Recently, after planning on a small road trip to Toronto, I was having a bit of difficulty trying to find a hotel on my mobile phone while on our drive there. I realized that most websites are not made for mobile phone usage. The layout and options seemed a little bit out of position.
Fortunately, a mobile application called Hotel Tonight was able to fix that problem. Since this was a last minute trip, there was also last minute hotel booking involved. This is how Hotel Tonight works. At the beginning of every day, Hotel Tonight will provide a listing of hotel rooms unsold in hotels around the world. You will the have the option of booking that room at a last minute discounted price.
Many travelers would probably be wondering why this business strategy would work. Vacant rooms mean hotels are losing out on large profit opportunities. In Canada, most hotel rooms range from $80 to $100 CAD per night. A few of those unsold rooms would transform into a loss. Selling rooms unfilled for the day at a discount would allow for revenue gain. This is actually a win-win situation.
Let’s take a look at the service. The application is actually very easy to use. You pick the location and the computer will hand pick ten hotels for you which they feel offer the best deal for you. After you have selected your city, you will be given a drop down of participating hotels in that area.
With changes made with the Hotel Tonight application, you will only be able to make bookings for a number of nights rather than the original single night reservations. The reason for this was the application was first implemented for last minute travelers looking for accommodations at a discount. Unfortunately, you will not be able to search for hotel rooms more than seven days before your planned travel.
Additionally, the Hotel Tonight application will provide a map for you to easily view if the hotel is nearby the attractions you wish to visit. Once you click into the hotel, you will have access to pictures of the hotel, reviews of the hotel, forecast of the area, a blurb on why it is worth staying there, list of amenities, and other important information you will need to know before check in.
Once you have decided on a hotel, you can click on Book Now which will bring you to another page. At this screen, you will be able to see the break down of the rates and taxes and if you have any promotional code, it will also be applied in this booking stage.
Promotional Code. If you are planning to use a promo code, eligible bookings valuing at $125 US or more can only be booked to receive the discount. Promotional codes can only be used for a single time booking and cannot be combined with other coupons or discount codes. Sometimes, Hotel Tonight will have hotels marked GeoRate which means that this is a special, limited time offer given for that hotel. This rate is not available to all users of Hotel Tonight.
When you first sign up for Hotel Tonight, you will be given a referral code to invite other guests to use the Hotel Tonight app. When you refer your friends and family, you will also be rewarded with a credit.
Hotel Categories. Under each hotel name in your search, you will find a hotel category created solely by Hotel Tonight employees to highlight the overall hotel service level you should be expecting. The default for your bookings will be a room for two adults; if you need an additional bed, you will need to make these arrangements with the hotel that you are staying with.
The bottom line. I must admit, the visuals on this application are great and a very easy tool to use. Hotel Tonight is a great product if you were pressed for time when planning for your travels and needed a last minute deal. Otherwise, if you did from prior planning ahead of time, you would be able to find better prices for your accommodation needs. After a bit of research, Priceline was able to offer me a much better last minute deal. The only downside to that was I couldn’t rack up on hotel loyalty points.