Imagine the following scenario – you’re travelling around the world and you arrive at a deserted railway station in the dead of night. There’s nobody around to ask for help and it’s about to rain. You urgently need a place to stay for the night but the tourist information office has closed until the next day. Your only connection to the outside world is your Android mobile phone.
Rather than use it to call a taxi to take you back home again, how about installing a free Android app called “Hotels Near Me” which, as the name suggests, locates your position via GPS and then works out where all the hotels are around you. You can then even book a hotel room through the app itself after viewing photos of the place.
The free app, which can be found and installed via the Android Market, claims to list over 57,000 hotels from all over the world, and in 21 different languages too. In my testing of the app, I found it to be very accurate, responsive and gave me some very good choices. My only complaint is that you can’t sort the results by factors such as price or smallest / biggest. You are just handed a list of hotels and you have to browse through them all manually.
So, let’s switch on the app and see what it can do :
As you will see from the screenshot, you need to first switch on your GPS so the app can find out where you are.
When it has found your location, you can either choose hotels near you or you can choose “elsewhere“. Choosing “elsewhere” will bring up a small text box where you can type a location. This feature is good for pre-planning the next stage of your trip if you don’t have accommodation booked. So let’s say that the next day, you are planning to go to California, to San Jose. Let’s choose “elsewhere” and type in your intended location :
After about a few seconds delay, it brings up possibilities :
As you can see,you can view a score out of 10 as well as the address. But if you click the “read more” link, then a whole plethora of information opens up – photos of the hotel and/or rooms, booking instructions, phone and fax numbers, hotel policies, check in times, room features and you can check room availability right there and then.
This app is a must-have for frequent travellers but as I said, it would be greatly improved if you could sort the hotels by price. Having the Sheraton as your second choice is OK if you are travelling on a platinum credit card but not if you’re back-packing it.
What mobile apps do you use to arrange and book your hotel accommodation? Let us know in the comments.