Disclaimer: This post was written in partnership with Nustay as part of their #NuStayExplorers team. As always, my opinions are my own.
While traveling, accommodation usually takes a large chunk of your travel budget. Although I am a go-with-the-flow kind of gal, over the years, I have also become quite picky about where I stay. With that in mind, I usually spend a good few hours researching on the best places to stay-all while trying to find the cheapest deal out there!
As you can imagine, this can end up to be very time consuming, not to mention slightly addictive (I love a good bargain!) which is why I’m always open to trying out new platforms to make this process easier.
I decided to try out Nustay, a newly launched members-only hotel booking site that provides the lowest available hotel discounts in the market.
By filling in your profile, not only will Nustay match you with hotels that will suit your preferences, but it will also provide you with a hotel match with the highest discounted rates. The entire platform is free and all you have to do is to sign up to start seeing the discounts.
In theory, this sounds wonderful but I had to see it for myself so I took it out on a test run for my upcoming birthday staycation. I was willing to splurge a little bit as after all; you only turn 30 once!
Comparing Hotel Rates
First thing I did was head on over to their website where I signed up. As mentioned, to get better results, you have to fill in your profile. This way, they can recommend hotels based on what you like. As a matter of fact, when I did the initial search, there was a tab there where I could select a hotel type which is something you often don’t see with other booking platforms.
For example, if you input “shopping”, you will immediately be matched to hotels near the major shopping districts which saves you a lot of time browsing for the perfect hotel location.
As soon as I completed my profile, I placed my area of choice as well as dates and let the platform work its magic. Immediately, I was presented with a wide variety of options which I could filter by the hotel’s star rating, price, or based on the discounted percentage. You can also see a timer running on the listings that are being offered at a discounted rate.
I was immediately drawn to the Four Seasons Chiang Mai listing as this has been a place I had been wanting to stay in for so long. According to the listing, I could save $183 or 23% of the market price. Whoa! But because I’m a skeptic, I decided to check it out in both Booking.com and Agoda to see if Nustay really lists the best price.
For your reference, here are the prices listed below:
Room Type: Garden Pavillion King Bed
Agoda: ($673 without taxes) Final price: $799.17
Four Seasons Website: $797
For twin beds in the same room type, Nustay offers this room for $592
True enough, both platforms were $100-150 more expensive. Although the price in Agoda shows a slightly lower rate compared to Booking.com and Nustay, based from experience, Agoda also charges taxes and VAT on top of their listed price which is why I went all the way to the checkout page to see their final price.
Booking Usability with Nustay
Apart from finding great deals, before I switch hotel booking platforms, ease and usability is a big thing for me. UX (user experience) is somewhat an obsession of mine, and no matter how good the rates are, if I find the interface difficult to use, chances are I would never use it again.
Overall, I like the booking layout of Nustay. The listings are very clearly laid out and are not cluttered and overwhelming like other booking sites. Design-wise, I love the whole minimalistic look, however, I would like the option of being able to view what each room type looks like.
Apart from this, they also have over 1,2 million hotels available, which is one of the largest inventories online. Considering they are a new company this is pretty impressive. They have a number of reviews which you can also sort by demographic to filter the ones that would relate to you the most.
Overall, I am pretty happy with Nustay as a booking platform as I like the sorting features that come with it. I love being able to customize what I want from a hotel, so I get personalized recommendations instead of sorting through dozens and dozens of listings. It is definitely something I will keep using when it comes to comparing hotels to make sure I get the best deal possible. I checked a few hotels during my stay and found anything from 8%-46% discounts on different places.
I can see it to be a huge timesaver (although I think I will almost always double check the listed price with its booking competitors) but for one-off quick bookings, it’s a great way to see hotels that have ongoing discounts and promotions.
That’s it from me! If you want to sign up for Nustay (remember, it’s completely free!) you can click the link below. Hopefully, you find some pretty sweet deals when you do!
What about you? What are some of your favorite hotel booking tips and tricks in order to get the best rate possible? Any other booking sites that I should try out?