Mobile

HotelTonight upgrades to make last-minute travel more practical

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HotelTonight is making the spontaneity of booking last-minute lodging more practical for stay-cationers and world-travelers alike. The startup today released a new, more personalized version of its mobile-only booking app for iPhone and Android.

The two-year-old service lets people book same-night stays in snazzy or simple digs in 50 different markets. The company’s iOS and Android apps have been downloaded more than 3 million times since debuting in January 2011.

Tuesday, HotelTonight released version 4.0 of its app to improve the booking process and give people the best possible crunch-time hotel suggestions based on their preferences. The new features are contained within a refreshed user interface that includes larger hotel photos and an upgraded design.

“We’re always looking to help people find the right hotel … this [version] improves that experience by providing them with a better user interface, with more information about how many people have stayed [at a hotel] and liked it, but then also providing them with more relevant options for their particular needs,” CEO Sam Shank told VentureBeat. “It just makes HotelTonight more of an essential tool for the last-minute traveler.”

Previously, HotelTonight would present people with three hotel deals per city, per day. The company is keeping the same formula but offering people up to three bonus hotel options based on their likes, location, and past booking history. These additional hotel recommendations will be closer to a person’s exact location or include options that have been liked by HotelTonight bookers with similar tastes.

Additionally, the app now highlights exactly how many people have rated each hotel and shows off the percentage of those ratings that are positive.

“We’ve been collecting ratings from people after their stay … and we’ve been using that data to make sure our hotels are of the highest quality,” Shank said. “In this new release, we’ll be exposing that data and exposing those ratings.”

HotelTonight version 4.0 is available for iOS and Android devices. The app includes enhanced support for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean versions of the Android operating system.

San Francisco-based HotelTonight has raised more than $35 million in funding.

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Photo credit: LOLren/Flickr

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