The HotelTonight app for smartphone users is a great app to help travelers get hotels for that very night up to seven nights away at cheaper prices than normal last minute rates would be. They ran some great promos last year and have gained a lot of popularity amongst the travelers who find themselves looking for last minute options.
The Booking Now App
However, Booking.com may just put their foot down on some of that popularity with their new app, Booking Now. This app was just released last Thursday and certainly looks like a winner in the spontaneous hotel department!
While HotelTonight is quite helpful, Booking.com’s network is hard to compete against. I spent the last several days checking various cities and nights to see what I could find and found that they share many of the same rates (there were some instances where one had a better rate – like HotelTonight with a rate $50 cheaper at the Park Hyatt NY than Booking.com) but the biggest difference was the sheer difference in numbers of hotels available.
Comparing Booking Now With HotelTonight
In many cases/cities, HotelTonight’s availability of hotels numbered anywhere from 3 – 25. On the Booking Now app, I found anywhere from 15 – over 400! A popular example is using Manhattan. HotelTonight gave me 13-15 hotels while Booking.com gave me well over 300 hotel options! There is really no comparison!
Other cities I checked around the world did not improve in the favor of HotelTonight at all. They just could not compete with Booking Now when it came to the number of hotels.
Now, does that mean that Booking Now is the better choice? Even though I found both apps to have very similar pricing among the hotels they shared, I still think every traveler is better off having both apps on their phones and checking each one to see which one provides the best rate. Booking Now is definitely going to give you the best options so the only reason you would end up using the HotelTonight system instead is if the price is better. Again, I did not find that to be the case much at all, but do your research when staying someplace to determine which will save you the most money.
Using Booking Now
Booking Now is incredibly easy to use and gives you information as to how many hotels are in the area you are searching for (or nearest your vicinity) without even selecting the area. So, you can get an idea of which area has the most options and that could help eliminate the multi-depth usage of the app.
The app gives all of the information you would expect for a hotel, such as what facilities are offered, reviews, etc. It will also tell you how far you are from a local hotel and by what mode of transportation.
It is very simple and fast to use and I am looking forward to using it on upcoming trips. I am not normally the spontaneous hotel sort of person but if I find myself in such a position, I will definitely be giving Booking Now a spin.