How a Smiling Chipmunk Encouraged Us to Book a Hotel
Do you use Hipmunk.com? All the cool people do. And by "cool people," we mean us, because we just had a resounding success with our first hotel booking on the travel search website. Hipmunk recently began as another way to search for affordable airfare, but their creative methods of doing so caught our attention quickly. Even more recently, they've added a hotel search option to the site, where their smiling chipmunk mascot is all about finding you a hotel stay by "ecstasy," or price combined with location and ranking.
Ours was not an easy challenge. Find us a cheap hotel nearby the airport in Zurich, Switzerland. Zurichnay, all of Switzerlandis one of the notoriously highest priced vacations you can take. 5-star hotels average $1000 per night. Crappy 3-stars hover around $250 per night, and there's a chance they won't even have WiFi or a flatscreen TV. Nonetheless, our fingers were crossed. We wanted under $150 and nice.
A quickie couple clicks later on Hipmunk and up popped the Novotel Zurich Airport-Messe with a 50% off rate on Otel.com. The deal was $126 total, for one night/two people, with free breakfast buffet and free internet (for A Club members, which we were and which is free to join). It also happened to have the tram stop to the airport directly outside the hotel, and a surprisingly upscale look to the whole place...probably because it's in Switzerland.
Other sites for the same date were showing the Novotel at $232, and the Radisson Blu right at the airport was a staggering $450 per night...for an airport hotel we wouldn't use for more than 12 hours. No thank you.
The morale of this story? It's okay to embrace new travel search sites, especially when the little bellboy-outfitted chipmunk looks so darn helpful.