Is Hotwire Legit for Hotels? Everything You Need to Know

If you’re planning a vacation and looking for the best deals on hotels, you may have come across Hotwire. But is Hotwire legit for hotels? The answer is yes, but there are a few things you need to know before booking your stay.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, Hotwire is a legitimate way to book hotels at discounted rates.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Hotwire and how it works, the pros and cons of booking with Hotwire, and some tips for getting the best deals on hotels with this platform.

What is Hotwire?

Hotwire is an online travel agency that allows travelers to find great deals on hotels, flights, and rental cars. It was founded in 2000 and is now part of Expedia Group. Hotwire is known for offering deeply discounted rates on hotels, but there are some things you should know before using the site.

Background of Hotwire

Hotwire was founded by Gregg Brockway, Karl Peterson, Eric Grosse, and Spencer Rascoff in 2000. The company launched with a mission to offer travelers deep discounts on hotel rooms by working with hotels that had unsold inventory. Hotwire quickly became popular among budget-conscious travelers and was acquired by Expedia in 2003.

How Hotwire Works

Hotwire works by partnering with hotels, airlines, and car rental companies to offer discounted rates on their unsold inventory. When you search for a hotel on Hotwire, you’ll see a list of hotels with their star rating, general location, and price, but you won’t see the name of the hotel until after you’ve booked. This is because Hotwire keeps the hotel’s identity a secret until the booking is complete. This is how they are able to offer such low prices.

Types of Deals on Hotwire

Hotwire offers two types of deals on hotels: standard rate hotels and Hot Rate hotels. Standard rate hotels are hotels that are offering a discounted rate on their unsold inventory. The name of the hotel is revealed before booking. Hot Rate hotels are hotels that are offering even deeper discounts, but the name of the hotel is not revealed until after booking. Hot Rate hotels are typically non-refundable and non-changeable.

Hotwire also offers package deals that include a hotel, flight, and rental car. These package deals can offer even greater savings, but it’s important to compare the prices of each individual booking to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

It’s important to note that while Hotwire can offer great deals, there are some risks involved. You won’t know the name of the hotel until after you’ve booked, so there’s a chance you could end up with a hotel in a less-than-ideal location or with amenities that don’t meet your needs. However, Hotwire does offer a customer service team that can help if you encounter any issues with your booking.

Pros and Cons of Booking with Hotwire

Pros of Booking with Hotwire

Hotwire is a popular travel booking website that offers discounted rates on hotels, flights, and rental cars. Here are some of the pros of booking with Hotwire:

  • Discounted rates: One of the biggest advantages of using Hotwire is that it offers discounted rates on hotels that are not available elsewhere. If you’re flexible with your travel plans, you can save a lot of money by booking with Hotwire.
  • Mystery deals: Hotwire is known for its “mystery deals” where you can book a hotel at a discounted rate without knowing the exact name of the hotel until after you’ve made your reservation. This can be a fun way to add some excitement to your travel plans.
  • User-friendly interface: Hotwire has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to search for and book hotels. You can filter your search results by price, location, star rating, and more.
  • Hotwire Rewards: Hotwire Rewards is a loyalty program that allows you to earn points with every booking. You can redeem these points for discounts on future bookings.

Cons of Booking with Hotwire

While Hotwire offers some great benefits, there are also some downsides to using this travel booking website:

  • Limited information: One of the biggest drawbacks of booking with Hotwire is that you don’t get all the information about the hotel until after you’ve made your reservation. This can be frustrating if you have specific needs or preferences.
  • No refunds or cancellations: Hotwire has a strict no-refunds, no-cancellations policy. Once you’ve made your reservation, you’re locked in.
  • Hidden fees: While Hotwire offers discounted rates, there are sometimes hidden fees that can add up quickly. Make sure you read the fine print before booking.
  • No customer service: Hotwire does not offer customer service via phone or email. If you have a problem with your reservation, you’ll have to use the website’s help center to find a solution.

Tips for Booking with Hotwire

Hotwire is a popular online travel agency that offers discounted rates on hotels, flights, and rental cars. However, many travelers are hesitant to book with Hotwire because they are unsure if it is a legitimate and trustworthy platform. Here are some tips to help you book with confidence:

Research the Hotel Before Booking

Before you book a hotel through Hotwire, be sure to research the hotel to ensure that it meets your needs and expectations. Hotwire does not reveal the name of the hotel until after the booking is complete, but you can still do some research by looking at the general area and amenities listed.

One helpful tip is to use a third-party website like TripAdvisor to read reviews from other travelers who have stayed at the hotel. This can give you a good idea of the hotel’s cleanliness, customer service, and overall experience.

Check for Additional Fees

While Hotwire offers discounted rates on hotels, it is important to check for any additional fees before booking. Some hotels may charge a resort fee, parking fee, or other fees that are not included in the Hotwire rate.

Be sure to read the fine print and check for any additional fees before completing your booking. This will help you avoid any surprises when you arrive at the hotel.

Be Flexible with Travel Plans

If you are looking to book with Hotwire, it is important to be flexible with your travel plans. Hotwire offers discounted rates on hotels by keeping the name of the hotel a secret until after the booking is complete. This means that you may not have control over the exact location or amenities of the hotel.

Being flexible with your travel plans can help you take advantage of the discounted rates offered by Hotwire. For example, you can choose a general area or neighborhood that you would like to stay in and be open to different hotels within that area.


Overall, Hotwire can be a great way to save money on hotels, but it’s important to do your research and be aware of the potential risks. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can make the most of this booking platform and enjoy a comfortable and affordable stay on your next vacation.

So, if you’re wondering if Hotwire is legit for hotels, the answer is a resounding yes. Give it a try and see how much you can save!

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