Business

Spontaneity can be inconvenient, so HotelTonight’s new feature helps you fake it

Image Credit: Flickr user espensorvik

Those HotelTonight folks are real mavericks — they just released a feature that helps you plan your spontaneity.

This may sounds silly, but if true spontaneity doesn’t actually fit into your lifestyle, this is a nice alternative, as it lets you check predicted room rates for the week ahead.

The new feature, Look Ahead, gives you a snapshot of last-minute room rates; expected savings; hotel availability; if any events, conferences or promotions are happening; and other details for the upcoming week.

The mobile-only’s core app enables travelers to check it in the morning and see vacancies in the location of their choice for that same night.

“We built Look Ahead to answer one of the most common questions we get about HotelTonight: ‘The rates look great tonight, but what will they look like tomorrow, or next week?’” said chief executive Sam Shank in an official statement.

HotelTonight has been working on forecasting and predicting for quite some time, including with its acquisition of restaurant table forecasting company PrimaTable in 2012.

“By incorporating the forecasting and pricing tools that PrimaTable has built, we’ll make it even easier for hotels to sell their unfilled rooms. And for our customers, we’ll continue to focus on bringing them the right hotel at the right price when they need to book a room last-minute,” Shank said at the time of the acquisition. 

Forecasting is certainly a challenging aspect of HotelTonight’s business, as it was originally built on the idea that there is both a demand and supply of last-minute rooms — and the company would help the two meet. But forecasting is more akin to the traditional hotel model in which guests book rooms ahead of time for prices the hotel decides based on a variety of factors.

Here, HotelTonight’s new feature is a hybrid of the two, and it’s predictions’ accuracy remain to be tested.

As of today, the feature is available for New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. The feature is currently only rolled for HotelTonight’s iPhone app, although it will be appearing on the iPad and Android devices soon.

HotelTonight is based in San Francisco and was founded in 2010. It has raised $104 million to date.

More information:

HotelTonight is the ultimate way to book a same-day hotel stay via your mobile device. Founded in 2010, HotelTonight is the first hotel booking application that is made for mobile from the ground up. HotelTonight offers some of the ... read more »

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