Opaque Hotels..... represent a relatively new way to purchase a hotel room. Unlike traditional purchases, a user only knows the identity of an opaque hotel after the purchase is made. Why would anyone buy a hotel room without knowing the name? The answer: SAVINGS!! When a hotel room goes unused, the hotel never gets a chance to recoup the potential revenue for that night, and every night, hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms sit vacant. By offering these unused rooms to a third party that will only disclose the hotel's name after purchase, the hotel is able to monetize these rooms by selling them at deep, deep, discounts, while protecting their regular rates for customers who need to stay at a specific hotel. There are a few services currently offering opaque travel purchases, each operating in a slightly different way. We hope to provide an easy way to search them all and explain a little how each one of them operates. Priceline: The originator of opaque travel. Priceline allows users to "name their own price." A user is able to select the minimum star level and geographic area (according to Priceline's maps). They then submit a price they are willing ot pay for a room, if Priceline finds a hotel willing to accept that amount, the hotel is automatically purchased, your credit card is billed, and you now own that hotel room. EasyClickTravel: Not a newcomer to the hotel business, but they are beginning to make their presence known. In addition to non-opaque (hotels whose names are shown before purchase), EasyClickTravel offers an opaque product which they refer to as "Off The Record" deals. For Off The Record offers, a user can search by city and a price is shown along with a very detailed description of the hotel. The name of the hotel is only revealed after purchase, but the descriptions often enable you to figure out the hotels beforehand. Hotwire: Hotwire users enter a city and select a geographic area within the region the city they have chosen. Hotwire will then show one hotel at each star level (if available) along with the price and amenities that are associated with each property. The amenity icons are often generic, but sometimes (if you know an area well) you can figure out the Hotwire hotel offered by observing the star rating and amenity combination.