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It will be interesting to see whether HotelTonight’s user base will really go for 12,000-square-foot, two-story penthouses that are bookable starting “tonight.” While some people can afford to shell out $700 for a suite at the last minute, that will probably not be most people’s preferred option. Are suite options here to stay in the app? Stay iTuned.
If you were waiting for mobile-only HotelTonight to add new products such as restaurants or Uber-like car services to its apps, you’ll have to be patient.
Instead, HotelTonight, which has until now catered to travelers looking for last-minute bargains at hip hotels, just added penthouses and high-end suites, what it is categorizing as HighRoller Suites, to its product mix.
For awhile yesterday, guests could have booked the Avalon Beverly Hills penthouse for a stay last night for $599 through HotelTonight apps, while the hotel website listed it for $1,100 per night.
The High Roller Suites, like other tonight-only hotels on HotelTonight, are displayed starting at noon local time in each city, and they are mixed in with the other hotels, but designated with a gold HighRoller badge.
These luxury suites are generally available, depending on demand, in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, which are the launch markets.
Sam Shank, HotelTonight’s co-founder and CEO, says there is consumer demand for these upscale hotel rooms, but clearly the company is trying to accommodate properties that want to capture more lucrative reservations, too.
“There is a lot of consumer interest in this type of inventory, as well as hotel interest in capturing additional revenue from premium room types,” Shank says.
The hotels can set the availability beyond “tonight,” Shank says, adding that the 12,000-square foot Thompson Penthouse in New York — before it was sold out yesterday afternoon on HotelTonight apps — could have been booked for up to five nights.
In other developments, HotelTonight, fresh off a $45 million funding injection, expanded into Eastern Europe, adding hotels in Prague and Budapest, and launched in Vienna, as well. HotelTonight now has a presence in 12 European countries, and has generated 2 million downloads of its apps in Europe.
HotelTonight also recently optimized its iOS apps for iOS 7, and hired Sam MacDonnell as vice president of engineering. MacDonnell previously served as director of engineering at Autodesk 360.