SITE REVIEW: Trivago
TYPE: Search engine/Hotels
LOCATION: Düsseldorf, Germany
This German hotel site scans the Web in ways that US search engines don’t, turning up prices that will make you want to start packing immediately — without making you wade through multiple tabs and open windows on your screen.
You may have seen this site advertised recently on American television, but Trivago has been around for eight years.
Trivago is a search engine for hotel — only hotels. Like Kayak, once you’ve entered your destination, travel dates and other particulars, it allows you to compare listings of multiple hotels and prices for the same hotel on multiple sites.
After that, though, there are two important differences. The first is that Trivago searches all the sites the Kayak and other US-based search engines use, but also searches non-US travel sites that the others don’t. and sometimes, you can find deals on those other sites that you won’t find with the usual suspects.
The other big difference is that while Kayak opens a fistful of individual windows on your computer for every other site it wants to compare, Trivago shows them to you all at once, right up front, on the same screen. You can see everything you need at a glance, no need to switch back and forth between multiple screens.
You have full control over your selections. Set your dates and price range, then choose the hotel and room facilities that matter to you most.
Wifi a priority? Click it. Not concerned over whether it has a sauna? Leave it blank. A set of five “Top Options” have buttons of their own. Click the ones you want and they turn blue. Ignore the rest.
Other filters include star rating from one through five, and ratings by guest reviews, indicated by a range of smiling (or unsmiling) faces. More on that in a moment.
With each option you select, the total number of hotel choices to the right changes automatically, no waiting for the page to reload.
The home page lets you view a minimum of six different prices for each hotel, each price from a different booking site. In all, there could be two, three or four times that many. If you wish, Trivago will show you all of them simultaneously — again, without ever leaving the home page.
With each hotel it shows you, it offers two handy features. One is a Map button that will let you locate the hotel you’re considering on Google Maps. The other is an “info” button that shows you the address, which credit cards the place accepts and the type of stay for which it’s best suited.
But the “info” button’s greatest value may be for those planning a hotel stay well in advance — a “price calendar” graphic, organized by day, week and month, that shows when the hotel’s rates are higher and when they’re lower.
And again, Trivago does all of this without taking you from the home page. That doesn’t happen until you’re ready to pull the trigger and reserve a room.
Once you’ve found the room at the rate you want, click on the green “View Deal” button. That will take you directly to the booking site where Trivago found the deal. Take out your credit card, book your reservation.
That’s it. You’re done.
Using this site, you will find remarkably low hotel rates year-round, even in some of the world’s priciest cities. You also will find, perhaps to your shock, that a lot of those familiar hotel search sites that claim to track down the lowest room rates available, often don’t.
If you travel a lot or visit expensive cities, this site could save you a ton of money.
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