Book Hotels Direct

Are you the type of traveler that prefers to book hotels direct? Bookmark this page for future use! We’ll update it from time to time to add new info, and provide links to our latest posts that relate to the world of major hotel networks and loyalty programs.

Whether you’re booking flights or hotels, there are often advantages to booking directly, as opposed to using an Online Travel Agent (OTA). When it comes to hotels, these perks may include discounted rates, free airport transfers, free breakfasts, or discounted amenities, such as spa treatments. The most important advantage, however — and also the most valuable in the long-run — is the ability to earn points as part of their loyalty programs.

3 Major Hotel Networks

Marriott, Hilton and International Hotels Group (IHG) are 3 of the biggest hotel networks out there. Over the years, these brands have slowly but surely acquired many of the smaller hotel chains where you’ve rested your head for decades. They’re all much bigger than most people realize, and getting bigger all the time.

Click the icons below and you’ll be re-directed to each company’s platform, where you can: explore brands, score hot deals, book properties directly, and earn loyalty points that you can redeem on future perks, like free night stays!

What do these 3 networks have in common?

  • They each offer a wide variety of sub-brands that cater to a different type of traveler as far as price point and amenities.
  • When you book direct at properties within the network, you earn loyalty points, which you can redeem in the future at many of the other properties within the network (blackout dates and exclusions always apply, so you’ll have to check availability on a case-by-case basis.

Let’s meet some of the sub-brands, and the loyalty programs that connect them.

1. MARRIOTT | Loyalty Program: BONVOY

The biggest advantage of joining the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program is the number of brands that fall under it: Ritz Carlton, St. Regis, W, JW, Edition, Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, Renaissance, Design, Four Points…Did you know that all of these hotel chains fall under the Marriott umbrella?

Pretty cool to think that you can pay for rooms at more affordable properties (like Four Points or Residence Inn) and redeem your Bonvoy points for free nights at luxury chains (like Ritz Carlton or the JW Marriott)!

2. HILTON | Loyalty Program: HILTON HONORS

The Hilton brand also includes a large number of other hotel chains within its portfolio, including Conrad, Canopy, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Home2 Suites, Homewood Suites, LXR, Tapestry Collections, Tru and Waldorf Astoria.

The Hilton Honors program works the same was as the Marriott Bonvoy program: earn points when you book hotels direct on the Hilton platform, and redeem those points for free nights at other properties in the future.


International Hotels Group (IHG) is another major network worth exploring. The IHG portfolio includes many of the brands you’ve probably heard of, such as Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hualuxe, Six Sense, Regent, Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and Voco.

Join their loyalty program — the IHG Rewards Club — and start racking up your loyalty points to cash in on free nights!

Why book hotels direct? Here's the bottom line.

Just like airlines that reward you with frequent flyer miles that can be redeemed for free flights and seat upgrades, hotel loyalty programs reward you with points that can be used for free hotel nights or room upgrades. Regardless of how much you travel, there is no reason not to join at least one hotel loyalty program! They are all free to join. The sign-up process is easy (should take less than 30 seconds!). And eventually, you get free stuff. Who doesn’t love free stuff?

As always, please feel free to leave comments below, or reach out to us directly if we can help in any way.



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If you don’t have the time to research and plan your own trip…maybe we can help. As a small, boutique operation, travelhelix provides a highly personal and customized approach to each of our clients.

Whether it’s for a family vacation, a group friend trip, or a honeymoon, we’ve got you covered. We’ll take care of the details you don’t have time for, so you can focus on the good stuff.

Visit our Plan A Trip page to learn more about our trip-planning packages and other travel services.

Affiliate disclaimer

Many (but not all) of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means that if you choose to click through the links or banners and make a purchase, we may receive a commission for the sale.

There’s never any added cost to you for booking through these links. We simply receive a piece of the fees that are already being charged. Sometimes, you’ll even save a few bucks searching for deals here as opposed to what you may find with an independent search.

These commissions are a small part of the fuel that keeps the travelhelix fire burning, and we want you to know that we appreciate any business you give to these companies, via our platform. Thank you for your support!

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