Why You Should Never Use Hotels.com to book a Hotel

I have nothing against Hotels.com. Up until last weekend, I thought they served a useful purpose. But I’ve learned my lesson, and from here on, while I may find a hotel at Hotels.com or Expedia, I will be booking directly through the hotel.

Here’s why.

Last weekend I stayed at a hotel I booked through Hotels.com (Hotels.ca actually). During my stay, my laptop and other electronics were stolen from the hotel room. If I had booked my room directly through the hotel, I would not have had to pay for my stay because of the incident, according to the hotel manager.

However, because the room was booked and paid for through Hotels.com, they were not equipped to refund me directly. They could refund the money to Hotels.com, but there would be no reassurance that any of that money would make it back to me. Ever.

I now understand that while booking through a middleman may seem convenient, when things go wrong that extra company in the middle makes things far more inconvenient in the long run.

So from now on, I’ll find my hotel online, but book directly by phone. Odds are, by booking directly I’ll probably save money as well.


  1. Hi,

    Thank you for the very good advice. I am sorry about your laptop, etc, but am glad you were willing to share what you learned with others.

    I am always nervous about my things when staying at a hotel. Some parents we were playing baseball with had their navigating system stolen from their vehicle at about 11 a.m. in the morning from our hotel. They would have retrieved more if not for the maid who allerted the owners.

  2. You always get the attention of your readers by sharing what you’ve experienced and I admired you for that.

  3. Sue says:

    I also would NEVER use Hotels.com again. When I called the hotel direct the price was cheaper plus hotels.com website booked my reservation while I was still SEARCHING! It does not give you a chance to verify information. I HATE hotels.com. Do yourself a favor & SAVE money…DON’T USE hotels.com.

  4. Jon says:

    I completely agree about Hotels.com.
    Go directly to the hotel you want and book it yourself. More than likely, you will get a rate that is almost the same as through Hotels.com, and definitely you will be able to get the hotel you really WANT to stay at. Dont take a chance with Hotels.com. If you do, be fully prepared to get a hotel that is on the very EDGE of thier map! Once booked, you have no way to back out, and they will not listen to you.

  5. ROse says:

    Made a booking with Hotels.com two days prior check-in date and I decided to cancel my reservation moments later, and they refused to refund me. They are plain thieves, there is always a catch with all these 3rd party online bookings services.

  6. Mayer says:

    YES!!!! They are terrible. You cannot get award’s programs points, you can’t get a receipt from the front desk, they can book you into an oversold hotel and move you to a ”comparable” property…no 800 number….I could go on and on.
    book directly through the hotel and be safe!

  7. George says:

    I had a similar experience — if I had booked directly through the hotel, it would have been no problem, but since I used Hotels.com, I had no recourse. And the folks at Hotels.com were completely unhelpful — I literally never heard from them again. I learned my lesson: always book directly through the hotel — I’ll never use Hotels.com again.

  8. Darcey Rosenblatt says:

    I agree. I recently booked a room and when I got to the location it was not the room I reserved and I had no recourse. and now I keep getting emails and they make it very difficult to to un subscribe. I will never use them again!

  9. Mark says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I am in Thailand and used their website to book a hotel. The web site quoted in Thai Baht but I was billed in Malaysian Ringgit making a $80 a night booking into $800 a night. I did so much research into scams before leaving Australia but I didn’t see this one coming. Contacted them almost straight away but they were not interested. Nil refund.

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