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HotelTonight / Hotel News / Mobile Check-Ins / Mobile Booking Apps / Keyless Entry / Keyless Hotel Rooms / Smartphone Check-In / → All Tags
HotelTonight, the mobile booking app last-minute travelers can't live without, announced some major news yesterday at Google's I/O conference. Like, major.
HotelTonight will soon let you check-in to your room from within the HotelTonight app as well as open your room door. Wow. Earlier this year, when we mentioned bonus points for hotels who adopted keyless entries, we had no idea it would come from a booking app like HotelTonight.
The two new features are simply called, "Express Check-In" and "Keyless Entry." They were demonstrated yesterday at the conference on an Android phone but the Express Check-In is being piloted on the iPhone app while Keyless Entry is working off Android.
The brilliant idea behind HotelTonight, which separates it from all other booking sites out there, is that you can book a last-minute hotel room for a steeply discounted rate, all from your phone (or tablet.) The only problem is, you have to wait until 9am the day of to see what the room rates are like.
This typically isn’t a problem when you’re unexpectedly stranded somewhere and desperately need a hotel room, or if you decided spur-of-the-moment to spend the night in the big city. But true deal hunters start looking at HotelTonight a few days before their trip to get a feel for the room rates. Why, just the other day we were on HotelTonight to see the rates in Vegas in case we felt like heading out there this week. (Confession: we've also been known to do this, just for fun, while we're sitting in a doctor's office, stuck in traffic, waiting for take-off, etc.)
But now, HotelTonight is gonna do that rate guessing work for you—with their new Look Ahead feature. Here's how it works:
This news from mobile-booking app, HotelTonight, couldn't have come at a better time. We're on the hunt for a hotel room in Miami after our meet-up tonight and we were kind of annoyed that we have to wait until noon today to book a room through HotelTonight. But lucky for us, HotelTonight is now letting folks book rooms starting at 9am instead of noon. Wahoo!
Everything else with the app is the same as usual, except you can get a heard start on the rest of your day without stopping whatever you're doing at noon to book a hotel room. (Also, the app's countdown clock is right but they still need to change the copy. It's still saying deals go live at noon local time.)
Of course, this doesn't change a hotel's check-in time which is usually around 3pm, but having a reservation and a room that's already paid for does help if you're trying to get in a little earlier than that. Worst case, you're at least entitled to leave your bags with the bell desk.
Mobile Booking Apps / Hotel Booking Sites / HotelQuickly / HotelTonight / CheckInTonight / → All Tags
Launched in March, the smartphone app works very much like HotelTonight--guests can book seriously last-minute rooms up until 4am for that same night. And like HotelTonight the app only lets you access hotel room rates for that day, starting at noon--you can't book a room the day before or the week before. It's also only available through a smartphone app store--either iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.
We checked today for the options in Siem Reap and two hotels pulled up--one for $100 USD and another for just $30. (Some cities also have just one hotel listed.) If you can't decide between the options, HotelQuickly tells you to shake your phone which will then make your selection automatically. You can also earn credits for recommending friends to HotelQuickly, which is something that HotelTonight has done from the beginning.
Right now, HotelQuickly is operating in Australia's big cities (Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne) along with Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Siem Reap and cities in New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. You can read through their FAQs if you still need a little help understanding how the app works. We also just discovered another app that's doing the same thing for Asia called, CheckInTonight, which does most of the same cities at HotelQuickly, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand.
The other month, we published 5 Booking Sites to Know About and Use, our handy little guide to the hotel booking sites (and one mobile app) that we use frequently for our hotel stays in the U.S. But what are the best hotel booking sites for Europe?
We personally have used a variety of booking sites for our past European vacations. In Monte Carlo, we ended up going through Kiwi Collection and Leading Hotels of the World. In Paris, we once had you dear readers pick our hotel. Another time, we booked through the hotel at Le Meurice. In London, we booked directly with Tune for the opening of their first hotel in London and in Munich and Barcelona a few years back, we actually booked using credit card points.
And the frequent hotels we've casually surveyed seem to use different tactics themselves. Several folks told us they go through loyalty programs like Starwood and Hilton. While others stick with the big travel aggregators like Expedia, Kayak, Priceline and Travelocity.
HotelTonight released the 4.0 version of its iOS and Android app today. The new versions will bring expanded hotel offerings as well as personalized suggestions for each user.
“What one person sees is now a little different than what another person will see,” says Sam Shank, CEO of Hotel Tonight. “We had complaints that hotels weren’t [always] right for them, so we wanted to get better results for people.” For example, at one point it wouldn’t help a customer if all deals shown that day were all on one side of town, and that customer was on the other side. With the new app, they’ll now be able to see more options. Also, with a type of “customer tracking” system, if one highly rates a hotel after a stay, when they return to HT, they’ll see a bonus hotel offer similar to the one they stayed at previously.
Here's A breakdown on what will happen when you open the new HotelTonight app.
We've talked so much about HotelTonight, the mobile booking app that gives you discounted rates on that night's stay, so much that we've just assumed everyone and their smartphone-holding mother knows how to work it.
Yet time and time again, we keep running into friends who booked rooms last-minute for far higher prices than necessary. When we ask them, "Did you use HotelTonight?" They tell us, "No, what's that?" D'oh.
It's no secret that we consider HotelTonight one of our go-to booking apps when in need of a hotel room in a hurry and at a discount. And fortunately for us, and for you fellow deal-seekers, the mobile app keeps on expanding.
Today, in addition to announcing that the app has surpassed three million downloads, HotelTonight also announced its presence in 10 new cities in the US and the UK. Right now you can get hotel rooms tonight in St. Louis, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool. Manchester and Salt Lake City will be added in early September.
In total, HotelTonight has deals in over 50 destinations in US, UK and Canada. Next up? The Continent we hope!
Stay tuned tomorrow and Friday when we'll have more on our own booking experiences with HotelTonight!
Mobile Booking Apps / Kayak / Hotel News / HotelTonight / Hotel Technology / Hotel Booking Tips / → All Tags
The booking function du jour allows you to search hotels near you using the app's GPS function but whether or not you're getting a deal is still up in the air. Tnooz.com reports:
The Kayak take on same-day bookings is far lower-key than the others hitting the market. Users have an option to check for same-day availability, get results and are then either redirected to one of its partners for the booking or, in some cases, can book direct within the app itself.
We've long recommended the mobile booking app, HotelTonight for folks in need of a last-minute hotel room for less than the rack rate but we've been dying for HotelTonight to expand beyond the U.S. Looks like we won't be waiting much longer.
After breaking into Canada the other month, HotelTonight has finally jumped the pond to London. Available starting at noon every day local time, HotelTonight is offering discounts at a mix of quality London hotels like The Belgraves, St. Martins Lane and Town Hall. Even better, HotelTonight is offering an introductory credit of £15 off the first booking by using the promo code UK15.
Right now, we're seeing The Belgraves for $188 (that's in USD), the Blakes for $375 and Park International for $205. Belgraves for $188? In London? That's kind of awesome. (Curious as to what we thought of Belgraves? Read our review here.)
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.
HotelTonight / Mobile Booking Apps / Sam Shank / Toronto Hotels / Vancouver Hotels / Hotel Technology / Hotel News / → All Tags
The newest version of the app is now available for download from the iTunes store or the Android market with Toronto and Vancouver hotel deals at the ready (not until noon local time, of course.) The app's update also now supports various forms of international currencies--including Canadian dollars, the British pound and the Euro.
A-ha. There's a clue right there about where else HotelTonight will be expanding abroad. Fingers crossed London is the next city where last-minute hotel guests can find a killer room deal.