Despite being owned by Priceline, the results are not identical when you perform a side-by-side comparison. The prices are very similar, but, the search results are not stacked in the same order.
When researching a hotel room for two adults in Asheville, NC, these were the top three hotel recommendations from Booking.com:
- Four Points by Sheraton (8.1 Rating–$89/night)
- Brookstone Lodge (7.9 Rating–$112/night)
- The Residences at Biltmore (8.9 Rating–$159/night)
Here were the top three results of the same search on Priceline:
- Hotel Indigo (8.8 Rating–$104/night)
- Crowne Plaza Resort (7.2 Rating–$96/night)
- Country Inn and Suites (9.2 Rating–$102/night)
With the exception of the Four Points that was already sold out for the same date on Priceline, there was vacancy for the other five hotels on both booking sites. It seems that Booking.com places more emphasis on the boutique hotels and smaller brands, while Priceline primarily lists the larger brands with more name recognition.
Once you get outside the top three recommendations for either site, Booking.com also lists locally-owned hotels that were not found on Priceline. You will pay the same price for the hotel on either website, but, it seems that Booking.com has a wider selection to travelers that want to stay somewhere different if they are willing to comb browse the listing for a few extra seconds.
What you won’t find on Booking.com are the last-minute mystery deals the Priceline offers on last-minute unsold hotel rooms.