Hotelscombined.com was at the top of the heap last time we ran our tests, but has since slipped to number four. It remains by far the best meta-search engine, and the best at ferreting out the best prices on specific hotels—so long as it’s able to find those hotels. In our tests, HotelsCombined.com fared only modestly at producing lodgings in city centers, and equally modestly at rounding up hotels under $200. Though it searches 30 top sites, the aggregator often manages to find fewer lodgings than the sites it canvases, which makes little sense. Most disturbingly, in more than half the cases the price shown from a third-party site turned out to be higher once you clicked through—sometimes only a dollar or two, sometimes by $10 or $20, and occasionally by as much as $60 or $100. We don’t imagine this is a purposeful bait-and-switch, but rather a failing in the algorithms’ ability to properly scrape provider sites. HotelsCombined remains by far the best aggregator—but it’s squarely defeated by the top three direct booking engines.