Curated last-minute hotel booking service HotelTonight has been building out its brand over the past few years, becoming the go-to mobile service for same-day hotel bookings. HotelTonight has hitherto let you reserve same-day hotel rooms from 9am on the day for up to 70 percent below the standard price. That’s all about to change though.
While whispers of its intentions began to surface earlier this week, the San Francisco-based company has now confirmed to The Next Web that it plans to open bookings up to 7 days in advance.
We first covered the startup back in early 2011 when it launched in the US for iPhones, before landing on Android, iPads and Windows Phone earlier this year. The company then took its first tentative steps outside of the US market, first in Toronto in early 2012 and then London a couple of months later.
Just a couple of months ago, HotelTonight announced a major expansion across Europe, adding 80 new destinations across the continent. Today, HotelTonight claims 11 million downloads across iOS, Windows Phone and Android, covering 10,000 hotels in 500 locations in the Americas and Europe.
Back in time
HotelTonight is now introducing refreshed versions of its Android, Windows Phone and iOS apps, which include a fresh design and a handful of notable new features, including curated themed ‘Playlists’ of hotels with recommendations on where and when to book, based on aspects such as weather and availability.
With that in mind, we’re also told that in-app weather forecasts will be introduced, designed to suggest where to stay (e.g. a beach hotel if it’s predicted to be sunny) and what you should pack in your bags.
However, the most notable development with these updates, which should be going live any time now, is that you will now be able to book much further in advance.
What impact this ultimately has on the price remains to be seen, given that hotels may be less inclined to offer as much off their inventory at reduced rates so far in advance, but HotelTonight will still be hand-picking which hotels are included, so negotiations will likely be favorable towards the consumer.
While the same-day facet of the booking service was a notable differentiator, it’s also a stifling factor. The amount of people who wish to book hotels on the day of their stay will be substantially less than those seeking to book, say, a week in advance. And with north of $80 million in funding under its belt, there are many investors to appease too.
Will HotelTonight be changing its name to HotelThisWeek? No official word on that yet…
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