In Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune, I recommend digging around to find the hotels most people don’t know about. The funky local places with lots of character. Even if money is no object, you’ll usually have a more interesting experience at these places than you will at the big international chain hotels.
Finding them isn’t always easy though. If you go to the usual mass market booking services (Expedia, Orbitz, etc.), you’ll find the places where the masses are staying, not the hip hotels with 20 rooms going for $75 or less a night. There are other options though. For Asia, Precision Reservations is usually a good bet. I also just stumbled upon a really good site for Europe. You know they’re on our side right from the get-go: it’s called EuroCHEAPO. I wrote a story about them today on HotelChatter. There’s a lot to like about them, so go check it out if you’re planning a trip to Europe anytime soon and aren’t on a Four Seasons budget.
The various hostel sites are often a good bet as well for Europe. For more hotel deal resources of all sorts, gonull.