What is Hopper?

Hopper is an app designed to help travellers find the best flight and accommodation deals. Since launching in 2014 it has made a name for itself through a clever price prediction algorithm that helps users understand when the cheapest time to book will be.

Established by two former Expedia Group executives, Hopper more or less functions as a metasearch engine, collating travel deals from across the internet and serving them up to users. But how does hopper work for hotels? Does hopper actually work for hotels – should a hotelier even bother with the app?

Read on to find out all you need to know about the Hopper app as a small, independent hotelier.

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Does Hopper Hotels work like Airbnb?

While Hopper has some similarities to the Airbnb platform, such as offering vacation rentals, and taking care of the entire booking process within the app, for the most part it works rather differently.

Unlike on Airbnb, hosts and guests are not charged a direct fee on Hopper. As a host, the price you set will be the price you get paid. Hopper makes money by adding a dynamic markup to that price, which is included in the total that the guest pays.

Hopper Homes is a separate category to Hopper Hotels that is dedicated to vacation rentals. This category sources its inventory from Vrbo, so you won’t find Airbnb listings on Hopper.

Does Hopper actually work?

Is booking hotels with Hopper safe? Having helped travellers find deals for almost a decade now, it’s fair to say that yes, Hopper does actually work, and is totally safe for both the hotelier and the guests.

Why use Hopper as a hotelier? Well, it grants you access to a large, young and very loyal audience. Hopper says that half its users book their travel exclusively through Hopper, and that Gen Z and Gen Y make up over two-thirds of its customer base.

Does Hopper have any hidden fees?

Does Hopper have hidden fees? Well that depends on what you mean by ‘hidden’. Perhaps a better question is ‘does hopper charge a booking fee?’, as Hopper doesn’t openly state the fee that it takes from each booking.

Hopper asks hotels and OTAs to provide a ‘discounted net rate’, then applies what it calls a ‘dynamic markup’. The key word is ‘dynamic’ – unlike Booking.com, Expedia and Airbnb, Hopper doesn’t charge a set commission fee, but rather calculates a different fee for every booking after taking a number of different factors into account.

While Hopper keeps its fee recipe close to its chest, it’s generally agreed that the app’s prices are lower for guests and cheaper for hosts than most other booking middlemen, such as OTAs.

How does Hopper work for hotels?

Whether or not your hotel appears on Hopper will depend on whether or not your hotel is offered through a Hopper partner, such as Booking Holdings or SiteMinder. If it is, you’ll be searchable and bookable through the app.

Search & filtering

Hopper is all about ease of use. To begin a search, a user simply enters a destination and dates, and is then served up a range of hotel options that can be filtered any number of ways, such as by amenities, user ratings or “Bunny Bundles”. To be filtered correctly on Hopper you should ensure all your online listings are up to date.

Price prediction/AI capabilities

The defining feature of Hopper is its price prediction algorithm, which the company says is able to predict prices up to a year in advance with 95% accuracy. This allows users to identify the cheapest times to travel, and to understand exactly when to book to secure the lowest possible rate. As a hotelier you should ensure that your prices are set at a competitive rate well in advance.

Watch hotel prices

Users can also watch the price of a certain hotel on certain dates. This presents an opportunity for a hotel to offer limited time deals on available dates, as these discounts may be sent as push notifications to anyone watching your hotel through Hopper.


Hopper users log their personal information when they first set up the app, so the booking process is super quick and easy – they just select the relevant guest (usually themselves) to make the booking under, review the booking details, then swipe or tap to confirm and pay for the booking!

Manage itinerary

Users can find their reservations by clicking Settings (the blue person icon) > Get Help in the Hopper app. There is limited functionality here, however, so specific booking changes and requests will be made direct with you, the hotelier.

Updates and notifications

In Settings a user can also manage their Hopper notifications and download app updates.

Is Hopper free to use?

Yes, as far as its users are concerned, Hopper is entirely free to use, although as we mentioned above, the app makes money by applying a markup to each booking it facilitates, so users do pay for the service in the end.

Hopper’s discounts and deals can more than make up for the fee the app charges however, which is why so many Hopper users book through the platform exclusively.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).