At the beginning of June, the popular iOS and Android app Hotel Tonight (www.hoteltonight.com) arrived for Windows Phone 8, allowing those on their mobile to book last minute rooms at a bargain price.
Now, the Windows 8.1 version has also been released, making this another universal app for Windows users in 2014. Let's take a look. And remember, if you leave a comment, you enter into our daily Hidden Gems contest to win a new tablet or phone!
What it is
Hotel Tonight for Windows 8.1 is very similar in design to its Windows Phone counterpart, due to Microsoft's new app-platform, which allows developers to share code between their Windows and Windows Phone creations. In addition, the apps are linked in the Store with an icon letting users know that the app is available on both platforms.
Hotel Tonight has over 10,000 hotel partners so far in 24 countries, making it ideal for those traveling worldwide. The app excels in its design for Windows and Windows Phone with its starkly minimalist and clean UI. Featuring an all-black background, apropos for that 'night' theme, Hotel Tonight on Windows 8 makes the inns stand out through their bright photos of the locations.
To use the app, you can create an account or login through Facebook, making registration stress-free. From there, you can let Hotel Tonight use your location to find deals in your immediate area or use the search to travel abroad. The search feature has an auto-complete, which makes finding those whereabouts very easy.
Once you have your area, you can further navigate by locales. Each listing will feature a snapshot of the hotel along with a price per night, user ratings and category e.g. luxe or basic. Tapping on a specific hotel lets the apps drive deeper, bringing up even more information including mapping, photos and details on the hotel. By tapping the easily identified 'Book Now' button, you can then reserve a room in seconds with a single click, especially since Hotel Tonight can securely store your payment options.
Fast, fluid but not information overkill
Let's cut to the chase: Hotel Tonight is a gorgeous looking Windows 8 app. It slick, fast, logically designed and it makes finding that last minute hotel a snap.
What I like about Hotel Tonight is that it provides all the pertinent information I need, without overwhelming me with ads, frivolous details or other distractions. For instance, once on a page for a specific hotel, the app breaks down the important things with bold headers and bullet points, including:
- Why we like it – bulleted summary of the major selling points, including location or other unique features
- Need to know – all important details you need to know, including ID, restrictions, etc.
- The hotel – how many rooms, Wi-Fi, hot tub, etc. will be listed here
- The room – size, mini bar and any amenities
- The food & drink – Is there room service, on-site restaurants and more
The way the app lists hotel locations makes it very easy to 'glance-and-go' when looking for places. Windows Phone users will be very accustomed to the idea as there is no 'chrome' here, just the facts. There is no reason I would ever want to use a web-based hotel finder after using Hotel Tonight.
When you compare what Hotel Tonight has done compared to say Expedia and their 'web app,' you have to give a nod to Hotel Tonight. Not only have they embraced Windows Phone and Windows 8.1, but they made arguably one of the nicest universal apps yet. The apps are free, useful and represent the very best of the new Windows ecosystem.
As a bonus, if you have never used Hotel Tonight, you can type in ' WINTONIGHT ' in either the Windows Phone or Windows 8 app (under 'redeem promo code') to get $40 off your first booking. Not bad at all.
Because of all of the above, Hotel Tonight for Windows Phone and now Windows 8 earns our Hidden Gems categorization.
Have you used either app? What do you think? Let us know in comments and remember, by leaving a helpful comment (criticism or praises), you enter into our daily device giveaway!