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Hotel Booking Apps / HotelTonight / HotelChatter Interviews / Europe Hotels / Budget Hotels / Hotel Deals / Hotel News / Sam Shank / → All Tags
We mean "tomorrow" as in the future.
"Back where it all began." HotelTonight founder and CEO Sam Shank reflects for a moment, and takes a bite of a kettle-cooked potato chip.
We're chilling at the bar in the far back of the bustling lobby of The Ace, where, in late 2010, Shank launched HotelTonight and which now inspires the interior design of the HT headquarters on the other side of the country.
Has it already been more than two years?! HT still seems like the hot new thing, though they've grown to a staff of over 80 and now support 5 languages and 6 currencies for properties on sale in 12 countries. Their most recent "big news" came only last week, as they welcomed hotels in Rome, Florence, Madrid and Barcelona to the app and showed off their snazzy SF digs in a episode of TechCrunch's TC Cribs. Heck, you know we're already fans; last week we booked three nights in two countries using HotelTonight.
HotelChatter 2012 Awards / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Tech / Hotel Apps / iPhone Apps / Tech Hotels / Hotel Booking Apps / Hotel Technology / → All Tags
It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Today and Monday, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
Hotel WiFi has been an important part of our coverage here for a while now (remember that little thing called the HotelChatter WiFi Report?). But what happens once you've logged in and connected to the world wide web? Are you Instagramming shots of your room? Are you looking up restaurant reviews on Yelp? Maybe you're eschewing the DVD players of yore and pulling up episodes of Boardwalk Empire on HBOGO?
Either way, when trying to come up with this year's must-have hotel amenity, it seemed like a no-brainer: in 2012, hotel apps were where it's at..
Given one of our HC crew just went on a mini rant about technology, we're giggling a bit about all these new travel apps that seem to be coming out weekly-blah-daily. Some of them are good and we frequently use them, but now the word "app" is becoming a pain in our "apps"..if you will.
The latest comes from Hotwire who has just released their own iPhone app for discounts on last-minute hotel rooms located in 3145 cities and 61 countries. So now they join HotelTonight and most recently Jetsetter in this category of mobile applications capitalizing on a hotel's unused room inventory. OK, so what makes this one different?
Well, first it's only available on the iPhone and iTouch, and more specifically, designed to work best with the new iOS 6 and iPhone 5. Ay. So, what, they are they anti-Android?
There are other tiny differences that won't really matter in the long run if all you want to do is quickly find a hotel room at a good price, which Hotwire assures you'll be able to do within 30 seconds using their app. But we're not completely sold.
As if this hasn't already been an early autumn packed with mobile app announcements, another big update hit the web today. Gilt Groupe's hotel booking site Jetsetter released an update to their iPhone/iPod Touch app. With it comes the introduction of a new, huge feature: Jetsetter Now.
The trend continues! Jetsetter Now joins HotelTonight with last-minute deals so last minute that they're only foryou guessed itthat night. Even Booking.com and Kayak have tried to get in on the "tonight only" fever, but with limited success.
Jetsetter Now's advances other these other sites include photo-capture of your credit card details for even faster bookings (no typing in numbers--just snap it) and Passbook integration (score!). Download the Jetsetter app for free in the iTunes store. It's free to browse, but you've got to join through a link to buy. If you've been able to resist signing up these last few years, here is that necessary link.
Yesterday, we were trying to book a fun hotel room last minute in Las Vegas. The HotelTonight app yielded some great deals--$64 for Planet Hollywood and $45 for the revamped Tropicana but we've been to those places before and we wanted something a little higher-end.
So we decided to turn to another mobile app with a last-minute function--Booking.com's Tonight app. There we found The Cosmopolitan for $180 a night. Not as much of a deal as we hoped but we were nearly swayed by the gorgeous rooms of the Cosmo for under $200 a night.
But just to be sure we were getting a real deal, we double-checked the Cosmo's own website for room rates. And we were bummed to see that they were also offering a room for $180.
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.
We'd made our love for newish last-minute hotel booking app HotelTonight very clear. Seriously, you can't beat scoring a downtown Chicago trendy hotel for $69 15 minutes away from checking in, as we did recently.
As the app celebrates the release of their new iPad version, they're also "doubling down" on Las Vegas hotels by offering more than the standard three per night; it's up to six! What happens is you download the app from iTunes, register here, and then hit "Las Vegas" to see what deals they've scored in Sin City for that night, though some even allow you to book up to 3 or 5 days at the rate. The doubling down means there's now a section for three hotels on the Strip, and three outside of it.
Above you see tonight's Vegas optionsa Friday night. Not too shabby at all! We'd probably spring for the Tropicana with the hope of scoring a renovated room. Still, remember that HotelTonight has a whole list of other US cities with last-minute hotel deals...and the promise that they're going international soon. Soon is not soon enough!
The window is fast closing on ways to impress your lover today on Valentine's Day but you won't have to settle for downing a love potion at the hotel bar. Thanks to the last-minute hotel booking app, HotelTonight, you can actually stay inside a hotel--in a suite--tonight. And you can do it, without forking over thousands of dollars.
The Suite Heart Sale, which just began a short while ago, is offering frazzled lovers eager to please their sweethearts a luxury suite stay at the same price as a regular room.
For those who haven't downloaded HotelTonight to their phones yet, the app works like this--deals for tonight's hotel rooms show up at noon local time and feature three different hotels ranging from Elegant to Hip to Classic. But now with the Suite Heart Sale, you'll be getting a suite for the same rate as a regular room as well as a complimentary bottle of champagne!
There is no shortage of hotel booking sites or apps these days. Somedays it seems like everyone on the internet is getting in on the travel reservation game, including Google but the latest app we've discovered is not like the others.
HotPads.com is a map-based real estate site and app that helps users find places to rent or to buy in the U.S. In fact, it's slogan is "The Place to Find Your Place." Yet while we've been a near daily user of HotPads for the past few months in trying to find a new place to live, we also noticed the site has a "Hotels" function as well. Yes, not only can you find the house of your dreams on HotPads but the hotel of your dreams as well. Or at least one that fits your location and budget needs.