The first 5-star hotel I ever reviewed was in India and it still brings back special memories. I was living in Bangalore and it was a brand new hotel by a beloved Indian brand and there was something special about the service and care that I hadn’t noticed elsewhere (not to mention that food!). That was 2011, when there were only a handful of 5-star hotels in Bangalore. From 2013, the hotel landscape totally changed and so did the act of making a hotel booking. Gone were the days of booking direct with a property as we welcomed a new era of competitive deals offered by sites like Cleartrip.
I’m in the early pre-planning stage of a 30-day trip to India and I’m deep into research mode. My plan is to visit all of the cities and remote villages that were on my bucket list that I never had a chance to visit when I lived in India. But the heart wants what the heart wants so my first stop is Bangalore to catch up with all my old friends. So I started researching to see what had popped up since I left and it’s absolutely fabulous!
The city has doubled the number of 5-star hotels and I love every minute of it. But oddly not the prices when I check directly on the hotel’s websites. And the two I really want aren’t offering enough of an incentive for me to book direct (you know, like 90 minutes in the spa or a bottle of wine or something I’d truly value).
The site I use quite a lot in Southeast Asia and for the U.S. paled in comparison to the side-by-side rates with Cleartrip. I compared the prices in Bangalore for Taj, Oberoi, The Ritz, Leela, and Conrad and during every search – with apples to apples dates and number of guests, etc – Cleartrip offered up a better deal. Hands down.
In addition to having the best price from any of my searches, they also have a clean and more elegant interface on their website so it’s a nicer place to spend time comparing hotels. Take my advice and try them out. Until I started this search I hadn’t heard of Cleartrip but now I’m a huge fan.
One thing you’ll love on Cleartrip is that they allow you to “shortlist” your favourite hotels so you can go back, by city, and compare your favourites. Some websites require you to turn over your email or to register before you can do that so it was a treat to just be able to tic the “heart” to shortlist whatever I wanted so easily.