The innovative travel search service Hipmunk is ringing in the new year by adding powerful hotel search capability to its mobile apps.
While hotel search has been available on Hipmunk's Web site for quite some time, users of the native Android and iOS apps are only getting the function starting today.
For those not familiar with Hipmunk, it's a travel site and mobile application, similar to Kayak, that offers a unique way of searching for flights by "Agony." Using an algorithm to factor in things like departure time, arrival time, stopovers, and price, Hipmunk returns search results based on how enjoyable (or agonizing) it thinks each flight would be. This makes it easier to compare flights along a number of different parameters simultaneously, which is difficult to do on most other travel sites.
And now, with the newly integrated hotel search feature, the Hipmunk app brings yet another proprietary algorithm into the mix, as it lets you search hotels by "Ecstasy." Similar to the Agony rating, Ecstasy takes into account factors like price, amenities, and TripAdvisor reviews to show you the hotels that would provide the best overall experience. From what I've seen, it works well, and is an absolute godsend when searching amongst a number of unfamiliar hotel brands.
Another cool addition to the Android and iOS applications is Heatmaps, a feature that overlays important neighborhood information on your search results map. For instance, you can activate a food Heatmap to show you which neighborhoods have a particularly high density of restaurants. Or you can use a nightlife Heatmap to see which neighborhoods have all the bars and clubs. It's an incredibly useful feature on its own, but when used in tandem with hotel search, it makes for a completely game-changing travel search experience.
If you frequently travel and don't already use Hipmunk, I highly recommend giving it a try. I've personally used it on several occasions to search for and book travel. And now that the native apps for iOS and Android have hotel search, it's easier than ever to book the most enjoyable trip possible.