We recently got caught in a crossfire between Hotwire and the Hotel Ivy and it almost cost us a trip to see Springsteen and take in an NFL game. I received a call from Hotwire at 6 PM the night before our departure to Minneapolis that the Hotel was "closing"? I phoned Hotwire and they said that they would refund my money. After many different conversations, they always seemed to be seeking permission to refund my money rather than help with alternate reservations. I suppose they do this to release themselves from any responsibility. After receiving the bad news from Hotwire, I phoned the hotel directly and was told "No problem, we are relocating ALL of our guests to the W". The representative said that it included me and that the location of the W was equally close to the stadium. At that point Hotwire called me back and I had to excuse myself from the Ivy to take the call. Hotwire said they would find alternate reservations. I was also told if the replacement reservations were more money, I could apply to Hotwire for a refund of the difference. This seemed somewhat reasonable, although I know from previous experience with Expedia that they would upgrade you for a cancelled reservation and absorb the cost difference themselves.
I advised Hotline that the Hotel Ivy had said they would accomodate me at an alternate hotel, and since Hotline could not guarantee a room at that point, I would deal with the Ivy directly. I called the Ivy and asked to confirm my new reservation at the W through them. The person I spoke to said that the previous representative had "made a mistake". The dot.com customers would not be transferred; only the guests who had booked with the Hotel directly. I asked to speak to a supervisor, and was told by him that the minute I book with a dotcom reservation company, I am their customer, not the Hotel Ivy's. I pointed out to him that I have a reservation confirmation code from the Hotel, but he said that they only recognize me as a Hotwire customer, and not one of theirs. i pointed out to him that I am a Starwood SPG member, and he said that made little difference since effective Dec 16, 2012 the Hotel Ivy would no longer be part of the Starwood organization. At that point, I am sure that greed was the only motivation for cancelling my reservation. The Hotel Ivy has poorly represented the City of Minneapolis on a weekend in which the Mayor Chris Coleman has officially declared Nov 9 to 12 as "Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Weekend in St Paul". I am sure that their mission was to cut out the bookings from Hotwire and re-sell the rooms for more money. What a pathetic business case for a hotel.
As for Hotwire, I ended up speaking to several of their reps, and apparently some of those consulted a supervisor. I was firm but polite in my request that I did not want a refund. I told them that I wanted accomodations since I was sitting on a $1000 worth of event tickets. They retracted their earlier offer to allow me to apply for a refund if they charged me additional funds to move my reservation. Eventually, with nowhere to turn, I booked my reservation directly at the Radisson. They were professional to deal with. I put my tail between my legs and accepted the refund of my money from Hotwire; money which they had held since Sept 13, 2012.
Moral of the story is book directly with the hotel. If you want to save money through a dotcom, book with Expedia, and don't trust Hotwire. I also admit I was suckered by the Hotwire method of getting you to commit and then find out which Hotel you are getting.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.