Hip 4-star hotel in Saint-Germain-des-Pres.

To summarise, a secret hotel is a hotel, with available guest rooms, that does not wish to advertise cut prices. In return for listing without stating their name, guests gain from up to 50% off their suite when they book via Hotwire and as much as 35% when they book via Lastminute. As soon as you select your dates and city, you’ll be offered the secret hotels with vacancies. You can then check them against each other by looking at their star rating, where they’re situated as highlighted on Google Maps and their list of features in the description. Another helpful device is the Tripadvisor rating shown next to each establishment on Lastminute and Hotwire.

So although you can’t see the name of the hotel till you’ve booked it, the risk is diminished by the sheer number of facts divulged about each establishment. For instance, if you book a five star in Knightsbridge with an award winning bar, how wrong can you go? Of course some secret hotels have less details, so for some customers this is more of a gamble.

Booking agent description: Found in Paris' trendy 7th Arrondissement, this contemporary 4-star hotel sits on the left bank of the River Seine, and is close to must-see sights like the Musee d'Orsay and the Jardin de Tuileries. Each room has a private bathroom, iPod dock, flat-screen TV and free wifi, and the hotel's lounge bar serves a tasty breakfast buffet.

Location: Saint Germain, Paris

Hotel rating: 4.5 out of 446 reviews

Hotel facilities: 24-hour front desk, Room Service, Bilingual staff, Luggage room, Terrace, Gay Friendly, Cleaning service on request (to be paid locally), Smoke-free property, Buffet breakfast, Pets allowed, Umbrellas

Room facilities: Air Conditioning, Cable television, Climate Control, Complimentary toiletries, En-Suite Bathroom, Free Internet access, Telephone, Television, Wake-up calls, High speed internet connection, Work Desk, Hairdryer, Mini-bar, Safe, Iron (on request)

Accepted credit cards: American Express, Carte Bleue, Diners Club International, JCB, Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, Visa Electron

Hotel policies: Children welcome, Small pets welcome (extra charge), Smoking not permitted