State of Texas FAQs

This site hosts all the training materials for The State of Texas. Please bookmark this page and refer back often for updated materials.

Training Video

View this user training video for helpful tips on how to use your Hotel Engine account!


Hotel Engine is a private hotel booking platform that connects State of Texas travelers to rates unavailable to the public and streamlines business travel management. With dedicated, 24/7 customer support services, a simple search-and-book process, and customized account management tools, Hotel Engine is the preferred vendor for the State of Texas.

State travelers need to receive an invitation from their respective Hotel Engine account administrator. Please contact your agency’s travel coordinator for more information.

 There are three different permissions roles in Hotel Engine; Admin, Coordinator, and User. Each account or agency can have unlimited Admins, Coordinators, and Users.

Admins: Can view and use all functionality on the platform. Can also enable Coordinators to see trends reporting and view other traveler trips.

Coordinators: Can search and book hotels for themselves and other users of the agency account. Can access trends reports and view other traveler trips IF enabled by an Admin.

Users: Can search and book their own hotels under set Admin permissions. Please reference the specific user guides for each role for more information.

Hotel Engine is an authorized partner and preferred vendor for the State of Texas. State of Texas agency travelers are required to use Hotel Engine to access and book hotel rooms at or below the local GSA rate. Please contact your agency’s travel coordinator for specific questions pertaining to State of Texas travel policies.

No. Hotel Engine is a business-only platform, and you can gain access only through your respective Hotel Engine account administrator. Please contact your agency’s travel coordinator for more information.

You can book a room at any hotel chain available on the platform if it is priced at or below the local GSA rate. Hotel Engine offers rooms at nearly every major hotel chain and is continually adding new hotels to our corporate travel program.

When you search on Hotel Engine, the results page shows both the Hotel Engine rate and the GSA rate next to every hotel. With both rates listed, you will be able to easily see the difference in rates.

HE Direct is a filter that allows travelers to select negotiated rates that are specific to State of Texas members. This filter allows travelers to better understand the rate at which they are booking and are directly negotiated with the hotel, eliminating Expedia. These rates often offer free amenities that the hotel is offering specifically to State of Texas travelers (breakfast, parking, etc.). HE Direct rates also allow travelers to earn their hotel loyalty rewards points.

Just because you do not book an HE Direct rate does not mean that you are booking Expedia rates. Hotel Engine offers thousands of chain-wide discounts directly through hotels that do not fall within the HE Direct offering.


NOTE: Not all of these negotiated direct rates will be at or below GSA.

Yes, Hotel Engine offers many international hotel options. A state employee is entitled to be reimbursed for actual lodging and meal expenses incurred while conducting state business at a duty point in a foreign country other than Canada and Mexico. Prior approval by the agency’s chief administrator or chief administrator’s designee is required. These policies are directed by The State of Texas so please consult your travel coordinator.​

No. You are required to have a credit card on or debit card on file to complete a booking (whether you are an account admin or the primary guest) but this card will not be charged. The primary guest will pay for the full reservation at the hotel with their payment of choice.​

Full credit card information is never actually “stored” within Hotel Engine. Our third-party payment processor will validate your card one time when you set up your account. Your card will then only be used to make hotel reservations but will never be charged by Hotel Engine unless a traveler fails to cancel in time (according to the hotel’s policy) or is a no-show for the booking.

Credit cards are encrypted to show only the last 4 digits. These 4 digits will also help identify users who contact customer support. Payment settings and stored credit cards are tied to individual users (not the larger agency account).

Only the user who uploaded the credit card can see that credit card as an option (nothing is ever shared – with another user or with the hotel).

Whatever card is inserted into the credit card field at the time of the booking will be the card subject to authorization-only and potential charges if a traveler fails to cancel in time (according to the hotel’s policy) or is a no-show. For example, if the Admin books a hotel for another User, the Admin can use their own saved card on file or enter a new CC for that booking. The Admin will never see that Users credit card information.​

Hotel Engine will never charge the credit card saved on your account, however, we will pass on the card information to the hotel in order to hold your reservation. You will always be required to pay at the hotel. If you save a virtual card to your Hotel Engine account, you will need to provide that virtual card at the hotel for payment.

Yes. Hotel Engine lists all known taxes and fees on the checkout page of the booking process. The summary of taxes and fees on Hotel Engine may not always reflect what was actually paid at the hotel because Hotel Engine does not include modifications like tax exemption. We recommend that you always get the itemized invoice directly from the hotel for expense purposes to ensure accuracy.

No. Hotel receipts and invoices will not reflect the booking was made through Hotel Engine. Please contact your agency’s travel coordinator for information about expense documentation are reimbursement.

When you reserve a room for a tax-exempt employee, you must indicate this on the checkout page of the booking process. You will need to manually select “YES” under “Tax-Exempt Stay?” every time you complete a booking on Hotel Engine. 

Note: The default selection is set to “NO” so you must change it to make a tax-exempt reservation. (Most state agency employees are required to pay state hotel taxes. Check with your agency’s travel coordinator with any questions about tax-exempt status.)

Disclaimer: Taxes and fees will still appear on the summary of each hotel booking on Hotel Engine. The tax-exempt classification on Hotel Engine is for record-keeping only. It is the responsibility of the traveler to inform the hotel upon check-in of his or her tax-exemption status and work directly with the hotel to waive applicable taxes. We also recommend you use the hotel’s folio (invoice) for expense reporting. Hotel Engine cannot guarantee the tracking or accurate reporting of tax exemptions being honored because this is managed between the traveler and hotel directly.

Hotel Engine never charges for cancellations. However, the hotel may charge a fee per its own cancellation policy. Before you complete a booking, you can view the hotel’s cancellation policy under “Terms & Conditions” on the checkout page. You can also find the hotel’s cancellation policy under “Important Information” on your booking’s confirmation page.

You can cancel your booking online or by calling the Hotel Engine State of Texas customer service line at 1-800-803-0452. To cancel online, follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to
  2. Click on the “Trips” tab.
  3. Select the booking you want to cancel.
  4. Click “Cancel Reservation” and confirm the cancellation request in the popup window.
  5. You will receive an email confirmation once it is completed.

If you miss the cancellation deadline, please contact the Hotel Engine State of Texas support line at 1-800-803-0452. We are happy to assist you.​

You cannot add or reduce the number of rooms on an upcoming reservation once you complete the booking process. If you need additional rooms, you can simply cancel and rebook a new reservation. Otherwise, if you need to modify the number of rooms on a reservation, call the Hotel Engine State of Texas support line at 1-800-803-0452.

  1. Log into your Hotel Engine account.
  2. Click on the ‘Group Reservation’ tab and fill out the required information to the best of your ability. The more information we have up front, the faster we can set up your group reservation.
  3. Upon receiving your group request, a member of our team will reach out with your confirmation receipt and Group Order Number.
  4. Strategic Sourcing Coordinator will work with you to solidify all hotel options, preferences, and needs you may have.
  5. Our team will manage all hotel changes, adjustments, and communications throughout your stay. If there are any changes on the hotel’s end, our team will relay those changes to you in a timely manner.
  6. Enjoy your stay – we’ll continue to focus on the logistics and the busywork while you focus on enjoying your trip!

​Can I change the name on my hotel reservation?

If you need to change the name on your hotel reservation, you have two options:

  1. Cancel your current reservation online and rebook a new reservation under the new name.
  2. Call the Hotel Engine State of Texas support line at 1-800-803-0452.

Call Hotel Engine’s exclusive State of Texas support line at 800-803-0452 or email us at [email protected].

Hotel Engine has travel agents ready to assist any State of Texas employee. Call Hotel Engine’s exclusive State of Texas support line at 800-803-0452 or email us at [email protected].