How To Know Your Mystery Hotel Before You Book

Hotel booking sites often offer a "mystery hotel" at seriously cut-down rates, but the risk you take is you don't know exactly which hotel you'll get (and whether that means extra expenses). But with a little search sleuthing, you can book a mystery hotel and be confident you know which one it is.

Blokey blog Everything For The Man details a process that can help you narrow down the mystery hotels offered on and The strategy is pretty obvious when you think about it — get the hotel booking details on screen and then conduct a search in a second tab for a hotel listed on the same site that matches those criteria. By methodically working through each option (star rating, reception, Internet and so forth), chances are you'll be able to narrow down your "mystery" hotel to the only one that matches.

Obviously, this won't always work, but as EFTM notes, it managed to successfully predict Hong Kong hotel rooms using this method, which is no mean feat in such a crowded city. Hit the post for full details, and if you've had a good or bad mystery hotel experience, tell us in the comments.

How to reveal the and mystery hotels to save big [EFTM]


    I just rely on people's laziness, generally they use 'copy' from the hotel website instead of re-writing fresh/unique copy - and I just paste a bit of 'copy' that looks fairly unique into Google and that generally shows up the hotel name.

    Another idea, which I haven't tried was if they have a room picture you can also drag and drop the room picture into Google Image Search and choose to 'find similar' pictures.

    I found one place which was $1000/2nights+dinner on Red Baloon was $400/2nights on the actual hotel website. So it was $600 extra for dinner and red baloons 'cut'.

      Red Balloon is a scam with multiple instances of this price gouging.
      As ever when it comes to the choice of giving a voucher or cash, give the cash!
      Unless you can get Gift Vouchers at a decent discount (ie greater than 20%), cash will go further and be far more appreciated.

    This may not work now, but often there are clues within the URL of the mystery hotel offer.
    I found that it used a 3 digit alpha code to identify the hotel name which was similar in the listings.

    This was the case approx 2 years ago.

    As per the article, spend a little time and you'll hopefully be able to narrow it down.

    What works for me is the car park charge - that always defines exactly which secret stay hotel I am getting.

    darn. i have been doing this for a real long time, and it works in most of the aussie cities. but now that it is on lifehacker, a lot of other ppl are going to be doing it, and soon wotif will find a way to stop it. :(

    My experience has been the same as boris's. The copywriters for these sites frequently lift from the hotel's own website. But even when they don't, I've also found that there are forums where people share the mystery hotel descriptors and hotel name matches. When I visited London last year, I discovered the identity of my mystery hotel via such a forum. (It was a very nice hotel and a good deal, but it was a reassuring to know this before completing the transaction.)

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