Hopper, the travel app that uses algorithms to identify cheap plane tickets, is now rolling out a hotel booking service, starting today. Previously, Hopper users who secured plane tickets then had to use a hotel booking app like Kayak to find accommodations. But Hopper is hoping to become a one-stop shop for travel.
Drawing upon pricing data and customer reviews, Hopper will recommend whether to book a hotel or to wait for the price to drop, similar to how it works with plane tickets. Using the same color-coded calendar, with red for expensive, yellow for moderate, and green for cheapest, Hopper lets users view which dates are more costly than others.
The hotels feature also includes neighborhood markers to show where a hotel will be located, and a few words on what kind of a vibe you can expect from the surroundings, such as “Rooms are small, but well-designed and high-tech.” Eventually, through machine learning, Hopper hopes the app will be able to give personalized recommendations of which hotel to stay at.
Instead of showing still images of hotels, Hopper is also adding a feature called Hotel Profiles, which work like Snapchat or Instagram stories, showing different sections of the hotel like the room, lobby, and bar, so people can get a better look before they book a hotel. But the profiles often don’t give much information, especially the parts that list a hotel’s flaws. Row NYC’s profile names city traffic as a downside, although the same could be said of every hotel in Manhattan. Another profile for Refinery Hotel says you should skip it if you don’t want a lobby that turns into a jazz bar at night, which sounds less like a flaw and more like the person making the story ran out of ideas.
While Hopper’s Hotel feature sounds extremely convenient and easy to use, it’s currently only available in New York. The company says it will be rolling out to 10 other US cities soon, including LA, Miami, and San Francisco. Availability to other major international cities will roll out next year, meaning those of us with plans to travel globally will have to wait quite a while to use this feature. The hotels feature is available on iOS 11 devices and will come to Android soon.