Monday, March 7, 2011

New Oddly Named Travel Booking Site

(Arthur Frommer notes in his blog today that there's a new travel website with a hotel search service he finds impressive.) 

Post by Arthur Frommer

If you haven't yet made use of a travel booking site called Hipmunk, you're missing out on a smartly imaginative, thoroughly practical, new means of finding the lodgings that best satisfy your needs. The people who devised Hipmunk have brought an element of fun to the job of choosing accommodations, while at the same time maintaining a laser-like focus on the reason why we prefer certain hotels over others.

(Hipmunk is also an airfare search engine, a function that impresses me less than its hotel services.)

To begin with, Hipmunk is an aggregator of other hotel aggregators. It uses the excellent hotel-finding website called HotelsCombined, Airbnb, and several other popular surveys of hotel prices to find the best current rates for hotels. And it boldly prints those rates at the top of every listing.

But after listing the prices available to you in a particular city, setting them forth in ascending order of price if cost is your main criterion, it then re-orders the listing to take account of other desired goals.

Let's say you're a family traveling together, and you want to far removed from those areas of the city where inappropriate activities -- porn shops, strip bars, and the like -- are clustered. You click on the word "vice" and are immediately shown the hotels that are located a fair distance away from those undesirable activities.

But that's only one way that Hipmunk sets forth its information. You first click either "cheap," "average," or "pricey" -- and the website lists only the hotels that satisfy those descriptions. Then you click an "overlay," the words "food" or "tourism" or "shopping" or "nightlife," and depending on what you click, the website lists those hotels that are closest to a great many restaurants, attractions, shopping, or nightlife. It also identifies the location of each hotel on a large map occupying a fair portion of the site.

To focus your search even more, you can click on the words "ecstasy" (listing hotels according to a combination of good price, good reviews by hotel commentators, and good amenities), or the words "price" (cost alone), or amenities (possession of various helpful services in the hotel).

[Link to Frommer's blog.]

No comments:

Post a Comment