/>
X
Innovation
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

If you want to book the perfect stay, use one of these hotel apps

What is the best hotel app? Booking.com is ZDNET's top choice because of its fantastic features. We researched and compared availability, as well as pricing, accessibility, and real guest reviews to determine our No. 1 pick and several other honorable mentions.
lena-borrelli-author.jpg
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer on
Reviewed by Allison Murray

When you are weary from travel, the last thing you want is a complicated app or busy website. All you want is a safe, comfortable place to lay your head, but deciding where to sleep while traveling can be tricky. That is where hotel apps can help: they provide vetted properties at often-discounted rates to help save you money. 

However, not all hotel apps are created the same, and you may find yourself worrying about the legitimacy and effectiveness of these apps. That is why we did the legwork, reviewing today's apps to find the best hotel apps for your next trip.

Features: Developer: Booking.com B.V. | Compatibility: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch | App Store rating: 4.8 | Google Play rating: 4.6

With over 27 million properties to choose from and 135 million guest reviews, Booking.com is the best hotel app you can use today. It works for several different types of rental properties, including hotels, vacation rentals, homes, and apartments. It is like Airbnb but also includes hotels and other larger properties with access to properties all around the world. It is easy to search whether it is by city, attraction, or the name of a specific hotel. You can also filter by several different factors, including price, amenities, and rating to find the right property that is equipped for all of your needs. 

It is up to you whether you book way in advance or last minute. Either way, Booking.com can help. Even if you do not have a trip in mind, you can sign up for daily deals so you can be the first to hear of exclusive offers. When you are ready to book, you can enjoy the ability to make changes to your reservation and benefit from 24/7 customer service that is available in over 40 languages. There are also no booking or credit card fees with free cancellation on most rooms to give you an added advantage. 

Pros:

Cons:

  • Excellent inventory

  • Exclusive discounts

  • Millions of user reviews

  • Number of listings can be overwhelming

  • No host background check

Features: Developer: Airbnb, Inc. | Compatibility: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, Apple TV | App Store rating: 4.8 | Google Play rating: 4.5

Airbnb has exploded in recent years, taking an unconventional approach to the conventional hotel. There is the ability to book directly from property owners themselves, giving you the opportunity to communicate directly with your Host. Available is everything from a villa to a room, it all depends on what you need. Airbnb Categories help you find the right type of rental for your trip. Appropriate for both short-term and long-term stays, you can even opt for Split Stays, which lets you break your reservation up across two properties. It is an option available to those booking a week or longer. 

At any time, you can message your Host for clarification, help, or even rate negotiation. There is AirCover for free comprehensive protection, so you can rest easy knowing your trip is secure. You will also receive easy-to-access reservation information and check-in details, plus help on what to do and where to go.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Extensive selection of property types

  • Easy keyword search

  • Great accessibility

  • Limited hotel inventory

  • Can be more expensive than traditional hotels

Features: Developer: Web Reservations International | Compatibility: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV | App Store rating: 4.9 | Google Play rating: 3.9

Hostelworld is the best app for hostels, giving a budget-friendly option to travelers who do not have a lot to spend. You will have access to over 16,500 hostels in 180 countries, giving you plenty of options for your future travel. One of the best parts about Hostelworld is the social connection it provides. It is a fun social stay that even gives you the opportunity to connect with like-minded travelers before your departure. 

As soon as you book, you can begin chatting and making new friends with local chat groups matched to your interests. There is a dedicated focus on social features, encouraging the fostering of relationships among its users. You can even search to see who will be at your hostel when you travel with the ability to create a travelers profile, showing off your travels, both past and present.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Simple search feature

  • Built-in translator

  • Online community of other travelers

  • No PayPal payments

  • Booking fee applies

Features: Developer: Hotels.com, L.P. | Compatibility: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV | App Store rating: 4.8 | Google Play rating: 4.5

Hotels.com is a mainstay among booking apps and is the best hotel app for cheap hotels. When you sign up, you receive exclusive deals and savings on hotels that you will not find anywhere else with Secret Prices that take 10% off popular properties, as well as Tonight's Local Deals for those last-minute bookings. Hotels.com has expanded to include other types of properties, as well, whether they are resorts, vacation homes, and apartments. In total, Hotels.com has over 1,000,000 properties all over the world. There are other benefits, too. When you become a Hotels.com® Rewards member, you can earn a free night when you use the app to book ten hotel stays. If you are a Silver or Gold member, you are eligible for special rewards and travel benefits. There is free cancellation on many hotels, too.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Wide selection of hotels

  • Exclusive savings

  • Hotels.com Rewards

  • Customer service can be challenging

  • No negotiation power

Features: Developer: Hotel Tonight Inc | Compatibility: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch | App Store rating: 4.9 | Google Play rating: 4.4

In addition to the U.S., HotelTonight delivers properties in Europe, Latin America and Asia. There is an excellent selection of hotels, motels, and resorts, as well as boutique properties like quaint little inns and bed and breakfasts. Properties are sorted into three categories. You can search by filters like Basic, Hip, and Luxe to find the right kind of property you want. You can also search by location, attraction, or pet-friendly hotels, plus view real customer reviews to be sure that your chosen property is, in fact, the best one for you. 

When you are ready to book, you have the ability to book same-day or even up to 100 days in advance. With Geo Rates, you can receive special discounts based on your location, so you only get the deals you need. You can also join the HT Perks program for extra discounts and rewards. Either way, there is 24/7 customer service to help at any time.  

Pros:

Cons:

  • Tons of deals

  • Wide inventory

  • HT Perks program

  • Only hotels available

  • Cannot guarantee room type

What is the best hotel app?

The best hotel app is Booking.com, thanks to its wide availability and verified reviews. You can find all different types of properties, plus extensive customer service to help if you hit a snag. 

For comparison purposes, here is an overview of the best hotel apps.

Best trip planner app

App Store rating

Google Play rating

Booking.com

4.8

4.6

Airbnb

4.8

4.5

Hostelworld

4.9

3.9

Hotels.com

4.8

4.5

HotelTonight

4.9

4.4

Which is the right hotel app for you?

To help you find the best hotel app for you, consider our expert recommendations based on our study.

Choose this hotel app...

If you...

Booking.com

Want the most options for your hotel stay

Airbnb

Want to stay in a privately-owned property

Hostelworld

Are on a budget or prefer hostels 

Hotels.com

Want discounts on your stay

HotelTonight

Don't have the luxury of planning ahead

How did we choose these best hotel apps?

There are several factors we considered when choosing the best hotel apps. 

  • Availability: When using a hotel app, you need to know that there are not only properties available but the right kind of properties. We chose hotel apps with a variety of properties so that you can find the perfect property for your stay.  
  • Price: The best hotel apps offer special deals and discounts to lower the price of your nightly stay and save you some money.
  • Guest reviews: No one knows a property like the people who have stayed there, so we considered thousands of real customer reviews for each app.
  • Customer service: The best hotel apps have strong customer service departments, so there is someone there to help if you need it. 

Be sure to carefully review an app's services and reviews before selecting the best hotel app for you. 

Is a hotel app better than booking directly through a hotel?

A hotel app can be better than booking directly through a hotel because there may be special discounts that you may receive by using an app like Booking.com. Some apps will even negotiate lower rates that you cannot find anywhere else.  

How much does a hotel app cost?

Hotel apps are generally free to download and use, but there may be fees associated with your reservation, such as a booking fee. Before you book, be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions, so you understand how your reservation works. 

Are there alternative hotel apps worth considering?

In our search, we also found some alternative hotel apps that may be a good fit for you. 

For other travel guides, check out our expert recommendations for the best luggage brands, the best backpacks, and the best trip planners!

Editorial standards

Related

The 5 best trip planner apps: Easily plan your next vacation
Placeholder product image alt text

The 5 best trip planner apps: Easily plan your next vacation

The 5 best car rental apps and services: Get cruising faster
Placeholder product image alt text

The 5 best car rental apps and services: Get cruising faster

The 5 best weather apps: Check the weather forecast
replace-this-image.jpg

The 5 best weather apps: Check the weather forecast