Best Hotel Booking Services for Business Travel

Cara Meglio
December 19, 2022
Best Hotel Booking Services for Business Travel

These days, most of us book hotels online. But with so many different hotel booking services it can be difficult to know which one is best, particularly if you’re regularly booking travel for business.

In this article, we aim to break it down — so you know exactly what to expect.

We’ll cover the two main categories of hotel booking tools used by businesses:

  • Online booking tools (OBTs)
  • Travel management companies (TMCs)

Then, we’ll compare these to a third option: Hotel Engine.

By comparing the pros and cons of each option, we’ll clarify what each of these services can — and can’t — do for your business.

Online booking tools: What are they?

Online Booking Tools (OBTs) are probably the first thing you think of when booking a hotel online.

For example, if you search for “Hotels in Manchester,” Google results will present you with a bunch of hotel comparison sites. These are OBTs.

Traveler at airport

Pros of OBTs

Easy comparisons

Online booking tools allow you to filter and sort hotel search results to find one that suits your budget and preferences, such as distance from a location, or access to certain amenities, like spas or fitness centers.

Lots of options

Big OBTs have lots of hotels on their books, so you have a wide selection to choose from.

A variety of travel products

As well as offering hotel booking services, OBTs allow you to book other travel essentials, like flights and cars.

Cons of OBTs

No access to exclusive discounts

Unlike the other hotel booking services on this list, OBTs don’t give business travellers access to exclusive discounts. Any discounts you find are accessible to everyone.

May not leverage real-time availability

Many OBTs boost their inventory by booking a block of deeply discounted rooms at a hotel to offer to their customers. Unfortunately, this block of rooms is not connected to the hotel’s live inventory, which means that the rooms they offer may not actually be available. This can result in an overbooked hotel, forcing some customers to make different lodging arrangements.


OBTs are purely self-service booking sites. They don’t provide any wider travel management support. In fact, it is sometimes hard to get customer support at all.

Designed for tourists

OBTs aren’t built with business travellers in mind, which can make it harder for you to find the right hotel, book reservations for more than one traveller, manage itinerary changes or reconcile travel budgets.

What are travel management companies?

Travel Management Companies (TMCs) are a type of corporate travel agency. Unlike OBTs, TMCs take care of booking business travel and accommodation for you.

working from a hotel room

Pros of Travel Management Companies

Corporate travel assistance

Unlike taking on bookings through an OBT, you won’t have to faff around organising complicated business travel if you choose corporate travel management. Instead, you save time by delegating travel management to your TMC team.

A variety of travel products

Most corporate travel management companies can book everything travellers need for a trip, including flights, cars and train tickets.

Cons of TMCs

Significant costs

The greatest drawback to working with a TMC is that these services don’t come cheap. Corporate travel agencies generally charge subscription or booking fees, or involve complicated contracts, which means that TMCs are better suited to larger businesses with bigger budgets.

Less choice

Because TMCs work directly with hotel partners, they don’t tend to offer as many different hotels or travel companies as OBTs.

What is Hotel Engine?

Hotel Engine specialises in corporate lodging. Via their platform, business travellers can search, compare and book hotels.

With their focus on business travellers, Hotel Engine occupies a middle ground — providing hotel booking, corporate travel management and data analysis without the hefty TMC fee.

European Tourist

The Pros of Hotel Engine

Specialised services

Hotel Engine only provides hotel booking services for business travellers, which means they have unique features and expertise. The platform allows business customers to painlessly book accommodations for any number of unique travellers or itineraries, with as much or as little assistance as they prefer.

Valuable insights and streamlined billing

With Hotel Engine, you get valuable budget and travel insights to improve your budgeting and booking strategies over time, as well as the option to pay by invoice, rather than with each individual booking.

Exclusive deals

Hotel Engine works directly with hotels to get exclusive rates and deals so you can save as much as 60% compared with consumer rates.

Live inventory

Unlike OBTs or travel aggregators, Hotel Engine coordinates directly with hotels to confirm inventory — so you don’t have to worry about booking a room that isn’t available.


Because Hotel Engine is free to use, it’s a great hotel booking solution for small- and medium-sized businesses. It has no contracts or minimum booking requirements at all.

The Cons of Hotel Engine

Hotels only

Hotel Engine specialises in accommodations, so you won’t be able to book transportation with them.

However, thanks to Hotel Engine’s relationships with partner hotels, they provide better discounts and improved customer experience. Plus, with over 700,000 hotels available to book worldwide, you’ll have plenty of options.

In Summary

Hotel Engine offers a tailored service, specifically designed for business travel bookings. With the Hotel Engine platform, you can search, find and book hotel rooms, and organise complicated group bookings for any number of travellers and trips.

As well as reservations at over 700,000 hotels worldwide and prices up to 60% lower than the standard advertised rates, Hotel Engine offers a range of great travel management features.

The best bit? Hotel Engine is completely contract free. There are no sign up, subscription or support costs. You don’t even have to make a minimum number of bookings per year.

This makes Hotel Engine the ideal choice for small, medium and large businesses who want better corporate travel management — but don’t want to break the bank.

Ready to give Hotel Engine a try?

Sign up for a free account today. You’ll be saving time and money on your business accommodations before you know it!

Article written by
Cara Meglio

Cara Meglio is a Copywriter at Hotel Engine. She assists with content creation, researching and writing articles to help businesses improve their travel experience and discover helpful solutions with Hotel Engine. Cara has a passion for travel of all types. Based in Denver, CO, Cara loves exploring the Mountain West as well as international destinations.

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