There are myriad opinions on free hotel-booking apps when it comes to iPhone, iPad and Android. Here are five favorites:
Hotel Tonight (iPhone, iPad, Android)
If you're looking to stay somewhere tonight and maybe want to tack on a day or two, this app offers a sleek way to get a deal and book a room in a few taps.
Hotel Tonight claims to offer discounts of up to 70% off published rates, though you can sometimes find better deals elsewhere.
What's attractive about the app, in addition to its ease of use, is the curation. You aren't overwhelmed with hotel choices and verbiage, but are presented, starting at noon each day, with a handful of usually trendy hotels in about 43 cities in the USA, two in Canada and five in Britain. I love the concise descriptions of essential information on each property, and the Yelp ratings are helpful. A downside is that Hotel Tonight doesn't guarantee the room type that you'll get assigned.
Jetsetter (iPhone, iPad)
Jetsetter is known for its limited-time-only flash sales of hotel stays and vacations, with its pledge of saving users up to 50% off published rates. As with all such pitches, you need to comparison shop to ensure a deal is really a deal. The 360-degree room tours and the high-definition photography almost make the Jetsetter app worthy of a try.
The app can stir wanderlust, with features such as its Bucket List Trips to locales such as Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands.
In addition to staff-written reviews, I especially like the terse What We Love and What To Know listings about each hotel, such as the warning that the Mandarin Oriental, D.C., is "next to a highway and train track, but acoustic sleight of hand in the Asian garden muffles the noise."