Find Out What Priceline or Hotwire Hotel You’re Getting Before You Book

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Money expert Clark Howard has long said that if you really want to save money the next time you need a hotel, Priceline and Hotwire are the way to go.

Both sites offer cheap bookings with a caveat: There’s a guessing game involved when using either website, because you don’t find out the name of the hotel you’ve chosen until after you pay non-refundable money.

RELATED: Clark’s Secret To Finding the Best Priceline and Hotwire Hotel Deals

That might be a no-go for a lot of people.

Fortunately, there are workarounds that will help you narrow down considerably the name of the hotel you’re getting — before you book.

Find Out What Hotel You’re Getting on Priceline, Hotwire: Table of Contents

Take the Guesswork Out of Booking on Priceline and Hotwire

Try these tips to take a little bit of the “blind” out of blind-booking a mystery hotel!


Figuring out which hotel you’re likely to get on Priceline involves a little bit of math. Here’s how you do it.

1. Select your travel dates and location

For the purposes of this illustration, we’ve selected Vatican City in Rome and gotten three search results.

Let’s say you’re interested in the five-star hotel, which at $592, is admittedly very pricey! But for the sake of argument, let’s say that’s the one.


When you click the amenities of that hotel, you see it offers both a swimming pool and an airport shuttle.

So right there you have some big clues. While all three hotels offer basic amenities (non-smoking rooms, restaurant, etc.), the five-star hotel is the only one that offers a swimming pool and airport shuttle.

You’re going to use that information about the amenities to search again. They’ll help you get a better answer about which hotel that five-star really is.

2. Open another tab in your browser

In the new tab, start your Priceline search all over again, selecting the same neighborhood and the same dates of travel.

This time, you’re going to specify that you want to see only those hotels in Vatican City that offer those two specific amenities: a swimming pool and an airport shuttle.

When you do that, you get these results:

The first listing is, of course, a repeat of the original listing you just saw. It’s the second one you want to pay attention to.

This example is easy because there’s only one other choice. But note the price on that second hotel: $818. That’s the list price for the Gran Meliá Rome.

Here’s where the math comes in. When you subtract $229 (28%) from $818, what do you get? $589. While it’s not $592 down to the penny, it’s well within the margin of error.


Bingo! That’s the confirmation of the mystery hotel’s identity, since you know that the Gran Meliá is the only hotel in or near Vatican City that’s in the Priceline inventory and has both an airport shuttle and a swimming pool.

It’s that easy!


Figuring out which hotel you’re getting on Hotwire requires a slightly different approach. 

1. Select your travel dates and location

Like Priceline, Hotwire will disclose the names of some hotels as you’re scrolling through your search results after you enter your desired location and dates.

Hotwire hotels

When you find a “Hot Rate” deal, the name is never disclosed. Hotwire just lists the star rating. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a better idea of which hotel it might be.

2. Click on the Hot Rate deal that interests you

When you click on the deal, you’ll see the names and profiles of up to four hotels. Your hotel is guaranteed to be one of the four.

Hotwire hotel disclosure

3. Open another tab in your browser

In your new tab, navigate to


In the profile section of your Hot Rate hotel, you’ll see the hotel’s Expedia rating and the number of reviews.

Search the names of the hotels Hotwire has shown you, and you should find one that has the same rating and roughly the same number of reviews as your Hot Rate hotel.

Expedia Hotel Screensot

You know what your Hot Rate hotel is going to be before you book it and pay your non-refundable money.

Final Thought

While these are Team Clark’s favorite methods for unmasking Priceline and Hotwire mystery hotels, sites like promise to take the guesswork out of the equation for you. We’ve used these with varying degrees of success, so your mileage may vary as well.

What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten on a Priceline or Hotwire hotel? Let us know in the comments below!


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