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I want to start this article by making clear that the following isn’t something I’ve tried out properly yet. I’ve made some bookings for future dates, but haven’t actually stayed yet. Therefore, I can’t (yet) genuinely recommend ‘Snaptravel’, but I do think it’s something worth knowing about.
What’s the story?
I needed to book a hotel in Stratford-Upon-Avon for a few nights this summer. Cash rates were generally through the roof, so I decided to use Points. 30,000 Hilton Honors Points per night for the DoubleTree seemed reasonable enough, when the cash rates were between £150-£200+.
I booked one of the nights with the points I had available in my account, and before transferring a chunk of Amex Points over to Hilton for the rest, thought I’d have one more quick look on the various meta-booking sites like HotelsCombined.
After signing in, I spotted a rate with Snaptravel at the DoubleTree being advertised for just £60. That was suspiciously cheap compared to the lowest Hilton rate of ~£150. I’d not heard of Snaptravel before and the rate was refundable, so I thought I’d book it for blogging purposes, even it turned out to be a scam…
As far as I can tell from sites like TrustPilot etc, Snaptravel is completely legitimate, although does seem to receive some of the usual sort of complaints that many third-party online travel agencies suffer from. Until I stay for myself and the booking all works out fine, I shall refrain from making a recommendation.
The booking process is a bit weird, as you have to be sent a link via text or social media, but once you’re actually on the Snaptravel website, it works in the same way as most other booking sites.
I ended up booking a slightly more expensive rate, as I needed a twin room and the only availability was for a Deluxe Twin with breakfast. With a 10% discount code for signing up using a referral code (mine is 9N8P2L4 – enter in promo box before making a booking, if you’d like to use it), that worked out at £76.13 in total:
That’s roughly half what Hilton was charging direct, and I’d still get the equivalent of my Honors Diamond benefits (breakfast and upgraded room) included.
If you just booked the cheapest £60 room though, with the 10% discount, that could be brought down to £54 – a discount of ~65%!
Good deal – but was it just a fluke?
That was my first thought too, so I started doing some more research.
- Usually, Snaptravel’s rates were a little bit cheaper than booking direct – but not so much cheaper that it would outweigh the value of status benefits, cashback, and earning points that comes with booking direct. It’s also important to point out that you should search for the competing rates yourself – don’t just trust what Snaptravel says they are.
- Sometimes, Snaptravel’s rates were more expensive than booking direct (or via other third-party sites).
- Sometimes, Snaptravel’s rates were much cheaper than the rates I could find anywhere else online.
For example, here’s a night at ‘The Level’ at the Melia White House in London for £150 – a discount of more than 50% according to Snaptravel:
In reality, the discount isn’t quite that much, but it’s still massive. The cheapest rate for the same room I could find direct was £273:
The real discount is therefore ~45%, although you could knock that down a bit further by using a 10% referral code.
If £150 is still a bit on the expensive side, how does £89 for a London 5* hotel sound? You could book a room at Marriott’s Design Hotel, the Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, via Snaptravel, for exactly that:
On this occasion, the competing rate listed was accurate too when I checked the hotel’s own website:
Therefore, the ~45% discount is a genuine saving.
I saw plenty of similar examples too in other cities all over the world. On the face of it, Snaptravel looks like a fantastic addition to the ‘travel hacker’s toolkit’.
My only slight concern is that some of these rates are almost too good to be true, and I haven’t personally completed a stay yet.
If you have used Snaptravel before, please share your experience in the comments! I’ll write an updated post once I’ve stayed myself too, of course.