Rolling into town in the dead of night, the last thing that weary travelers need is to waste time running around trying to find a place to get their heads down. Yet most of us have found ourselves in this situation one time or another. So what happens? More often than not we get taken for a ride by some dodgy cab driver, dumped in the middle of nowhere with only one grotty, grubby excuse for hotel in sight, with little choice but to bed down at less than satisfying accommodations.
Hipmonk, maker of the ultra cool fight search tool, has set site on hotel finding on mobile now.
But this experience could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a fantastic new update to the Hipmunk app.
Hipmunk are great. They’ve had last minute flight bookings down to a tee for some time now, and with their exciting new update released today, it’s now possible to find (and book) a place to stay at any hour of the night, no matter what corner of the world you happen to stumble into.
Launched last February on the iPhone, followed by the Android version in September, Hipmunk’s flight finder service quickly became a massive hit with all the last minute, disorganized travelers out there, taking away all the hassle of searching for flights with a polished, easy to use interface. In just a few short months, Hipmunk became the must-have app for all self-respecting travelers.
And why shouldn’t it be, for the whole app is based on simplicity. Finding a hotel really couldn’t be any easier. As Hipmunk’s iOS developer Danilo Campos explained in a recent interview with VentureBeat, “If any point the user has engaged in active mental math, then we’ve failed somewhere.”
Well don’t worry Danilo, we can safely concur that you haven’t failed. In fact, you’ve done it better than we could have imagined. Just like the flight search, Hipmunk’s hotel search looks great and is a cinch to use – so easy it’s almost idiot-proof in fact.
Just open the app, hit the location bar at the top and enter the city name you’re in, followed by the date, hit the search button and you’re done. The app is integrated with Google Maps – you’re location is indicated by a big green dot in the center, and then dotted all around you will be hundreds of available hotels to pick and choose from.
The dots representing the hotels are even color coded – with red dots for the big spenders, green for the shoestring travelers and blue for the rest of us. Hotels can then be filtered by price and hotel chain according to the whims of the user.
Tap on one of the dots and you’ll find that the app is also integrated with TripAdvisor – perfect! This means that we have access to all the information we need to make our decisions, including hotel amenities, the price (in $$$), images of the rooms and of course, the essential user reviews to tell us if the place is indeed all it’s cracked up to be.
Once you’ve found a suitable place to stay, you’ve got three choices for what to do next – call the hotel directly, book a room via a client service like Orbitz or Agoda, or simply get directions and make your own way there while you cross your fingers and hope a room’s available.
But the options don’t end there, oh no. Hipmunk gives the option to overlay additional maps on top of the hotel map, so it’s possible to check out the density and convenience of numerous essentials, including eating options, shops, tourist attractions, bars and even the local vice dens for the seedier travelers.
All in all, the new update to Hipmunk has made a cool app into something very special indeed. While the booking side of things is a bit of a letdown (it forces us to access less user-friendly tools), we remain hopeful that Hipmunk will eventually integrate this function into the app as well. Hipmunk have already admitted as much, stating in an interview with VenturBeat that they are already looking into forming partnerships with hotels and airlines.
And that’s not the only thing to look forward to. While Campos has said that they Hipmunk won’t be bringing out any more services until hotel and flight searches are perfected, once they are we can expect to see plenty more new additions to Hipmunk search.
In the meantime, we’ll just make do with what is already proving to be an indispensable little tool for all the lazy, forgetful and disorganized travelers out there. Bon Voyage!