Expedia. Trivago. Kayak. Hotwire. Travelocity. Priceline. The list of highly-praised booking websites goes on and on, but at the end of the day, what matters is whether you have a place to stay. There are few places less comfortable to spend the night than in your car. So what happens when you forget to book a hotel? What happens when you get snowed in for the night? Surely, staying the night in your car isn’t an option, and we all know how hard it is to navigate websites on our smartphones. What are we weary travelers to do?
The Hotel Tonight app is currently the hottest hotel app and a go-to for anyone about to leave for vacation. Because the app focuses primarily on day-of listings, it’s perfect for unexpected overnighters, and because of the reduced nightly rates, it’s perfect for the frugal traveler.
It works like this: every day at noon, the app updates with information about available hotel rooms in any city. The rooms are organized into seven tiers: luxe, hip, solid, basic, charming, crashpad, and high roller. Each tier represents a different type of hotel. For example, a basic hotel is “a modest hotel with limited extras, perfect for when you need a place to lay your head” while a luxe hotel is a higher-rated hotel with more luxuries such as valet parking, a pool, laundry service, and more. Along with the tier, each hotel room is assigned a user rating and the distance from your location to the hotel. Booking is only a few easy taps away.
The app’s sleek design and user-friendly features have earned it plenty of positive reviews. The comments on Amazon are filled with praise and, in some cases, words of advice. One particularly enthusiastic commenter suggested paying close attention to the user ratings while others offered coupon codes for even better discounts on rooms.
However, as with any app, Hotel Tonight has its downsides. Sometimes, hotels that might have been available earlier in the day are no longer available when you need to make a reservation. Other times, the hotels are farther away than you had initially thought. And, since smartphone apps depend upon either a Wi-Fi signal or an LTE connection, there is always the possibility that you simply can’t load the app.
There are few apps as innovative and well-designed with so many positive reviews as Hotel Tonight. When it really comes down to it, isn’t it better to stay safe than to stay in your car?
— Madi Puzey