A few months ago, I read an article about a new hotel booking site called Backbid. I was thoroughly intrigued by the concept, and decided to give them a try when booking our upcoming trip to Atlanta.
The approach by Backbid is simple in its design, but far different than the typical online booking engine. Instead of the blind booking process of Hotwire and Priceline, Backbid puts the power back in the hands of you the guest, by having the hotels do the bidding for your business. Unlike these sites, there is no need to put in a credit card, and you are not obligated to book any of the competing bids you might receive. To me, it seemed like a no lose proposition...
For our trip to Atlanta, location was hugely important, so I decided to book an old favorite...the W Atlanta at Buckhead. The downside....their rate was about 70% more than I'd paid just last year. I researched a few other properties in the immediate area, but all were going for about the same rate as the W. So I decided to head over to Backbid and see if they could work some magic.
|The W Atlanta at Buckhead|
The process for using the site is pretty straight forward. I submitted the information on my current reservation at the W, and requested they search for alternative options in the immediate area. From there, Backbid went to work...
About a week later, after I had long forgotten about my request, I received four bids from other hotels in the Buckhead area. The Grand Hyatt and Intercontinental were the cheapest of the four, and about $95 less than my reservation at the W. The Mansion on Peachtree and the Westin were both offering rates about $70 less then the W, and given their location directly next door, it was clear one of the two was the best option. Satisfied with the savings I'd received, I promptly booked my favored choice, and cancelled my reservation at the W.
|The Westin Buckhead|
Perhaps most impressive about the rates I received through Backbid were how much less they were when compared to Expedia, Hotels.com, and the hotel's own websites. The Westin, for example, was actually listed for a higher rate than my original room at the W, yet it was now available for $70 less.
In addition to simply offering a lower rate, Backbid can also sometimes score additional amenities for guests to sweeten the deal further, such as breakfast and valet parking. While I had hoped to land some free breakfast out of the deal, there was no such luck, however the $163 total savings will buy me plenty of Starbucks and donuts.
|The Pool at the W.|
The Mansion on Peachtree in background
The only fault I can see to using Backbid is it may not work well for last minute planners. As I mentioned, it took about a week for my first bids to come through, so it seems the system is better geared to those that plan in advance. Perhaps response times will get faster as Backbid's system gets better refined.
Overall, I was pretty impressed by Backbid, and will no doubt turn to them in the future. So the next time you need to book a hotel, save yourself plenty of time and money by putting Backbid, and the hotels themselves, to work for you.
Enjoy Your Stay