It seems inconceivable that a couple of decades a go hotel bookings were almost exclusively handled by high street travel agents.
The majority of us take responsibility of our own accommodation bookings and head to websites and apps to find the best hotels in our desired location. As a result, we have seen a rise in recent years in apps which find users the most suitable hotels.
In this article we are going to look at the best hotel booking apps out there and explain a little bit about each one. By the end, you should be all set to explore each one to find yourself the best deal for your next trip away.
Best hotel booking app – Ranked
After launching in the late 1990’s, Booking.com has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of the leading online travel companies around.
In 2015, it launched its app, providing users with the ability to book hotels, flights and hire cars via their smart phones and tablets.
The app couldn’t be easier to use when it comes to searching for and booking hotels. When you load the app up, you will see that the top menu lists stays, flights, car rental, taxi and attractions.
For hotels, you are going to want to select ‘stays’. From here, you need to input whereabouts in the world you want a hotel room and the dates in which you require it.
Once you’ve hit search you are then able to filter your results depending on what you’re looking for.
For example, if you are keen for close proximity to a city centre you can select this as a filter, or if you would like somewhere with high reviews then you can also select that.
In addition to a plethora of filters you narrow down your search, you can also sort all your results in order of price, rating and popularity.
If you are going on a trip with others and are looking to create a list of options to share with them, then the app allows you to do this.
If you have found a hotel which you want to add to your favourites list, simply tap the lover heart button next to the hotel and it will automatically be added to a list which will be titled based on the location of the hotel.
Another one of the bigger hotel reservation apps, Expedia is always worth checking when you’re on the hunt for new accommodation. Much like other hotel booking apps, it offers free cancellation as well as same night bookings.
When you build up Expedia reward points, you’ll be able to eventually spend them with your favoured hotel chain. The rewards program is one of the best out there too.
Expedia also gives you the ability to create your own package holiday, which includes everything from booking flights and car rental, all the way through to finding activities in your destination city.
If you’re a member of Expedia, you also get access to last minute deals as well as exclusive discounts, which can make it worthwhile signing up. So, for the best hotel deal, it’s worth checking the Expedia app out.
Just like Booking.com, Hotels.com first started off as a website before venturing in to the world of apps in the last decade.
However, unlike Booking.com, Hotels.com focuses solely on the accommodation side of travel as opposed to flights, accommodation, car hire and everything else.
The app is completely free to use and allows you to make bookings directly on the app, meaning there are no re-directs involved.
Searching for hotels is easily done via the app. Tap the search button on the top of the screen and enter in your location and desired dates and the app will bring up a list of the most suitable options.
You may notice amongst your results that some hotels are listed as ‘your secret price’ – these are exclusive deals to Hotels.com users meaning that you can nab a decent discount in some of the most popular cities in the world just by using the Hotels.com app.
Another really cool feature on Hotels.com is the fact that it offers you local deals, too. This is perfect for couples who are looking for a night away from the house or for groups of mates who are looking for somewhere to stay after a night out instead of forking out for a taxi home.
To access these local deals you first of all need to grant permission for the app to use your phone’s location services. Once you’ve done this, head to the ‘more’ section on the bottom menu bar and then select ‘deals’.
The highlight of Hotels.com, though, is its rewards feature. This is basically a system which rewards customers who frequently use the app to book hotels.
Each time you make a booking through the app you are rewarded with a stamp and once you have ten stamps you are gifted a reward night (a free night).
This is a superb incentive to use Hotels.com and is a massive reason why the app is so popular.
Trivago is slightly different to the other two hotel booking apps we’ve discussed in this article due to the fact that you can’t book hotels directly through the app.
Instead, once you’ve found the hotel and price that you like the look of, you will be redirected to the booking screen of that specific hotel’s website meaning that you are booking directly with the place that you are staying.
While some people may be put off by this ‘extra step’, others may feel reassured by the fact that their booking is dealt directly with the hotel rather than via a third party.
Again, the search functionality is really easy to use and just requires users to tap in their desired location and days and the app will bring up all available options.
As well as the usual filtering and sorting options, Trivago also has a compare button on their results screen which lets user select two hotels and compare their features against one and other. This is a brilliant feature if you are torn between two separate hotels.
One thing that makes Trivago stand out from the aforementioned apps, though, is the fact that it provides users with suggestions of what to do in the city that you’re heading to.
To take a look at this section of the app, select the ‘weekend’ tab on the bottom menu bar and then type in the city you are planning to visit.
From here, Trivago will bring up a bunch of suggested activities, their prices and the option to book them via a redirect.
To conclude, if you are a looking to book a hotel room anywhere in the world then all three of these apps have you covered.
There are alternatives out there for you to choose from, but often smaller apps have issues (like the IHG app not working). There is only the odd thing feature-wise which separates them all which will ultimately come down to personal preference.
If we were going to suggest only one then we would probably go for Booking.com due to their rewards scheme and wide variety of different cheap hotel deals.