Whether you're a spontaneous traveler who never knows exactly where they'll be staying or a last-minute accommodation planner. Finding hotels at the last minute can be a big endeavor!
One website that's trying to make getting hotels at short notice a little easier is HotelTonight. But are they really as good as they seem? Let's dive into their services, terms, and everything you need to know about booking through HotelTonight!
What is HotelTonight?
Founded in 2010, HotelTonight is a website that allows travelers to sort through hotels worldwide that have last-minute availabilities. The company is owned by Airbnb, so you'll notice a lot of similarities in the software used.
They also have an app available through the Apple Store and Google Play store, so you can easily search for last-minute hotel deals while on the go!
How does HotelTonight work?
Hotels often have unsold rooms every night, and many would like to see them occupied. Using services like HotelTonight, travelers can access those empty beds for a reduced nightly rate on short notice.
Using their search engine, you can enter your destination and how long your stay will last. Depending on your hotel priorities, you can even filter by top deals, lowest price, or most premium. HotelTonight will then pull up all the rooms available!
You can also filter by amenities such as WiFi, a gym, pool, breakfast, or even whether the hotel allows pets. Be advised that rooms are assigned at check-in, so you don't get much say in what your room will look like beyond those filters.
While you can use HotelTonight to book hotel rooms for any period of time up to 100 days before check-in and far into the future, you'll get the best deals when booking within the next 24-48 hours of when you're looking.
Where can you use HotelTonight?
One of the perks of using HotelTonight is that it offers discounted hotel rooms worldwide. Much of their listings are located in the US, but they do still offer plenty of hotels listed in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South America, Asia Pacific, and more! For a full list of their cities, head here!
HotelTonight Daily Drop
In addition to the savings you'll find on last-minute bookings, HotelTonight also has something called a "Daily Drop." This is a personalized, daily deal that comes up while searching for hotels offering a big discount on a select hotel. You'll know it when you see it by the flashy "unlock" button hiding the hotel.
Once you unlock your Daily Drop, you'll have 15 minutes to snap up that hotel room. The deals only last for those 15 minutes, and sometimes less if someone else takes it, so be quick if you like the look of it!
How do I cancel a HotelTonight booking?
Most of the rooms available through HotelTonight are offered as non-refundable, non-cancellable, and non-modifiable. This means that if anything happens, you will be unable to change your booking or cancel it and receive a refund.
Due to this, you should not only read the terms of your booking very carefully, but you should also only use this service when you're sure you'll be able to make it to the hotel. This is what makes it a great match for last-minute bookings.
While HotelTonight might sound like the perfect tool for your next adventure, it's never a bad idea to see what other travelers are saying about it.
Many travelers have commented that the booking process tends to be smooth but that they've encountered problems once they arrive at the hotel. Whether it be that the hotel is not like it was advertised or that HotelTonight didn't actually communicate with the hotel, several customers have been displeased by their overall experience with the actual hotel they booked.
Additionally, customer support seems to be very hit or miss with HotelTonight, with most experiences alluding to the support team not being able to be helpful due to terms and conditions imposed by HotelTonight.
A common complaint is that HotelTonight's prices are, in fact, not the cheapest. Some customers have found that booking directly through the hotel or even sites like Priceline have yielded cheaper prices. Those prices also come with the support of the hotel themselves and often refundable bookings.
Looking to find an alternative to HotelTonight? Check out these recommendations of alternative accommodation sites for some inspiration!
HotelTonight Customer Service
While HotelTonight does have an extensive FAQ page for common questions, sometimes you want to speak with a real person.
You can email HotelTonight at email@example.com to send your question that way, and they'll get back to you within 24 hours. If you'd rather pick up the phone, you can call the US support number at +1 (877) 522- 3344.
Is HotelTonight worth it?
While HotelTonight claims to offer great deals at the last minute, the fact that so many travelers have found similar, if not lower, prices elsewhere signals it's not necessarily the best service out there.
It should certainly be added to your list of resources while searching for hotels, especially if you're a spontaneous traveler who wants to see what's out there at the last minute. Although, HotelTonight should probably be used more as a research resource than as a booking tool.
The lack of flexibility with cancellations and refunds makes it a not super friendly booking service, even for the most spontaneous. If you're looking for some great travel deal sites to use, be sure to read this blog post!
Our rating: 2.5/5
- Easy to search hotels with last-minute availability
- Daily Drop deal for 15 minutes
- Hotel room availability all over the world
- Bookings are non-refundable
- Several complaints about room quality and what the hotel actually looked like
- Not particularly helpful customer support
Let's find your dream hotel!
Whether you're an early booker or a last-minute deal stealer, always have your booking information prepared at arrival. Consider using Pilot to organize your next getaway!