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Hotels.com, L.P.
FormerlyHotel Reservations Network
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryHotel booking service
Founded1991; 33 years ago (1991) in Dallas, Texas, U.S.
FounderDavid Litman
Robert Diener
Key people
Adam Jay (president)
ParentExpedia Group

Hotels.com, L.P.[1] is a global website for booking hotel rooms online and by telephone. The company has 85 websites in 34 languages, and lists over 325,000 hotels in approximately 19,000 locations. Its inventory includes hotels and B&Bs, and some condos and other types of commercial lodging. Hotels.com was established in 1991 as the Hotel Reservations Network (HRN). In 2001, it became part of Expedia, Inc. and in 2002, changed its name to Hotels.com. The company is operated by Hotels.com LP, a limited partnership subsidiary located in Dallas, Texas, in the United States.


Old logo of Hotels.com used from 2002 to 2008
Hotels.com RusLine CRJ100 logojet at Pulkovo Airport (2017)

Hotels.com was established in 1991 by David Litman and Robert Diener as the Hotel Reservations Network (HRN), providing hotel booking via a toll-free phone number in the United States.[2] In 2001, the company was acquired by USA Networks Inc (USAI) which also acquired a controlling interest in Expedia, the online travel booking company.

After buying the domain name for approximately US$11 million,[3] HRN changed its name in 2002 to Hotels.com and launched the offline brand 1-800-2-Hotels as well as allowing hotel bookings on line. There followed a period of rapid international expansion with 29 sites added over the next two years. In 2003, USAI was renamed InterActiveCorp (IAC). In 2005 IAC separated its travel business under the name Expedia Inc. Hotels.com then became an operating company of Expedia Inc.[4]

In 2011, the site launched an iPad application and updated its mobile phone product on iPhone and Android.[5]

On December 1, 2016, Hotels.com took over Venere.com (another Expedia owned company).[6]

U.S. disability rights infringement[edit]

In May 2007, Hotels.com was subject to a class action complaint (Smith v. Hotels.com L.P., California Superior Court, Alameda County, Case No. RG07327029) brought against them for “ongoing discrimination against persons with mobility disabilities who desire to, but cannot, use Hotels.com’s worldwide reservation network to make reservations for hotel rooms”.[7] The company denied the accusation and opposed the action, but was found guilty on one count of infringing California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, and on one count in violation of Unfair Competition Law. It was agreed that the company would provide suitable accessibility information about hotels sold on its website.[8]

Privacy concerns[edit]

In February 2019, TechCrunch reported that the Hotels.com mobile app in the iOS App Store was using session-replay functionality from Israeli firm Glassbox, to record users' activities and send the data to Expedia servers without users' informed consent, compromising users' privacy and contravening the rules of the iOS App Store.[9][10]

Loyalty program[edit]

The first loyalty program for Hotels.com was called "Hotels.com Rewards" (formerly "Welcome Rewards") and rolled out across multiple countries from 2008 to 2011.[11] On July 6, 2023, Hotels.com replaced Hotels.com Rewards with One Key. The new program decreased rewards by 80 percent, including bookings paid in advance under the terms of the prior program. The website Frequent Miler criticzed these changes as an unusually large devaluation of the program not comparable to any other loyalty program change in the hospitality industry for a company not undergoing bankruptcy proceedings.[12]

Hotel Price Index[edit]

Starting in 2004, the site has published a twice-yearly review of international hotel room price trends called the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index. It is based on the prices paid per room by its customers using a weighted average based on the number of rooms sold in each of the markets in which it operates.[13] Information includes notable price changes and comparisons between destinations, hotel types, and other price-related analyses for the previous six months.[14] The Hotel Price Index is published both digitally and in print, and is aimed at journalists, the media, and hoteliers as part of its public relations.


Ed Helms voiced the character "Smart" in Hotels.com advertisements.[15] In 2012, the character was changed from clay animation to CGI.[16] The company's advertising slogan was originally "Smart. So Smart"[17] before being changed to "Be Smart. Book Smart".[18]

In 2014, the site introduced the character "Captain Obvious" who is portrayed by actor Brandon Moynihan. Captain Obvious makes self-evident comments with the aim of communicating that Hotels.com is the obvious choice.[19] The campaign was devised by the ad firm Crispin Porter + Bogusky.[20] Moynihan said in an interview "Hotels.com has a great self awareness and they're not afraid to push the envelope with the crazy stuff I get to do as Captain Obvious".[21] Notable advertisements include one where he runs for president,[22] a La La Land inspired ad[23] and an ad where Captain Obvious meets his future self.[24] In 2018, Captain Obvious featured in Channel 4's ad blocking campaign.[25] In 2019, Captain Obvious appeared as a DJ in an episode of Four Weddings and a Funeral.[26]

Starting in the 2018-19 season, Hotels.com became the official global sponsor of UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup along with Expedia.[27]

In December 2020, Hotels.com signed a partnership with the National Basketball Association, and it was named as the Official Travel Partner of the NBA.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hotels.com, L.P." OpenCorporates. June 14, 2001. Retrieved August 22, 2023.
  2. ^ "Cornell University". David S. Litman ’82 and Robert B. Diener ’82. Cornell Law School. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  3. ^ "I bought Hotels.com name for $11m". BBC News. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "Hotels.com Backgrounder". Hotels.com. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  5. ^ Warman, Matt (December 15, 2011). "Hotels.com app review". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  6. ^ "Expedia Buying European Hotels Site Venere - CBS News". www.cbsnews.com. July 15, 2008. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  7. ^ "Class Action". Case Summary. Lawyers & Settlements. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  8. ^ "Settlement Agreement". Court proceedings. Archived from the original on November 22, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  9. ^ Whittaker, Zack (February 6, 2019). "Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on February 6, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  10. ^ Clover, Juli. "Some Popular iPhone Apps Secretly Record Your Screen for Analytics Purposes". MacRumors. Archived from the original on February 6, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  11. ^ "Hotels.com Rewards". Hotels.com Rewards. Hotels.com. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  12. ^ Pepper, Stephen (April 26, 2023). "Huge Devaluation Of Hotels.com Rewards; New One Key Program Only Giving 2% Back". Frequent Miler. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  13. ^ "Hotel Price Index: Review of Global Prices, first half 2011". Hotel Price Index. Hotels.com. Archived from the original on December 23, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  14. ^ "Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI) Highlights Rising Hotel Prices in Emerging Destinations for American Travelers". Press Release. Market Watch. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  15. ^ "Ed Helms Hotel.com ads". Officetally. June 11, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  16. ^ "Hotels.com Gets a Makeover". Mom Central. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  17. ^ "Hotels.com (Maybe Not So) Smart". Brandaide. October 23, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  18. ^ "Hotels.com close to booking agency for social media brief". Prweek. February 6, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  19. ^ Goldstein, Ian (May 31, 2021). "Who Plays Captain Obvious In The Hotels.com Commercials?". Looper. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  20. ^ Gianatasio, David (February 27, 2014). "Hotels.com Recruits Captain Obvious, but Is One Gag Enough for a Campaign?". AdFreak. Adweek.com. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  21. ^ McEvoy, Sophie (June 4, 2021). "Why Hotels.com's Captain Obvious Looks So Familiar". The List. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  22. ^ "Captain Obvious runs for president". Fox Business on YouTube. March 11, 2016. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  23. ^ Stuart, Rebecca (May 13, 2017). "Ad of the Day: Hotels.com mascot Captain Obvious stars in La La Land-style musical". The Drum. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  24. ^ Taylor, Heather (November 17, 2020). "Here's What Happens When Captain Obvious Meets Future Captain Obvious". Pop Icon. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  25. ^ Tan, Emily (March 7, 2018). "Hotels.com's Captain Obvious to 'block' ads on All 4". Campaign. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  26. ^ "HOTELS.COM: A FREE HONEYMOON? THERE'S JUST ONE LITTLE CONDITION". The Stable. August 16, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  27. ^ "Expedia Group To Become Official UEFA Champions League Sponsor". PR Newswire. August 15, 2018.
  28. ^ Official Release. "Hotels.com® named Official Travel Partner of the NBA". NBA Communications. Retrieved April 17, 2023.

External links[edit]