Trip Doctor: How to Get Last-Minute Hotel Deals
Procrastinators, rejoice! There’s a slew of new apps aimed at snagging a last-minute hotel deal. Here, our tech expert’s road-tested favorites.
HotelTonight (Android, iOS): The pioneer of same-day booking apps, HotelTonight features staff-vetted properties in more than a hundred cities around the world, with tags like Hip, Luxe, or Charming to guide your search. Expect trendy boutique hotels and even some splashy new openings—but don’t get too attached to any one spot. Deals change daily and can be reserved only from noon onward.
Booking.com Tonight (iOS): With the most properties, this Priceline and Booking.com team effort offers the best comparison shopping. Case in point: we found 184 hotels in New York City on a recent search, varying from Best Westerns to the St. Regis. Deals become available at midnight—earlier than most apps—and they’re valid for one- and two-night stays only.
Blink (iOS): Europe’s answer to HotelTonight, Blink kicks off deals at 11 a.m. each day with a curated selection of four hotels per city, and favors trusted midlevel and luxury brands—think Sofitel, Hilton, and Meliá—over independent gems. It even covers smaller destinations such as Trieste, Italy, or San Sebastián, Spain—perfect for arranging side trips on a whim.
Our Best Score: The Grande Hotel, in Porto, Portugal, for $90 a night (30 percent off).
Hotel Deals by Lastminute.com (iOS): If making day-of decisions leaves you anxious, this Travelocity-owned app lets you book a week before checking in. The discounts are impressive (up to 55 percent off), especially for the “Top Secret Hotels”—you find out the name after you pay. Don’t like typing your payment info in public? The app cleverly lets you scan in a photo of your credit card instead.
Hot Hotels (Android, iOS): Launched in Spain last year, this Europe-centered app has a refreshing spin: a portion of its proceeds buy carbon credits that offset each user’s stay. Not surprisingly, its inventory is strongest on the Iberian peninsula (with 50 cities listed in Spain alone), but it also dabbles in South American destinations such as Lima and Buenos Aires.
Our Best Score: The Millennium Hotel London Mayfair for $219 a night (39 percent off).
Tom Samiljan is Travel + Leisure’s Tech Correspondent.