a mature and complicated business environment like US, when there are so many ways to optimize for the profit of a business, the rating of hotels varies a lot.

The top rated Creekside Inn (and I went there myself when I pass it tonight) is great. Their price varies from $79 of tomorrow, to $135 at weekdays. For the same day, their price differs from $79 via Expedia.com, to $99 on Creekside Inn’s own website, to Hotels.com to $150 in other book site,

At $79 rate, it is near or even cheaper than motel like Travelodge or Motel 168.

It seems when book a hotel, we need to do more research.

Tip: If staying over weekend, you can get into better hotels with lower rate.

Brand and Location Difference

The brands like Radison, Hilton, and Holiday Inn represent 5 star hotels in Shanghai, and other places in China, but I can easily find them cheaper than Super 8, or Travelodge on the same day. The other difference is, I can find cheaper hotels in downtown San Francisco than in Palo Alto.

View from a Customer

When we create website, we put most of our attentions to ourselves, but as a customer, we see the world in the more common way: We check everything. We check different hotels, and we check different websites for comparison.

Everyone needs service providers (websites, hotels, restaurants). As service providers tried their best to find customers, customers like myself is trying hard to find a good service provider too.

For booking, Expedia.com and Hotels.com always reveals the best (identical) rate for hotels, while Orbitz.com and priceline.com are double that price. Do they know it?

For hotels, when a nice hotel can lower their price at off-peak days than budget hotel, what is our choice?

I am going to give Creekside Inn and Cardinal Hotel at weekend a try this time. At the end of the day, I need to find a good but cheap hotel for my future trips.

6 thoughts on “Hotel Searching Experience

  1. Zheng

    In order to stay in mid- and up-scale hotels at good prices in the US, you need to BID on priceline.com. Priceline has two prices, a undisclosed one that you have a limited number of chance to BID (Click on “name your own price” on their site) and a public one that you have seen.

    Bidding has some risk of not knowing what hotels you will end up with, but there are sites like

    http://biddingfortravel.yuku.com/forums/23/t/California-San-Jose-Silicon-Valley.html

    http://biddingfortravel.yuku.com/topic/8377/t/SAN-JOSE-SILICON-VALLEY-HOTEL-LIST.html

    where you can have a good idea where you will land.

    If you are willing to drive a little bit (~20mins), you can easily get 4* in Santa Clara or Cupertino for $60-80 a night. (Hyatt Regency)

    And you can always get a 3-4* SFO hotel (Sheraton, Hilton, Hyatt Regency) for $35-50 a night in most times of the year.

    The price difference between weekdays and weekends is mostly from the difference in the supply and demand

    Hotels in business-oriented areas (Silicon Valley, most airports) are cheaper on weekends. And tourist traps like Miami beach would be cheaper on weekdays.

    Hotels in Palo Alto are pricier than San Francisco, because a lack of chain hotels such as Mariott and Hyatt.. San Francisco really has an oversupply of business hotel in the downtown area too.

    I don’t know if you use kayak.com. It combines the search result from major suppliers, such as orbitz, expedia.

    BTW, you can also get good car rental deals from priceline if you bid. Should be able to get $13-15 a day at SFO most of the time.

  2. Zheng

    In order to stay in mid- and up-scale hotels at good prices in the US, you need to BID on priceline.com. Priceline has two prices, a undisclosed one that you have a limited number of chance to BID (Click on “name your own price” on their site) and a public one that you have seen.

    Bidding has some risk of not knowing what hotels you will end up with, but there are sites like

    http://biddingfortravel.yuku.com/forums/23/t/California-San-Jose-Silicon-Valley.html

    http://biddingfortravel.yuku.com/topic/8377/t/SAN-JOSE-SILICON-VALLEY-HOTEL-LIST.html

    where you can have a good idea where you will land.

    If you are willing to drive a little bit (~20mins), you can easily get 4* in Santa Clara or Cupertino for $60-80 a night. (Hyatt Regency)

    And you can always get a 3-4* SFO hotel (Sheraton, Hilton, Hyatt Regency) for $35-50 a night in most times of the year.

    The price difference between weekdays and weekends is mostly from the difference in the supply and demand

    Hotels in business-oriented areas (Silicon Valley, most airports) are cheaper on weekends. And tourist traps like Miami beach would be cheaper on weekdays.

    Hotels in Palo Alto are pricier than San Francisco, because a lack of chain hotels such as Mariott and Hyatt.. San Francisco really has an oversupply of business hotel in the downtown area too.

    I don’t know if you use kayak.com. It combines the search result from major suppliers, such as orbitz, expedia.

    BTW, you can also get good car rental deals from priceline if you bid. Should be able to get $13-15 a day at SFO most of the time.

  3. Jian Shuo Wang

    @Zheng, this tip is so helpful. It reveals some important information I have never known – the real price via bidding. I will give it a try. Thanks.

    BTW, since your post contains two links, it was held for review before this comes out.

  4. 美人她爹

    Jianshuo,

    Being in the online travel biz for two years, I realized there are many details in the pricing strategy of each online travel agent like Expedia (Hotels.com), Orbtiz, etc.

    Hotels is the single most income source for most online travel agents. Each agent have to take very good care of its hotel business.

    There’s qunar.com (去哪儿) in China that’s doing the same thing as kayak.com is doing.

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