Hotels can take up a big chunk of your vacation budget. Luckily there are websites out there designed to save you money at the hotel that's right for you. I chatted with Kevin Fliess, the Chief Operating Officer of Room 77, to find out how his site helps travelers score the best available rate—and get the amenities they want as well.
Similar to Kayak, Room 77 acts as a metasearch, scoping out deals on thousands of websites at once in a matter of seconds. Room 77's search engine is able to access rates being offered by online travel agencies (think Orbitz or Expedia), prices being offered directly by the hotels themselves, and special rates offered to members of the military, AAA, and AARP (if you qualify), helping travelers find the lowest prices available. Period. You can also book through Room 77's mobile app (available in The App Store and on Google Play), or through their partner site, Expedia.
What also makes Room 77 stand out is their super-detailed hotel pages. Once you track down the perfect price, Room 77 shows you photos of the hotel (including rooms) so you know exactly what you're getting. You can also search by popular freebies like WiFi, parking, breakfast, and airport shuttle, effectively cutting out those extra expenses that can really add up. You can also view the hotel via Google StreetView, explore the hotel floor map, and get a quick preview of what your view will be like from the hotel room.
Another useful feature is the Insider Tips on the Best Rooms at this Hotel section, where you'll get advice about where the quiet rooms are, which have the best views, and where to find the oversized rooms. Narrow it down by preference—do you enjoy staying on a higher floor compared to a lower floor? Is the view an important factor? Do you prefer to be close to the elevator or further away where it's quiet? Will you be needing a connecting room for a family vacation?—to help find the room that works best for you. Room 77 also offers a free room concierge service for bookings on all four or five star hotels or on hotel reservations that total $400 or more made directly through their website—just select your room preferences and Room 77 will request them from your hotel on your behalf within 24-48 hours of your stay. (If you end up booking a lower-tier hotel or through another site like booking.com or hotels.com however, you will have to contact the hotel directly to see if you can get the exact room you want according to your preferences.)