As I’ve found with most apps pertaining to travel, be it hotel bookings, flight info or subway and bus times, ToucHotel is useful up to a point.
Designed by UserFans, this app focuses, as the name suggests, on hotels only. When you open the app, you’ll begin typing the name of the city you’re staying in into the search field, then choose the matching city from the list the app generates. One issue: The app names cities and countries, but not states, which is a problem if the city you’re staying in is not the only one in the world with that name.
After choosing the city, you use a scroll wheel to pick your dates and the number of nights you’ll need. ToucHotel generates a list of hotels with available rooms. You can tap “Options” at the bottom to have them listed in order by popularity, star ratings, price, name, guest scores or their distance from the city center. Another option is to tap the map button in the top right corner to see them marked as pinpoints in the city.
Once you select a hotel, you’re provided with a good amount of info; the rooms and prices available, hotel amenities, photos of the hotel, a map, the address and a way to easily share the hotel info via email or Facebook. Tap on a room to book it, then enter your credit card information, which is encrypted.
I’d say for bigger cities this is one free app that could help you find a room, while for smaller cities (or cities with common names) you might be better sticking with Google.
ToucHotel [iTunes link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.