How do I actually find a real motel/hotel room via the internet?

Forget just typing in the name of the city and the word “hotel” into Google. All you get are scam sites and yellowpages sites and sites that want to re-direct you go the priceline scammers etc etc.

All I want is to find a reasonably priced room.

And I can’t. I’ve spent over an hour and am now just tired and pissed off. Anyone here have a hint?

p.s yes i’m on tripadvisor, no help this time

Perhaps kayak.com, a meta-search engine for all sorts of travel-related things?

Ooops.

I can only assume that there are no decent places to stay in your destination.

Perhaps if you start a thread in IMHO actually naming the city, someone can help.

I’ve had GREAT success with bing: found hotels at up to half off their advertised rate.

Huh? Either I’m missing the point of this post or you’re very confused. Just about every travel website lets you find and book real hotel rooms. Take your pick:
http://www.priceline.com
http://www.hotels.com/

All of these are legitimate travel websites.

You say they direct you to “priceline scammers” but Priceline is a very legitimate website, and one you can actually probably save the most on if you name your price for a hotel room. People getting 4-star hotel rooms in major cities for $80-100 a night is not uncommon.

I got a $60 room at the Palmer House in Chicago, $90 at the Hyatt Regency, and a $30 Mariott room in Denver, just to name a few deals.

Go to http://www.betterbidding.com/ and you can see what people are getting. You can also get tips on how to manipulate Priceline to get extremely good deals.

I was a bit confused as well. Although I use the travel websites to shop, I don’t book with them. Although the prices are good, they charge a fee and are often times not refundable or charge an cancellation fee. What I do is shop for the best price of the hotels in the area I want to be in using the travel sites, then I choose a hotel and go to their reservation webpage. Many hotels will match the travel site’s price plus give you an additional 5 to 15% of on top of that with no fee and a normal cancellation policy.

Although Priceline is great for the gambler type person who doesn’t mind getting burned once in a while with a hotel that it not up to their expectations, I can’t do it anymore because my wife and kids will taunt me if I miss the mark.

If you want to go really low-budget, I’ve had success in the past with hostels.com and hostelz.com - not only are some of the hostels amazing, but not all of the “hostels” are hostels either - there are B&Bs, guesthouses and small hotels on them as well.

The above mentioned websites are how you do it now. Many people unfamiliar with how the hotel industries evolved want to look up individual hotels and book though more traditional methods, you tend to pay more going that route.

It’s possible to get a better price from the online sites like Expedia, Orbitz, etc. They buy blocks of rooms from hotels and can sell them cheaper than the hotel can.

I suggest www.tripadvisor.com . You can search for all hotels with availability in a city.

Yahoo localis what I usually use. Just about the only site where Yahoo is still beating Google (though they did screw it up a little with a recent “Web2.0” revamp).

This is how I do it as well. Use the travel websites to see what is in the area and the general prices and then book directly at the hotel’s website. I don’t think this has ever been more expensive for me, and a normal cancellation policy is a plus.

While the other sites can give you a baseline, you can usually get a better price than all of them if you just go to the hotel website. I just recently got a room for $100 a night from the hotel that was at least $20 more anywhere else. NB: I’m a AAA member, which usually helps.

It also helps to book early.

My father swears that the best solution is to just show up at a hotel and ask for a room. If it’s too high, start to walk away. You’d be surprised how low they’ll go if it looks like the room might go empty (though, obviously, this doesn’t work if the hotel is booked).

Always check tripadvisor.com before booking a room and make sure you’re seeing recent reviews. Don’t think just because it’s a nationwide chain that it’s going to be the same as other ones you’ve stayed at.

I’ve never booked a room through tripadvisor.com though (I think that’s a very recently added feature). I just go to the official websites of several different motels and check the prices like that…tabbed browsing helps so you can switch back and forth to compare rates and reviews.

I do the same thing with airline websites.

Are you my son? :smiley:

Yeah, this method has always worked for me while travelling the interstate. Get tired and decide to stop driving for the day, pull off at almost any exit, find the nearest motel and be sure to ask for the “executive rate”. It’s about 10% off the regular rate.

Just a note about the “best available” rate for hotels: They generally do not beat what “surprise me” booking sites like Hotwire can offer you. If you don’t care which particular chain you get shacked up at, these sites let you specify a general vicinity and a star level and give you a price based on that… often much lower than the hotel’s website.

But not always. So I usually combine Hotwire and Kayak to get the best of both worlds.

I check out hotels on tripadvisor (heck, I even post reviews… I’ve done the Burlington VT Hilton and the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Idaho among others) but never book through it. As others have mentioned, I check out what there is on the travel sites then go to the chain/hotel site to see if I can beat them. But once in a while the travel site will have a great deal and I’ll go for ir specially if I’m travelling on my own dime (Og bless expense reimbursements). (I will also book at the travel site things like air tickets if, for instance, my best itinerary involves different non-codesharing airlines.)

One thing that’s sometimes annoying about hotel bookings at the travel sites (Travelocity, Orbitz, etc.) is that at times the best deals on the site will actually be pre-buy offers rather than reservations. I’m not too sanguine about those, I like paying for services when I get them.