Intro: HotelTonight Reviews & App | What You Should Know about HotelTonight’s Last-Minute Deals
People who search for last-minute hotel deals often consider the HotelTonight app to be one of the quickest options for finding those deals. This app is certainly a good option for last-minute booking, according to HotelTonight reviews.
However, the company has experienced many ups and downs throughout its six-year history, leaving plenty of room for improvement.
Source: HotelTonight App
Getting the best last-minute deals on hotels can be a tricky business, but the majority of HotelTonight reviews insist that the HotelTonight app is one of the best ways to do your last-minute hotel booking. If you need to find a good deal on a hotel quickly, HotelTonight may be a good option for you.
This HotelTonight review article provides a detailed overview of the pros and cons of HotelTonight.com and the HotelTonight app. We’ll also tell you what you should know about HotelTonight’s last-minute hotel deals. This includes the app’s location reach, price comparison, customer service, hotel quality, and more.
About HotelTonight & HotelTonight App
HotelTonight is a travel app for mobile devices. This app allows users to book discounted hotel accommodations immediately or up to seven days in advance. The rooms are often much cheaper than the regular listing rate due to the last-minute reservation.
The company is based in San Francisco. It was founded by entrepreneurs Sam Shank, Jared Simon, and Chris Bailey in December 2010. Shank is the CEO, and once stated that the purpose of the HotelTonight app is to be a “service that can solve the problem of ‘I need a hotel right now’ and getting you quickly into a room at a great price.”
Source: HotelTonight App
How does HotelTonight work? It’s simple—hotels sell their unbooked rooms to HotelTonight, then HotelTonight sells those rooms to you. If a room goes unbooked, the hotel doesn’t make any revenue from it that day/night. So, through HotelTonight, hotels can sell their unsold rooms at a much cheaper price, making everyone a winner. The rooms don’t go unbooked, HotelTonight makes a commission, and you get a better deal.
The steps of using the HotelTonight app are as follows:
- Download HotelTonight app on iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows device
- Create account, or sync Google or Apple account
- Find hotel room(s) at cheaper price than normal listing
- Reserve for tonight, or up to 7 days in advance
- Pay for the last-minute booking
The HotelTonight company had a bit of a rocky start, though. The original function of the HotelTonight app was meant for users to book a hotel immediately, that same day. It was for really, really last-minute travelers that needed instant booking, nothing in advance. This severely limited their user base. Three years after its inception, in 2014, the HotelTonight app expanded from same-day-only bookings to bookings up to seven days in advance.
The HotelTonight app serves the purpose of securing some of the best possible last-minute deals on hotels for its users. It is not for plan-in-advance hotel booking. In fact, the app only allows you to book a hotel up to seven days in advance. If you’re looking to book a hotel for a vacation that won’t happen for another six months, you won’t be able to book the hotel through HotelTonight.
HotelTonight Reviews Online
Unfortunately, HotelTonight has a less-than-stellar 2.5-star rating on Yelp. On Amazon, the rating is slightly better with 3.5 out of 5 stars. Still, it’s not great. There are currently 196 positive reviews, compared to 89 critical reviews. So, nearly half of the HotelTonight reviews on Amazon are negative. On top of that, the negative reviews tend to be extremely negative.
On TrustPilot, HotelTonight has an average 6.7 out of 10 rating. Booking.com only has a 7.3 rating, but it is still slightly higher than HotelTonight. Priceline, though, wins TrustPilot’s last-minute booking game with an excellent 8.9 out of 10 rating.
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HotelTonight App Review
There are many inconsistencies and issues associated with the HotelTonight app, reviews say. The app is easy to use, simple, well-designed, visual, and user-friendly. However, many people have reported bugs or issues with the app, having it freeze or shut down while trying to book a last-minute hotel deal.
A positive aspect of the HotelTonight app is that you can sign up quickly with your Google or Apple account. According to another HotelTonight app review, a common issue for Android users is trouble syncing accounts, and many users have to create a new account from scratch.
Image Source: Pixabay
HotelTonight Reviews: Last-Minute Booking
According to HotelTonight reviews, the HotelTonight app is not meant for booking hotel deals weeks or months in advance. Rather, it is meant for booking last-minute hotel deals up to a week in advance. According to this HotelTonight review, it is great for last-minute decisions. It is a very niche market of the hotel industry, targeting travelers who didn’t plan ahead.
If you need to find a hotel room immediately, HotelTonight is probably a good option for you. If you have time to plan ahead, though, there are many higher rated apps and websites for booking hotels. HotelTonight has a very limited selection of hotels, and only for up to seven days in advance.
HotelTonight vs. Competitors: Price Comparison
Do you actually save money on last-minute booking through the HotelTonight app? Yes, HotelTonight usually fulfills the main expectation of a last-minute hotel deals app: the prices are cheaper than the original room listing. Some HotelTonight reviews have reported cheaper prices on last-minute hotel booking through HotelTonight than other options. So, for some users the HotelTonight app has been proven to do what it is supposed to do. But, according to this HotelTonight review and others, that isn’t always the case.
There are many HotelTonight competitors that also promise cheaper last-minute hotel booking prices. HotelTonight is outmatched in terms of size with some of its major competitors, such as Priceline. In 2015, there was a major ad campaign launched to promote Priceline’s tonight-only last-minute hotel deals. The Priceline app now allows users to shop around and instantly book a hotel for the same day. It is the same formula as HotelTonight.
According to this HotelTonight review, Booking.com is actually HotelTonight’s most dangerous competitor. The article’s title claims “Booking.com’s app for last-minute deals will probably kill HotelTonight.” Booking.com is owned by the Priceline Group, which is a major advantage. HotelTonight’s main competitor is owned by a billion-dollar company, which has arguably the biggest chunk of the travel industry.
Another HotelTonight competitor is Kayak, also owned by Priceline. As shown in this detailed HotelTonight review, sometimes the prices are cheaper through Kayak than through HotelTonight, but even when the prices are cheaper through HotelTonight, the savings are usually just a few dollars.
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Negative Customer Service Reviews of HotelTonight
Overwhelmingly, the most criticized aspect is the customer service at HotelTonight, reviews say. Some HotelTonight reviews of customer service are positive, but the majority of negative HotelTonight reviews usually somehow involve a bad experience with customer service.
HotelTonight advertises “real, live, nice people” as their 24/7 customer support. This HotelTonight review states that the customer support employee was nice, but not very helpful. Also, HotelTonight has a no-refund policy, so all transactions are final. If you want to change your reservation or you aren’t happy with the hotel you picked, you won’t be able to get a refund by calling customer support, as told by this HotelTonight review.
Major HotelTonight App Fault: Limited Locations and Selection
Source: HotelTonight App
One of the major disadvantages of HotelTonight is that it is completely missing out on two of the biggest markets in the world: Africa and Asia.
As of now, the HotelTonight app is only available to book hotels in North America, South America, Europe, and Australia. Even within these markets, hotel options are limited, according to HotelTonight reviews.
HotelTonight.com was launched nearly six years ago, but the HotelTonight app does not yet serve Africa and Asia. This is unacceptable for a travel app, especially with travelers having more and cheaper access to flights all over the world. In 2014, 65.3 million tourists visited Africa.
None of them were able to book last-minute deals on hotels through HotelTonight. The company is completely missing out on those markets, where their competitors flourish.
Also, HotelTonight is very selective about which hotels are available on the app. On one hand, this is positive because if you book through HotelTonight, you are supposedly getting a high-quality hotel room. On the other hand, it limits your options. Even with the limited selection and the HotelTonight guarantee, some HotelTonight reviewers have expressed discontent with the quality of the hotel room they booked.
HotelTonight Company Layoffs
With all of these issues, it should be no surprise that HotelTonight has recently experienced massive layoffs. In November 2015, HotelTonight laid off 20% of their staff.
CEO Sam Shank described the layoffs as nothing more than a “realignment.” But this HotelTonight review tells a different story. It seems that the company has dealt with many issues on the investment side, too.
There is a new start-up launched this year that will supposedly take over the last-minute hotel booking space from HotelTonight. Overnight is described as “Airbnb for people who don’t plan ahead.” The company claims its prices are 23% cheaper than equivalent rooms on HotelTonight. As Overnight grows and continues to take more of the last-minute market away from HotelTonight, it could push the company into even further layoffs. This will especially be true if HotelTonight is unable to pay its $80 million worth of investors.
Source: HotelTonight App
- HotelTonight App Availability: The app is available to download on iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows mobile devices.
- Discount Prices: Though there are many HotelTonight reviews that disagree, other HotelTonight reviews have claimed great savings through HotelTonight. Either way, HotelTonight has agreements with the hotels available through the app to have the prices marked down from the originals, even if only by just a few dollars.
- Easy to use: The HotelTonight app is well-designed, visual, and user-friendly. This makes it easy to use. Very few of the HotelTonight reviews reported difficulty navigating the app.
- Customer Support Availability: There is a customer support live chat available 24/7.
- Instant Booking: If you see a hotel you like and want to book it, you can have that hotel booked in just a few minutes. It’s even less than a few minutes if you already have your Google or Apple account synced.
- High-Quality Hotels: This is debatable because some reviewers have expressed displeasure with the hotel where they ended up staying. However, HotelTonight claims to thoroughly vet and investigate each hotel, leaving only the most high-quality hotels on the app.
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- Useless Website: The HotelTonight website is basically useless. It has all of the same information available on the mobile website or HotelTonight app, but you can’t book hotels or even search for hotels through the desktop website.
- Only Up to Seven Days in Advance: Though the purpose of HotelTonight is for last-minute hotel deals, it is still unfortunate that users are unable to book a hotel for more than seven days in advance.
- Limited Locations: HotelTonight does not provide last-minute deals on hotels in Africa or Asia. Also, even in the continents within the app’s reach, it is only useful in major cities. It also doesn’t have a very wide selection or offer a variety of hotels.
- Unhelpful Customer Support: Though customer support is available 24/7, it is not always helpful in fixing problems, especially regarding refunds.
- No refunds: HotelTonight does not give refunds if customers are unhappy or need to change their reservation.
This HotelTonight review proves that it may be a good option for people who really need a last-minute booking, but may not the best option for people with time to shop around. There seems to be much room for improvement at HotelTonight.
When a mistake is made, customers should feel confident that if they contact HotelTonight’s customer service representatives, the problem will be resolved. Unfortunately, many customers have experienced negative interactions with the HotelTonight customer service staff, and often their problems have not been resolved. This is mostly due to the “no refunds” policy.
The theory of the HotelTonight app is great: finding the best last-minute hotel deals in minutes. However, the execution is lacking. The company has been around for six years, which, in the tech world, is equivalent to a lifetime. So, there is no excuse for this amount of growth problems.
If you’re hoping to find a last-minute hotel deal in Africa or Asia, you’re out of luck with HotelTonight. Also, if you want to check for HotelTonight’s last-minute deals on hotels through the desktop website instead of the mobile HotelTonight app, you’re out of luck too.
There is nothing proprietary about HotelTonight. Many competitors have already copied their business model. And many of these competitors are billion-dollar corporations, including Priceline. HotelTonight just cannot compete.
With so many flaws, it is unlikely that HotelTonight will ever be a major player in the travel industry. However, the HotelTonight app does have its place in helping users who need to find a hotel immediately score a last-minute booking. But, that market is limited and the HotelTonight record is spotty.
Overall, the HotelTonight app is mediocre. There seem to be better options out there with higher recommendations, so think carefully before deciding to use HotelTonight to book last-minute hotel deals.
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