If you are a frequent traveler, you are well aware that not all hotel experiences are created equal, and that many hotels have wonderful marketing capabilities but do not always deliver on their promises. For that reason, the existence of applications that enable travelers to rate and review their experiences in hotels they have visited is a gift to anyone who has the time to do a little research before booking their next stay in a hotel.
Here, we rate the top three applications that compare hotel stays and share what’s helpful in these apps, and what is perhaps not as helpful.
Kayak-One of the key benefits that allows this free app to differentiate itself is that it is available for most devices. Kayak provides a large menu of user options once you do download the app to your mobile device, including the ability to book not only hotels, but also flights and cars for your trip. You can then manage your entire travel itinerary within the app.
When booking a hotel last minute, you can use the “Hotels near me” function, which enables you to find a great deal for the evening, as deals are changing all the time. When searching for a reservation at a specific hotel, Kayak will pull up its own pricing, but also the pricing offered by other booking services, which sometimes includes pricing from the hotel itself, enabling you to truly get the best possible price for your room. Star ratings are provided right under the name of the hotel in search results, and you can sort by these ratings.
Another great benefit in downloading the Kayak app is the load time, or lack thereof-where other hotel apps get dinged for long load times, Kayak seems to be more efficient, even on a lower bandwidth connection.
One of the negative aspects of the app is that not all hotels come with reviews, so the user is left to draw their own conclusions about the quality of some of the hotels, outside of Kayak’s own provided star rating for the hotel.
Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, and Kindle devices.
Ensure your stay makes you want to send lots of these by using one of these hotel apps!
Hotel Finder-This free application provides some extremely helpful features for the frequent traveler, especially one who is on the move globally. After downloading the app, you can search by a number of factors, including the hotel’s price, its star rating, and its exact location. When you start to type in the name of the city you’ll be visiting, a convenient auto-populate function is employed to save you time. The efficient “Hotels near me” feature quickly pulls up hotels that are in the immediate vicinity by using the GPS technology in your phone to identify your current location. A wide variety of hotels are then displayed, ranging in both price and quality. Beautiful, high resolution imagery of each hotel is provided, and hotels can be booked directly from the application.
A very concise Guest Rating page is available for each hotel, providing users with an overall score out of five, as well as individual scoring on everything from Cleanliness to Pricing to Location. The best part of the Guest Rating page is that Hotel Finder summarizes guests’ written feedback and provides bulleted synopses, so you receive slightly more subjective feedback as compared to the more high level scoring feature.
One of the drawbacks users have experienced with this application is that it may not always provide the very best prices for a hotel within the app-users have experienced that calling the hotel can sometimes engender a better price. The application is only available for Android, but can also be accessed online.
Available for Android.
Hotels Combined-Much like Hotel Finder, the Hotels Combined app offers two options out of the gate: the ability to search for a hotel in advance of your stay in another location, and the ability to search for hotels that are in your immediate vicinity for last-minute booking and deals. Search results yield deals for each hotel from up to seven different booking apps in this one app, and every hotel’s landing page shows ratings, images, and a map of exactly where the hotel is located. An interesting option is the ability to sort in the search results by hotels closest to the airport you are flying into. You can also sort by hotels that are “Most Popular.” Pricing for your stay is also shown including any relevant taxes, which is always helpful.
One option that is featured on each hotel’s homepage in this app is the “Book by Phone” feature-while users may like to look at reviews and understanding pricing available online, some people are still more comfortable with making a phone call to book their final reservation. Hotels Combined makes that easy.
Available for iPhone and Android.
So save time, get the best pricing, and avoid a potentially difficult experience with frank reviews before you travel next by leveraging one of the aforementioned apps. Kayak’s application seems to be the most well-rounded when it comes to having the ability to manage one’s entire travel itinerary via mobile phone, and is available on the most devices.
Make sure you know the dirty details of your hotel before booking!
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