Hotwire is virtually the same as Priceline with three main differences:
1. Hotwire’s prices are already displayed for you.
2. With Hotwire, you see the amenities you’ll get.
3. With Hotwire, you can specify how many people there will be in your party.
The general consensus over on betterbidding.com and biddingfortravel.com is that Priceline has lower prices, but that Hotwire still provides good deals as well. Because Hotwire’s prices are already predetermined it is not surprising that Hotwire’s prices tend to be a little higher. However, you might feel safer using Hotwire if you have, say, kids, who would really like a pool. With Hotwire, you know what amenities you’ll be getting, unlike Priceline. Hotwire also allows you to specify how many people there will be in your party. Although it is unlikely, Priceline users might find that the hotel puts them in a tiny room even though their party has a lot of people in it.
There are a lot of complaints over at these forums that Hotwire overestimates the star level of their hotels. Although there are a lot of complaints by users, Hotwire does a good job of refunding those who want refunds. This is not surprising considering that Hotwire, according to J.D. Power and Associates, has been the best in terms of customer satisfaction for 3 years in a row (2006-2008). For 2008, Priceline ranked second behind Hotwire in customer satisfaction.
Both Priceline and Hotwire will give you amazing deals. You’ll end up paying a little more for Hotwire, but with a better idea of what kind of hotel and hotel room you’ll be getting.