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Deciphering Hotel Deals with DealBase

Here’s a common element of modern-day travel that can baffle even the most seasoned globetrotters among us: the hotel deal. In times like these, they seem to appear at every turn and on every travel web site. Some are good, decent, all-American deals that give us the chance to go, see and do for less. But just as many are gimmicky, glossy temptresses without much real value.

But as more and more travelers see deals as deciding factors in whether they’ll travel far and wide in the coming year, the art of deciphering the travel deal becomes ever more important. So how is the average traveler to assess a hotel deal’s, well, dealiness (see: truthiness)?

One new way to do that comes from Bay Area startup DealBase, a site that lists and analyzes hotel deals from 3,500+ sources by breaking them down and comparing their various parts to regular rack rates using standard pricing information available via Hotels.com. The brainchild of three Silicon Valley serial entrepreneurs, the site currently shows deals for U.S. destinations, as well as those in Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. CEO Sam Shank tells us all the major international destinations will be popping up on the site by summer.

So where should we look for the best hotel deals right now? Shank tells us, “Most of the areas with a lot of excess hotel inventory, and thus good deals, are a short flight away, like Vegas and Cabo and especially Hawaii. But I'd choose Monterey Peninsula for some drivable deals. For example, a stay at a four-star inn this winter for under $100 a night.”