Flash Sale Buzz: Jetsetter Launches Jetsetter Now, A Same-Day Booking Platform

jetsetter nowLuxury flash sale website Jetsetter.com launched a same-day hotel product this morning, dubbed Jetsetter Now.

Offering discounts of up to 60% off standard rates, the hotel deals will be available in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco to start.

Utilizing a similar concept to HotelTonight, Jetsetter Now offers deep discounts beginning at noon each day. A limited number of hotel rooms in each category are available, but booking, similar to Jetsetter’s “mystery” sales, is opaque, meaning that travelers will know if the hotel is “hip” or “contemporary” but not where exactly it is located or what its name is.

To participate, the hotels must already be Jetsetter-verified (meaning that an editor has personally visited and reviewed the property) and have a member review rating of 85% or above. If available, guests can book up to four nights through the app at a special rate.

Inventory will display as available or “sold out” as hotel rooms are booked. Like Travelocity’s lastminute.com, payment can be completed by scanning your credit card and the app is fully Passbook integrated.

Rob Deeming, Jetsetter.com general manager, spoke to us yesterday about the application, discussing how it is a logical extension of the brand, where travelers are excited to book verified and reviewed inventory at a reduced price, but are often frustrated that their counterparts offer only two to four-star “mystery” hotels.

He doesn’t worry that the mysterious nature of hotels booked will bother travelers, as he says many are already flocking to the site’s existing mystery flash sales. The opaque nature of the booking process encourages luxury hoteliers to share their unused inventory with Jetsetter, he explains, because they are often reluctant to showcase a discounted rate for fear that travelers will grow accustomed to waiting until the last minute to book.

In our trial case, we “booked” into the Surrey, an upscale uptown hotel that can charge upwards of $1,000 for a one-night stay. Through Jetsetter Now, the price was just $290 per night.

We also loved the scan and go credit card feature, which made booking simple while on the go.

What do you think? Will this new development spur you to book a last minute escape? The application is free in the app store for iPhone and iPod touch.

Booking.com Launches Last Minute Hotel App

booking.com tonightCapitalizing on the success of apps like Hotel Tonight, Priceline Group’s Booking.com has launched a same-day booking product for iPhone and iPod touch.

The inherent advantage with this app is Booking.com’s much larger user base – over 200,000 hotels. While we’re longtime fans of Hotel Tonight, which allows us to find some of our favorite name-brand hotels at a lower cost, we’re well aware of the need for an app like this for nights when we just need a place to sleep – or when our other options aren’t quite yielding what we want.

A recent search for a hotel in our area near DC showed 94 options with same-night availability. Hotels were found at a minimum rate of $70 for the Budget Inn, Falls Church, and a high rate of $695 for the Mandarin Oriental DC.

We do like that the app really streamlines the mobile experience to those features users need. One tap on the app retrieves all the available hotels in the immediate area, including those special last-minute deals.

Booking is simple too – just two clicks and the room is yours. Achieving what it calls “from app to nap in five taps,” the app also takes care of the after-booking process by contacting the hotel, emailing you a reservation confirmation and showing a detailed map of how to get to your destination.

We’d call that pretty simple. Even better? The app is free in the iTunes store.

Hotel Tonight lets you stay warm during the Midwest blizzard with iPhone room reservations

hotel tonight iphone blizzardLast week, we wrote about iPhone hotel app “Hotel Tonight”. When we first mentioned it, hotels could only be booked in New York, San Francisco and Hollywood. Just in time for the big Blizzard of ’11, Hotel Tonight has added Chicago, Boston and Washington DC.

Like the other cities, these new options let you pick a hotel room for tonight, and results display several price categories.

For tonight in Chicago (and our upcoming 22 inches of snow), you can spend the night for as little as $59.

Best of all, sign up and book a room, and you’ll get $25 off your first reservation. Invite friends from within the app, and you can earn an additional $25 each time one of them makes a reservation.

The app is free, and is available in the iTunes App Store.

iPhone App Hotel Tonight does exactly what its name implies

hotel tonightNot every night in hotel has to involve weeks of planning and early reservations – iPhone app Hotel Tonight proves that.

This slick app is designed with one purpose – get you a well priced hotel for tonight. At the moment, the app only covers hotels in Hollywood, New York and San Francisco, but since its hotel deals are hand-picked, the quality of the results are quite impressive.

Once you pick your city of choice, you are presented with three hotels – sorted by category; hip, elegant and basic.

For tonight in San Francisco, I can choose from the Hotel Nikko ($120), Hotel Vitale ($191) or the Executive Hotel Vintage Court ($69).

From my quick test, these prices are considerably cheaper than what is offered directly from the hotel. For example – the Vintage Court can be booked through the app for $69 ($80 with all taxes), but that same room is $172 with taxes through the hotel itself.

The deals are not exacly random either – they are hand picked by the people behind Dealbase who happen to know a thing or two about hotel prices.

All hotels are accompanied by a really well written description, explaining what the reviewers like, what the fine print is, stats about the hotel (including things like the cost of parking) and its Tripadvisor rating. Most properties even list the food and drink offering, with examples of prices for room service items. And to top it all off, you can even find some tips about the area with some recommendations for places to eat and drink close to the hotel.

%Gallery-114854%The credits tab is a really neat one – because if you sign up, you’ll get a $10 instant credit applied to your account. Once you’ve made a reservation for tonight, your booking is displayed inside the app.

I have to say – I love this app. It is well designed, it offers well priced hand picked deals, and the amount of information presented with each hotel is staggering. Sadly, the number of cities is still limited, but Hotel Tonight promises they’ll be expanding that soon.

So, if you’ve had a few too many drinks, or you’d just like an elegant way to surprise someone special in your life, download Hotel Tonight (free) and book yourself a room.