Do you have a favourite hotel booking site? Or do you end up flipping between various operators? Many of the big players seem to blur into one after a while.
Top10.com is the latest comparison site, and aims to save you trawling the net by aggregating all the best deals into one place. It searches through Booking.com, Lastminute.com, LateRooms.com and Expedia, among others, to bring users a customised top 10 of suitable accommodation, according to your requirements (pool, pet friendly, Wi-Fi, central location etc).
Having trialled in beta mode since the beginning of the year, it launched officially last week and, given that it comes from the same stable as broadband and mobile price comparison site USwitch.com, it has the potential to make more of splash than many of its rivals. A TV campaign has already launched – something very few start-ups can emulate – and it has funding from some high-flying technology investors, including Accel Partners, early investors in Facebook.
Though not ground-breaking in its approach, it stands out for its clarity. And there are no adverts or other distractions, as its revenue model is entirely commission-based. The site is UK-based, but lists hotels worldwide.
Other hotel-booking sites worth bookmarking
HotelTonight: This is an app, not a website, but it’s well worth downloading – especially if you are a last-minute, disorganised or spontaneous traveller. As the name suggests, it helps you find same-day hotels, after rates have been slashed to prevent them sitting empty, and you can book up until 2am in your chosen location. A sample deal in New York is hip boutique hotel 60 Thompson, from $255 down to $189. Tripadvisor has also just launched a price comparison and booking tool, TripConnect, which is expected to bring in more small independent hotels and BBs, and Hong Kong-based HotelQuickly – which is better on south-east Asia and Australasia – is also trying to muscle in on this market, but it will be a tough fight as HotelTonight has just raised another $45m in funding.
Between9and5.com: If you find yourself stuck between time zones or on an awkward stopover for several hours, you might want to catch up on some sleep with a hotel day room. Plenty of airport hotels around the world are covered and you typically have to check out by 7pm. It’s another great site for last-minute merchants as you can cancel without incurring fees, and payment is processed at the hotel, so you don’t have to input all your details on the site.