I love searching for hotels on 15 different websites just to get an idea of the best prices and places to stay, said no one ever.
With the help of Kayak, Hipmunk and Google Flights, the process of searching for the best flight deals has become quite civilized over the last few years, but that still left one other big part of travel: where to stay. Booking hotels has long been a chaotic, hair pulling experience, but the sleek interface people love about Google Flights has just launched for hotels too, and it’s just about perfect.
Google’s Hotel interface, like Google Flights, isn’t an obvious power punch of bells and whistles. It’s simple, clean and easy on the eyes, but that absolutely does not mean they’re not there. The Google Hotels interface allows you to search via a selection of intuitive and customizable features just like many others, but it’s how it explains things that makes it exciting. Oh, and most importantly, there’s now a simple link to start. It’s Google.com/Hotels.
Google Hotels studies price trends, just like it does on Google Flights and will highlight any deals which are particularly low. Basically, if the Four Seasons in Sydney is 30% lower than it usually is, it’ll point that fact out in the search, so that you know there’s an interesting opportunity. In fact, you can choose to only see “deals”, to see which places are on sale. That can make things a lot easier. PS, Google One, the Google storage solution offers members only discounts.
What makes the search fun though, is that it allows you to find exactly what you want. You can filter by amenities such as “kid friendly”, “pool”, “fitness center” and many more, selecting as many filters as you wish. Basically, if you only want hotels that offer free breakfast, a pool and a fitness center, which are also kid friendly – you can set that out from the very beginning to avoid wasted time.
As you’d expect from Google, they’ve innovated in a way many booking platforms haven’t. Many of the deals you see on Google can be booked directly on the platform without having to visit other websites. Basically, you’ll be able to use data populated into your Gmail or Google Pay to lock in your reservation in seconds, rather than minutes. That cool feature isn’t available for every hotel yet, but with any luck it will be soon. It’s Google, after all…