Booking.com Throws Its Hat Into the Last-Minute App Ring
What's that saying? "Two is a coincidence, three is a trend." Yes, that one. Well, we officially have a trend when it comes to last-minute hotel booking apps as Booking.com released Booking.com Tonight for iPhone and IPod Touch. It follows pioneer HotelTonight and Priceline's Tonight Only in the seriously last-minute game (we're talking like, hours or minutes before showing up to claim the same-night reservation), but with one major twist: Booking.com Tonight is international.
It's available in the iTunes app store now, so naturally we downloaded it and put it through the paces. Does it have discounted rooms? Yes. The average discount seemed to be 20%, for those properties that are on sale. You see, this app lists hotel results for hotels whether or not they're on sale, so it's only a little bit improved on the regular Kayak or Priceline booking app. You can see a few of the NY results above.
Next we flipped through international options by searching a city in which we're actively looking to book hotel rooms: Hong Kong. The last-minute options were sparse and not thrilling. We located the Harbour Grand hotel in the listing, a place we've previously stayed, and saw the app had it listed for 1,580 HKD ($203.50). Last year, we managed to score the same using the Priceline Name-Your-Own-Price search for around $140 per night. Granted, this is a different time of the year but at least it's some comparison.
In the end, it's nice to have another option when you're stuck looking for a reasonable last-minute hotel, but the Booking.com Tonight app still doesn't stand up to HotelTonight; HotelTonight has simplicity, better user design and freshest deals. Plus it rewards new members and referrers with a $25 credit. All things the Booking.com app doesn't have, but maybeone daywill. Competition, you see!