During Hurricane Sandy my flight out of Washington Dulles was cancelled, and I needed a quick place to stay the evening. I went to Hotwire's website and found a 3.5 star hotel in the Sterling area, which turned out to be the Hyatt House. I thought I was getting an excellent deal as it was only $86 a night, and I had stayed at Hyatt Houses previously and was always satisfied.
The room at this Hyatt House was a bit disappointing because it was just a standard double bed room, not the normal suite that Hyatt House provides. However, I realized since I booked on Hotwire the room quality may be lower so I did not complain.
I had arrived at the hotel around noon, and was able to immediately check in. My parents had dropped me at the hotel and were departing to return to Pennsylvania. The hotel staff noted this as they saw them help me carry my belongings to my room and then depart the hotel.
Approximately one hour later I received a phone call from the front desk saying that Hotwire had called and said that my reservation was cancelled due to a fraudulent credit card. The hotel manager apologized, but said I could remain at the hotel, but I would now need to pay $159 for the evening plus tax (approximately $175). This was over double what I had paid on Hotwire. I immediately called Hotwire and after speaking to 3 representatives, they could not explain to me why the reservation was cancelled. While I understand that Hotwire often causes these types of the problems, the hotel staff did not provide much assistance other than saying that I would have to pay an additional $90 for the night's stay. They were clearly only concerned about their money even as the hurricane's winds and rain picked up.
Clearly being frustrated with their service, I went online and found the Comfort Suites next door offering larger rooms with the same amenities for only $107 a night. I immediately switched hotels and was much more satisfied.
At the same time as I was talking to the hotel manager I saw another woman attempting to check in to the hotel and being told that her room rate was no longer being honored and she would have to pay more. It was quite evident to me that they were price gauging due to the storm. I felt this was quite unfortunate, and I would not recommend staying there based on these experiences.