With more and more of us using mobiles for online shopping, companies of all shapes and sizes (including iLikeOffers.co.uk) are trying to make the experience better for users. This has resulted in a massive shift to creating either a dedicated mobile website, or a design which responds differently whether you’re viewing it on your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It’s great to see as it makes both browsing or buying much easier and in the case of hotels, finding and then booking the perfect hotel for your budget a simpler task. Based on the fact that 20% off all hotel-related search on Google.co.uk were made from a mobile device, we decided to take a closer look at which are the top mobile hotel websites to use.
#1 - LateRooms.com mobile website
has one of the simplest homepages of any of the mobile hotel websites reviewed, allowing you to select price and start rating options before you start the search. It’s a really useful tool as it means your results will be more relevant from the start, rather than having to do further filtering. Big plus point here compared to the sites.
Unfortunately the LateRooms.com mobile site is slightly let down on the results page, as although the listings look beautifully designed, they are larger than on other sites which means more downward scrolling is required to view them all. Some people may prefer the listing size though and it’s not a huge drawback by any means. On the plus-side, it’s very simple to order the results by distance, guest ratings, amenities and price. It is also the only mobile website in our Top 5 that also has a filter for accommodation type, which is extremely useful if you’re after a B&B or guest house. It’s really easy to see the location of the hotel on a map when you view further details for each property, which we absolutely love as it means there’s no further effort required checking it’s not in the middle of nowhere or outside of town.
The payment stage is cleanly laid out with larger boxes to input all of your details and it has an address finder so you don’t have to go through the headache of entering every line of your address – nice touch! Whether you’re in a hurry or want to browse hotels on the go, the LateRooms.com mobile website is our winner.
#2 - hotels.com mobile website
were one of the first hotel booking companies to produce a mobile-optimised site which has undergone a few revisions to get it to where it is today. It’s extremely simple to use and is perfect if you need a place to stay on the day you’re searching, with a ‘Local deals for tonight’ link right at the top of the homepage. This will show you all available hotels around your current location, together with a full price breakdown of the rates.
You can also use the search box to find a hotel in locations worldwide for a specific set of dates, with results returned in a matter of seconds. To filter further you can narrow the results based on the price, star rating and most importantly, guest rating. You also have the option to sort the results by other factors rather than the Best Sellers, with one of the most useful being the distance to the city centre, which is especially useful if you’re travelling on business. The only drawback on the hotel details page is that it’s not easy to find the location of the property on a map, which does let it down. After finding the right one for you it then only takes 2 minutes to book, with really simple boxes to enter credit card details and billing information.
#3 - lastminute.com mobile website
doesn’t only offer hotel bookings, you first need to select the Hotel Search when you hit the mobile homepage which is no big issue at all. You can then search either from your current location or enter a new destination, as well as selecting your travel dates. Like the hotels.com mobile website, results are returned extremely quickly, but unfortunately no filter options are available so you can’t narrow down the results. This is slightly frustrating as you’re forced to scroll through lots of hotels before finding one within budget.
After eventually finding the best hotel for you it’s a fairly simple 3 stage process to book it but not quite as good as the one on hotels.com. All details are provided on the property and there’s a useful phone number at the top of the page if you do have any problems booking. It’s a nice site but there are a couple of tweaks that could make it even better so it’s easier to use, such as not forcing you to exit the site to view each hotel location on Google Maps.
#4 - HotelClub mobile website
makes it to number 4 on our list with a beautifully simple website, which allows you to search for hotels near your current location or to enter a new destination – all straight from the homepage. You then are able to filter the results by price and star rating, as well as by amenities which is great if you’re looking for one with a pool or WiFi access for example. The results can then be sorted by price, star rating, reviewer score and distance – which we love if you need a place nearby.
Like on the HotelClub.com standard website you can also get up to 7% back on your bookings, as well as getting access to the exclusive rates by being a member. This means you will need to set up an account if you haven’t already in order to book via the HotelClub mobile website, but this only takes a minute and the benefits are worth it in our opinion.
#5 - Hilton mobile website
is the only hotel chain to make the list and it has a fantastic mobile version of the site compared to some of the other chains that force you to pinch and zoom on the screen. Like some the other hotel sites tested, Hilton allows you to find properties nearby or by a specific location such as city or tourist attraction. This is great for tourists if you’re looking to stay near a major landmark and within seconds you’ll be shown a full list, together with the distance to the attraction you’ve selected. Results can be filtered to reduce the size of the list – one slight niggle is that if you hit on the filter button and then use the back button instead of cancel, you then return to the start of the search.
When you reach the hotel packages you’re presented with a list of room options which is great, but the design isn’t as good and they are fairly text heavy. This follows through to the reservation summary and booking page, which is slightly clunky and not ideal if you’re in a hurry as there’s no quick address finder and you even have to select your country. If these issues are worked on further, it’s got potential to be even better for loyal Hilton fans.
Why some hotel websites aren’t on the list
You’ll notice that there are a couple of big players such as TravelSupermarket.com not in this list – the reason is that they don’t currently have a mobile optimized site, so they don’t make it into our Top 5. Trivago is another, as it has attempted to create a mobile website but it doesn’t work very well which means you have to scroll in order to view all content after making a search. It’s disappointing to see but hopefully these will improve in the coming months as they’re some of the best websites to use on a laptop or desktop.
Some UK chains including Travelodge and Premier Inn actually have great mobile websites but Hilton beat them in this case as the list focuses on worldwide hotel bookings.