Google today announced it has ported its Hotel Finder service, which provides similar results to online travel agencies, to mobile phones. You can now thus find and book a hotel while on the go; no need to wait till you get back to your computer (while tablet support isn’t mentioned, the site does seem to work okay).
To use the service, navigate to google.com/hotels and search for your destination. You can filter the search results by price, hotel class, user rating, and distance.
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Selecting a hotel will bring up more information on the same page, including photos, hotel amenities, reviews, and its location on a map. Hitting the star icon will save hotels into a short list for easy comparison later.
Once you decide on the hotel you want, you book your hotel through one of Google’s booking partners. You can also complete the reservation with a few clicks using Google Wallet: Hit the “Buy with Google” icon beside a booking partner that supports the service.
If you don’t have a Google Wallet account, Google still lets you still enter the payment details. After you do so once, Google Wallet saves your information so you don’t need to re-enter it every time.
Like Flight Explorer, Hotel Finder is a perfect example of a Google service that is separate from Google search, but only until Google deems it worth enough to be integrated. In the meantime though, Google still wants to offer the service to learn how it’s used and improve it accordingly.
Google says the service is available on smartphones and desktop browsers in more than 100 countries. The Google Wallet booking feature is, however, currently only available in the US for stays within the country. Google of course says it hopes “to expand more broadly soon” but won’t say exactly when.
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