Amazon’s transformation from an online bookstore into a purveyor of anything and everything continues with the news that its refreshed local hotel booking service is now live in the U.S.
First revealed last November, Amazon’s “Destinations” section is basically a new landing page that nestles nicely within the e-commerce giant’s broader “local” offering, serving up suggestions for getaways situated a short commute from nearby cities.
Current destinations include The Pacific Northwest, Southern California, and the Northeast, and you can dig down into more specific areas such as “The Washington Coast.”
While Amazon Local has offered discounted hotels for a while already, the new offering takes a more traditional approach to online bookings and now includes full published rates, as reported by Skift, which means they are no longer simply focusing on filling empty rooms at the last minute for ludicrously cheap prices. Over time, Amazon’s listed hotels will accumulate customer reviews too, similar to how shoppers leave ratings for physical products procured through its online store.
This revamp very much fits in with Amazon’s bigger shift into local services of late, which include a new one-hour delivery service in key metropolitan areas across the U.S. and a handyman “home services” platform.
On the surface, it may seem like it’s entering a crowded space, with countless hotel booking services out there already from Expedia to TripAdvisor, but Amazon isn’t going all-in here — it’s basically just improving on what it already offered, with a selection of local hotels you may wish to visit for a few days to get away from the urban bustle.