What is a hotel comparison website?

Hotel comparison websites are online sites that collate hotel information from a range of different booking channels like Booking.com and Expedia, then serve it up to users based on their destination, dates and filtering preferences.

They are designed to take care of the legwork of shopping around for the best deal. These accommodation comparison sites usually send users to the hotel’s website and booking system or various booking sites to reserve their room – they don’t take bookings themselves.

Why do hotel rate comparison websites exist?

Shopping online grants consumers access to everything all at once, helping them to track down the very best product or service at the very best price. But where once you’d need to visit dozens of individual websites, you can now head to a single comparison site.

The travel industry is one of the global leaders in offering these comparison tools. The job of a hotel comparison website is to make endless, complex information more digestible.

It searches the web to collect and collate all the relevant hotel options in a given area for given dates, then serves them up to a user in an easy to understand format, which can be sorted any number of ways, including by rating, location and price (which is why they are sometimes referred to as hotel price comparison websites or hotel rate comparison websites).

Instead of comparing hotel options and prices across dozens of different browser windows, hotel comparison sites let you do it all in the one place.

hotel comparison website
Comparing room rates different sites | Learn more how this hotel increased direct bookings up to 50%

Best hotel comparison website examples

Some of the best best hotel price comparison websites include:

  • Google Hotels
  • Trivago
  • Kayak
  • Hotels Combined
  • Hotels Comparison
  • Hotelscan

Pros and cons of partnering with a hotel price comparison website

In a way hotel comparison sites are the great hotel equaliser: they give small, independent hoteliers an opportunity to compete directly with the biggest online travel agencies in the world, like Booking.com and Expedia. Your direct booking rates can be placed alongside the OTA rates, and because the direct rate cuts out the OTA middle man, it will often be significantly cheaper.

In order to make the most of hotel comparison sites, a hotelier is faced with two critical jobs: 

  1. Ensuring they can take direct bookings.
  2. Ensuring they are featured on comparison sites.

The first job is made easy with the Little Hotelier direct booking engine. The second job can be accomplished by forming direct partnerships with hotel comparison sites.

Take Trivago, a comparison site that offers you the opportunity to register your property.

There are both pros and cons to forming a partnership with a hotel comparison site:


  • You can check that a direct booking option is featured for your property.
  • You gain greater control over how your hotel is displayed on the comparison site, making your listings more beautiful and fixing potential errors or issues.
  • You may be able to influence how often your property is seen on the site.


  • If you’ve curated your OTA listings carefully, perhaps with a channel manager, there may be no need to change how your hotel is displayed on the comparison site.
  • If a direct booking option is already featured for your property, there may be no need to partner with a comparison site.

Optimising hotel listings on comparison websites

If you are to make the most of hotel rates comparison websites, you need to ensure all the information being displayed is correct, and that your listing is alluring to your ideal guest. 

There are three main ways to optimise your listing: 

  • Direct with the comparison website: As mentioned above, some comparison sites allow property owners to register and gain more control over how their property is displayed.
  • Via individual OTAs: Comparison sites pull information from hotel booking websites, so if you optimise each OTA listing, you’ll subsequently optimise your presence on the comparison site.
  • With a channel manager: Rather than optimising every OTA listing individually, use the Little Hotelier channel manager – which connects to 450+ OTAs – to optimise all of them at once!

Best practices for hotel owners when using comparison sites

  1. Prioritise direct bookings: The main reason that people go to cheap hotel price comparison websites is to find the best deal. Ensure you have direct booking functionality, and set your direct rate lower than that of OTAs (which should be easy, as you won’t have to pay the 15-25% OTA fee).
  2. Keep it consistent: Price aside, you need to ensure that all other information, from amenities to reception opening hours, is consistent across all your booking channels. A channel manager makes this task easy.
  3. Focus on photos: With hotel comparison sites offering up a huge range of hotel options, it can be difficult to stand out. But paying for beautiful professional photos, uploaded in the highest quality possible, is a great way to grab the attention of potential guests.
  4. Advertise: The most effective way to put your name up in lights on comparison sites – and ensure the business you win is direct, rather than via an OTA – is to pay for the pleasure. With the help of the right tool, like Little Hotelier Metasearch, you can get in front of the right guests at the right time.

Dominate hotel comparison websites with a direct booking engine

Between their popularity and the way they level the playing field, hotel comparison websites offer an incredible opportunity to small, independent hoteliers – it’s just a matter of understanding how to make the most of it.

Are you ready to maximise your hotel’s online presence and drive more bookings? Little Hotelier offers a suite of tools that can help you make the most of hotel comparison sites, and ultimately drive more bookings and revenue.

  • Earn more with direct bookings: Cut out the OTA middlemen by taking bookings direct! The combination of hotel comparison sites and Little Hotelier’s direct booking engine can attract more guests and earn you more per booking. The result? Our users increase revenue by up to 43%!
  • Make the most of metasearch: Promote your property effectively on hotel comparison sites with Little Hotelier’s Metasearch tool, which manages, monitors and optimises ads across Trivago, TripAdvisor and Google.
  • Manage your channels in a click: Optimise all your booking channels – and subsequently your comparison site presence – through a single portal, and in a matter of clicks, with Little Hotelier’s channel manager.

By Shine Colcol

Shine is the SEO and Content Manager of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. With more than five years of experience and expertise in content strategy, creation, and management, Shine has produced informational content across various topics, mostly around improving daily operations and increasing business metrics. She aims to share well-researched articles in hopes of helping bed and breakfast owner-operators win more bookings and gain more control of their small property.