Google Hotel Finder
Google has a new hotel finder (so new, it’s still experimental). It is not a hotel reservation or booking service. It is a hotel search engine.
This is what Google Hotel Finder claims it does:
- Search just the places you want: Draw simple shapes to define the neighborhoods (yes, more than one!) that interest you.
- See popular locations: Don’t know your way around? Our map highlights the areas that are popular with visitors.
- Keep a shortlist: One click adds hotels to your shortlist, where you can review them easily.
- Find the best deal: Looking for the best time to visit? Compare a hotel’s current price with its typical one.
How does it compare to other hotel aggregators?
I tried to search for a hotel for my upcoming trip to Singapore, and discovered Google hotel finder’s biggest limitation: it is currently limited to locations in the U.S.
So, I ran some tests for U.S. locations. The site is easy to use and the results are presented in a user-friendly, clean and informative format. The results show hotel class, user ratings, price per night, and compared price on your chosen date to its average price. You can sort by each of these categories. The results are presented on a Google map.
There are search options to narrow the results based on location on the map, price and hotel class.
When you click on a hotel in the search results, additional information and photos expand down the page, but you aren’t redirected from your search results — a feature I appreciated. On other sites, I’m constantly clicking forward and back through the search results, which makes browsing results much less efficient.
Though Google Hotel Finder isn’t a booking service, it compares the prices of various sites (expedia.com, hotels.com, booking.com, etc) and links to them. Once you ad a hotel to your “shortlist”, there’s a “book” button that links to the various booking sites.
Conclusions about Google Hotel Finder:
I’m liking it. I’m interested to see the end result of the non-experimental version. Hopefully it will offer world-wide searches and add more functionality to the map (make it searchable, like Google Maps).