5 Steps to Finding the Perfect Hotel on KAYAK

Booking a hotel but frustrated that you can’t seem to find the perfect one? Listen up because we’re here to help. We search hundreds of travel and hotel sites at once — all so you can be confident you’re finding the perfect hotel at the best price. See options from across the web and easily customize your search by filtering to find the perfect option for the trip you’re planning.

Need a pet-friendly, boutique hotel with a pool? Is not having free breakfast and a gym your dealbreaker? Want to book a vacation rental instead? With these quick steps, you’ll be well on your way to finding exactly the hotel you want, in the area you were hoping to stay, with an understanding of the total cost of your room.


Step 1: Stars and Scores

Maybe you’re a budget traveler, maybe a luxury traveler. Or perhaps you want as much luxury as possible while on a budget.

Select your Stars: We’ll start with the basics. Select the minimum number of stars you want and we’ll show you what’s available.

Filter by verified reviews: Listen. We don’t have millions of verified reviews on our site for nothing. Directly below the stars is the “Review score” filter. Using customer reviews, you can get insight into accommodations rated by the users that have stayed there. This is awesome if:

  • You find two hotels that are both centrally located, have 4-stars and have similar rates. How do you choose which to stay at? Looking at the average reviews, one hotel has been rated “Excellent” while the other has been rated “Good.” It sounds like your choice has been made for you.
  • Or, while you’re shelling out $$$ for a 5-star luxury resort, you definitely want to make sure past guests were happy with their experience. So, check that the beds were comfy, the food extraordinary and the pool refreshing before pressing the View Deal button.


Step 2: Prices and Taxes

Nothing puts a damper on the small victory of finding a great place to stay than clicking through to checkout, only to be surprised with hidden fees and unknown taxes.

Our drop-down menu (aka the hidden fees exposé) lets you choose how you want to see the cost of your room while you browse. Select the “Total Stay + Taxes & Fees” option and you’ll be shown the total price for your stay including extras like local taxes and hotel fees.

There’s also a price bar available, so you don’t have to sort through accommodations outside of your budget. Simply move the sliders to adjust the maximum and minimum price.


Step 3: Freebies and Filters

Who doesn’t love free stuff? If you want where you rest your head to also have free parking, WiFi and breakfast, then user our hotel filters to select the freebies you want. We’ll show you hotels that match.

Let’s dig deeper. While many would rate price, quality and freebies among the most important elements when booking their hotel, just as many have more specific wants and needs. Other filters include Amenities, Ambience and Property Type. This means you can filter by hotels that are wheelchair accessible, eco-friendly, pet-friendly, not a hotel at all and actually a vacation rental… you name it.


Step 4: Location, Location, Location

Stay in the part of the city that suits your needs. Whether you’ve been there before, have done your research, or need proximity to somewhere specific, the Location and Neighborhood filters are your friends. Select from a city’s best-known neighborhoods or decide how far from the city center you’re willing to stay.


Step 5: Heat Maps

However, if you care more about what you do, rather than where you are, then head straight to the Go To Map button to open our Map View with built-in heatmaps.

Our interactive map shows you all the hotels in the city (matched to any previous filters you’ve selected). In the Popular Areas section you can select your top interests like Eating, Sightseeing, Shopping or Nightlife. Immediately, the responsive map will show you the areas where the activity you selected is most dense via a heat imprint. The darker the red, the hotter the region; the hotter the region, the more it matches your tastes.

Finding the perfect hotel isn’t a pipe dream. Get yourself ready for a great trip with KAYAK, so you can start your trip confident about the travel decisions you made.

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