There’s a hot, new player in the travel industry in town who’s aiming to sex up your booking experience. The mobile-only app HotelTonight just officially launched in Australia after huge success as one of the most downloaded travel apps in the US with 13 million users worldwide.
The Silicon Valley-born app is striving to outdo its competitors by offering the best, last-minute deals on handpicked hotels, unique stays and boutique properties. In fact, it’s chiefly designed to bring spontaneity back to travel.
Said to be the first of its kind in Australia, the app utilises geo-tagging to identify the user’s location before presenting a curated list of 15,000 hotels in more than 500 destinations across the globe. You can book that night or seven days in advance. In addition, HotelTonight is also one of the first apps to be built into the Apple Watch.
So, how much can you save on a last-minute hotel deal while using it? Up to 50 per cent, says HotelTonight Asia Pacific regional director Stefan Cordiner. In fact, Stefan (pictured) says young, savvy travellers are so enamoured with his app, they can’t live without its “plan less, live more” mantra and range of Hip, Luxe, Solid and Basic classified hotels.
“We are really excited to be leading the mobile revolution in the global and Australian hotel booking industry, a revolution that is not simply a part of our business, it is our business,” he says. “We like to shake things up for people and make travelling a little more spontaneous and fun and we think Australia is more than ready for our brand of spontaneity.
“The app curates Australian properties, with a spotlight on unique stays, and has a rate track feature that alerts you to when hotel prices in your area have dropped. I think this is what people become hooked on once they start using it.”
A free app, available for download from the iPhone App Store, it is suitable for iOS and Android devices. So, how well do young Aussie travellers rate the app? Charlotte Bridgeman, 27 (pictured), a personal style, fashion and lifestyle blogger and marketer based in both Melbourne and Sydney, loves it.
The gorgeous, young blogger, who has some 32,000 followers on her @winstonandwillow Instagram account, regularly recommends the app to friends looking for a weekend getaway or who are planning a “staycation” close by.
“The HT app is easy-to-use, very eye-catching and shows the best, last-minute deals at beautiful handpicked hotels,” Charlotte says.
“Most rooms booked on the same day are around $150 per night which is an amazing deal, especially for how expensive Sydney usually is! I’m travelling to New York in September and am planning on getting some great, last-minute deals using the app for when I’m there. Who would have thought you would ever be able to get an amazing 4-5 star hotel in New York City for under $200!”
“My first experience using the app was when I stayed at Blue Sydney in Woolloomooloo, Sydney. I downloaded the app, made an account, booked the hotel in less than 10 minutes and as I booked the same day as I was staying there, I managed to get a really great rate on the room that is normally four times the price.
Meanwhile, avid Sydney-based traveller Annette Widitz (pictured), an industrial officer with 33,000 plus followers on her @dawa_lhamo Instagram account, also really rates the HotelTonight app.
“It’s so simple,” she says, “I used it to book a luxe hotel to celebrate my husband’s birthday. It took less than a minute to book!
“I don’t like to plan too much when I travel, so to be able to book a beautiful hotel with a huge discount at the last minute is fantastic! The HotelTonight mobile app runs very smoothly and has lots of gorgeous pictures so you can get a clear idea of what your room will look like. It’s also very quick to use, no waiting for a picture or page to load. I was just looking through the app yesterday, dreaming of where I will stay on my next trip.”