Tech Tuesday :: Hotel Tonight

[trip style = weekend getaway + budget conscious] If you travel to or within the US and like to A} save on hotel stays and/or B} procrastinate, then you need to know about this travel app. Its name pretty much sums it up. Hotel Tonight allows users to book hotels at the last minute---after 12pm to be exact---for that evening until 2am. Some hotels can be booked for one night, others will allow a five-night stay.

Hotel Tonight came about in late 2010, but I've been waiting to feature it until the functionality, number of cities and offers were robust enough to make it worthy of your screen's precious space. This is now and the app holds a permanent position in my iPhone's travel folder.

With 22 cities and counting, Hotel Tonight offers three hotels per city unless it's a large and/or major vacation destination like New York or San Francisco, in which case there will be three hotels per "area." Each hotel is categorized as hip, modern, elegant, classic, boutique or basic and includes the price after tax as well as photos, a map and info {essentially, a short review written in bullet points for the time-starved, spontaneous booking!}. If you think the last-minute savings will only be offered on tired, 2-star airport hotels, think again. Even 4-star hotels need to fill space.

Are the eleventh hour savings actually cheaper than Kayak, Expedia or Hotwire? Would Trip Styler's editorial team use it? Yes and yes. On Saturday I played around with a few cities and compared Hotel Tonight's prices to other major online travel agencies, and in every case Hotel Tonight's prices were better. The best part: it's not even a blind booking scenario, you know what you're going to get and don't have to scroll through a zillion hotels to decide which one you're going to book. FYI, book early on weekends, as in, between noon and 4pm, because deals can sell out.

We love this free app so much that we've added it to Trip Styler Recommends.

More Tech Tuesday Getting There Direct Airline Alliance Apps Google Hotel Finder