New Farecast Service Tells You Whether That Hotel Rate Is Really A Deal is testing a great new feature that evaluates a hotel’s given rate, then tells you how much of a deal it really is when compared to past quotes and fares at similar hotels, says the New York Times:

The $179 rate for a room at the Hyatt Regency was listed as “average” because it was 28 percent more expensive than rates at that hotel on the same date in past months, according to Farecast. It was also 13 percent more than recent Friday-to-Monday stays at the same hotel.

It’s no secret we like Farecast, and we’re excited by this new transparency into hotel pricing. But the Times points out that the service won’t tell you the cheapest rate in a city, because it doesn’t compare rates between hotels in a given area. It does, however, tell you where the rate falls in the history of the hotel in question, and since hotel rates are often tied to occupancy rates, it’s possible you can use the rankings to make guesses about crowding:

“A city showing a cluster of hotels as “not a deal” could indicate there is a convention in their part of town, which some travelers might want to avoid.”

You can also remove sold-out hotels from your search results, and see street-level views of the hotels via Microsoft Virtual Earth.

“Finding Bargain Rooms at a Glance” [New York Times]

(Photo: Getty)