Digital

Hotel Tonight launches its last-minute booking service in London

Jun 20, 2012 6:20 am

Skift Take

With prices marked high booker operatives not sold out, the first international city outside of Canada is the perfect market this summer for the San Francisco startup.

— Jason Clampet

Free Report: The State of Student Travel

Source: The Guardian

Ever missed the last train home because you’ve had to work all night, or for more exciting reasons – a hot date perhaps? A new travel app offering same-day hotel bookings could solve your next late-night dilemma about where stay that night.

San-Francisco-based Hotel Tonight is a simple, mobile booking service featuring discounts of up to 70% on hotel rooms in 40 US and Canadian cities. Today it expanded its coverage to London with deals on a selection of 20 properties.

An inventory of hotels with rooms to sell is released every day at noon, with three deals published per city, each with basic need-to-know information on the hotel, such as the closest tube, tripadvisor rating and mini bar prices. Depending on availability, rooms can be booked up to 2am that night. The properties are vetted by Hotel Tonight and categorised as either: luxe, hip, basic, solid, charming or “ballin” (a penthouse suite for example). The company says a booking can be made with four taps in just 10 seconds.

Today a deal at Park International on Cromwell Road of £130 per room, reduced from £260, sold out within an hour of the app launching. But at the time of publication, there was still availability tonight at Belgraves, the swanky new Thomson hotel in Chelsea, for £119, reduced from £335, and at Blakes in Kensington, down to £239 from £383.

The app, named as one of the seven best travel apps by CNN last week, has had 2.3 million downloads since it launched in the US 16 months ago.

The London collection currently features four- and five-star hotels including The Cadogan and The Langham. But CEO Sam Shanks said that there are plans to expand beyond London into the rest of the UK, adding other cities, country hotels and possibly large B&Bs, as well as other parts of western Europe.

Shank said although the app is a useful resource for anyone who’s unexpectedly had to work late, has simply forgotten to book a room, or, indeed, wants to extend a particularly good night out, it’s also being used by people booking a spontaneous weekend away.

“In the US customers in LA might see a Vegas deal and decide to have a night out that night.”

Hotel Tonight (hoteltonight.com) is free and available on Android, iPhone and iPad devices. Users can get £15 off their first London booking with the promo code UK15.

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