Finding Hotel Websites

No one admires Google more than I do, but it’s not all that good at finding hotel websites. You may know the drill. Type the name and location of a hotel into the search field and the results turn up dozens of reservations services and travel review sites, but not the home page of the hotel in question.

I don’t have a single solution for this problem, but I do have some effective tips.

First, the big chains are easy.,, etc. It’s the smaller, local hotels that are tough to locate.

It’s often worth taking a guess at what the hotel web address, or URL, might be, and typing it into the location bar of your web browser. The Hotel Brouwer in Amsterdam, for example, has the URL (Netherlands).  The Hotel La Fonda in Benalmadena, Spain, has the URL www.fondahotel.comwithout the .es extension for Spain

This kind of guessing is worth a try, but I have to admit it’s pretty hit or miss. It’s hard to know how the hotel will configure its name. And if the owners have more than one hotel, the URL may be based on a company name instead of a hotel name.

So I often have to search through several websites to locate a hotel website, using search terms that include the name of the hotel and its city, for example Hostal Macarena Madrid. Usually, I’ll look to find the web address in the first 10 results. If it’s not that close to the top, I move on to the next search site. Here are the sites I use:

  • Yahoo! I find that Yahoo! tends to return official hotel websites a bit more readily than Google.
  • Google. Even so, Google occasionally does best. Try it if Yahoo! doesn’t deliver.
  • Lonely Planet. The Lonely Planet travel guide site usually lists web addresses with its reviews of hotels around the world. (Click on contact info in each listing.) The index of hotels is not exhaustive, but it performs well in a wide range of tourist destinations.
  • Frommer’s. The Frommer’s website often includes website URLs in its hotel reviews. Again, it’s not a comprehensive index of the world’s hotels, but it covers a lot.
  • TravelLibrary. This is a database of direct links to official hotel websites around the world. It’s not all that comprehensive yet, but you can help by adding links you have found. In my test searches it turned up only two of five hotels I was searching for, but it turned them up as the first picks – no sifting through the results. It’s a good backup site, and I think it will get better.
    • In my tests, none of the sites above could turn up all five small hotels I wanted. But each hotel website turned up within the top 10 results of at least two of the search sites.  So if there’s a website out there for the hotel you seek, you ought to be able to find it if you keep looking.

      An additional note: some reservations agents try to make their sites look like the official hotel websites. Look for a URL where the name of the hotel comes immediately before the .com or country extension, as in, rather than something like If the site offers reservations for a multitude of hotels, it’s not the official site of the one hotel you are looking for. Try again.


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