Hello, thank you for using this service. I wish to introduce myself. I am Michael, a Research Librarian with 20+ years of experience.
There are quite a number of sites that list hotel reservations at the lowest cost possible. I have gone ahead and researched some of the better sites that have been reviewed by travel publications for 2013.
1. The lowest pricing
in terms of reviews
so far this year comes from the site Priceline.com. It is the best known as well as offering detailed tools to locate a hotel in a given city at the lowest price online.
2. Hotels.com is organized to highlight last minute hotel deals and packages.
3. HotelReservations.com often can locate some good values when compared to other sites as it consistently finds solid prices and hotel deals worldwide.
As for some new sites to explore:
Budget Travel went ahead and reviewed eight of the latest sites and how budget friendly they are:
In terms of using a travel agency for booking your hotel reservations, know that according to the American Society of Travel Agents, travel agents still book 30% of all hotels. The difference between using an agency and booking online from one of the services above depends on how the agent is paid per booking. An agents fees are fairly transparent while those online can have hidden charges so best to read the fine print before booking from an online service. Agents quite often have connections to various hotel chains so sometimes discounts can be found by a connected agent.
I would recommend checking the pricing online from the various sites listed above and then inquire with a local travel agent to see if they can locate a better rate for you.