The global nature of the Internet makes it a great travel tool. The problem is, the sheer volume of information can be mind-boggling. Here are some tools to make your search as efficient as possible:
Global travel sites. A number of excellent sites are devoted exclusively to travel and can deliver literally thousands of hotel listings for every major city in the world (and lots of minor ones, too). Once you find a site, locate your destination of choice, then look for links to hotel information.
Destination-based sites. You can also search for sites that deal with specific destinations. Generally, a municipal or regional convention and tourist board can provide more or less unbiased listings, plus more detailed information than a global site can. If headed to a popular destination, you'll find a number of public and private web-based city guides. However, make sure you know who's sponsoring the site, or you may be getting just part of the story (i.e. the version that the site's sponsor wants to give).
Individual hotel sites. If you've already made a short list of specific hotels that interest you, see if they have their own website. You may be able to take a digital tour, plus get more detailed information about location, amenities, and so forth.