Despite marketing claims by the big chains, you can often get a better price on a hotel booking through third party websites. That’s even more the case with independent hotels.
What I’ve found is that the more expensive the hotel the greater likelihood you can find a deal through a small online travel agency website. You’ll usually give up hotel loyalty points and elite status credit, but you may receive other perks. At a minimum it’s worth checking before you book.
Right now there’s a new opportunity to join a site free that usually charges, to get 5% back on your bookings — and not just hotels, either, but other travel too.