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HotelTonight Review 2023: Is It Safe & Legit?

HotelTonight uses a same-day booking business model to get the best prices from hotels for those traveling on a budget. Interested? Check out how it works in my HotelTonight review.

Imagine you get the chance to visit your favorite destination for the first time but you face issues with your hotel reservation as soon as you reach it? Yes, accommodation is perhaps the most crucial decision you have to make while planning a vacation.

Not only because it makes up a massive chunk of your traveling expenses, but because it can have a serious impact on your overall experience. However, sometimes we just don’t have the time to look into each hotel booking website option and evaluate it.

In that case, same-day hotel booking apps might come in handy. If you haven’t used one before, here’s my HotelTonight review to help you decide whether it fits your needs or not.

About Hotel Tonight

hoteltonight logo

According to a celebrated professor Dr. Hanson, from the Tosch Center for Hospitality, same-day hotel booking platforms are gaining immense popularity with the young generation.

He states two reasons for the surge in users in the past years. Firstly, because they offer affordable deals to travelers planning vacations to big cities. Usually, hotel prices are skyrocketing at popular hotels at peak vacation times, and same-day bookings help cut costs by reducing booking charges.

Secondly, these websites are designed for flexible travelers who are open to new options, which makes it an overall trendy concept.

If these two main reasons appeal to your personality as a traveler, HotelTonight is one of the best options to go for. The website covers hotels in more than 1,700 cities across the world. That makes more than 50,000 properties for users to choose from in their database.

However, whether the website works for you or not depends on your personal needs and interests. While you cannot possibly test all the websites available to check for yourself, I have covered this one for you.

In this review of HotelTonight, I have explained its origins, internal workings, facilities, and customer service.

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What is HotelTonight?

HotelTonight Review

HotelTonight originated as a same-day booking website to find a last-minute hotel room in three major US cities: Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

After its immense success during the year 2011, the platform extended its reach to other cities worldwide to cater to travelers planning getaways in the spur of the moment. Hotel Tonight, Inc. was founded in San Francisco, California.

HotelTonight cities list

You see, the hotel industry operates in a system that shows the highest price to pre-planners. If you book your hotel beforehand, chances are you will only get around a 20% discount from the best booking websites.

However, with a same-day booking site, the prices automatically drop as the choices at each hotel decrease. This way, you can find nightly fares at popular hotels for around 30-50% off.

Similarly, the later you book your hotel during the day, the lower the price gets. Also, limited choices do not mean that you’re left with anything they have.

HotelTonight has a vast list of options categorized according to luxuries, amenities, and price range, so you can easily get what you need at the last minute.

Even if there are no rooms that meet your demands, you can request upgrades for nominal extra charges and still enjoy substantial discount margins.

The best part is websites like HotelTonight work for both hotel owners and guests alike. Through this business model, hotel owners get a chance to rent out rooms that they probably wouldn’t usually, and maximize their income.

But, is HotelTonight reliable for travelers? Let’s take a look at how it works in the next section of my HotelTonight review.

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How HotelTonight Works


The HotelTonight business model is pretty straightforward. It capitalizes on the needs of travelers who don’t have the time or inclination to plan. Similarly, it targets hotel rooms that typically go unsold.

Consequently, it makes a commission for becoming the middleman between the consumers and providers, creating a win-win situation for all.

Most importantly, because HotelTonight helps properties gain revenue on last-minute deals they probably wouldn’t earn a dime from, it helps them bag the best deals for their users.

This means the prices on HotelTonight are around 15-17% lower than traditional hotel booking sites like Expedia and TripAdvisor. As soon as you land on their website, you will find an address bar prompting you to search for the ideal hotel for yourself. All you have to do is add your location, preference, and check-in time.

HotalTonight hotel list

After that, the website will generate a list of available accommodations close to your specified location. You can choose from a wide range of options, including small rental apartments to luxury suites in high-end hotel chains.

Or, you can customize your search results using the filter icon beforehand to get the options that fit your needs. However, this categorized system replaces the star rating we’re usually accustomed to on popular hotel booking sites.

Also, the price range fluctuates considerably on HotelTonight, which can be a significant drawback for some users.

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What is the best time to book on HotelTonight?

You should wait until 4 pm to book a last-minute hotel room as it results in 10% cheaper pricing than the afternoons or mornings. Alternatively, booking very last minute such as 7 to 8 pm is also a good alternative.

How to Use the Hotel Tonight App

The Hotel Tonight app is a great way to find last-minute deals on hotel rooms. It’s safe and legit, and I’ve had good experiences using it. The mobile app is easy to use, and you can usually find a good deal on a hotel room.

Here’s how to use the app:

  1. Download the mobile app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Enter your travel information and preferences.
  3. Search the available hotels tonight that you’re interested in.
  4. Review the hotel details and make your reservation.
  5. Enjoy your stay!

I’ll provide a detailed overview and review of each feature in the sections below to give you further insight.

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Who is HotelTonight For?

HotelTonight is primarily for people who don’t like to plan their travel. If you would prefer to book a cheap hotel room on the day you travel, the website is for you.

On the other hand, if the idea of booking your accommodation after landing at your destination sounds risky to you, you should stay away from this site.

If a straightforward and clean user interface attracts you to a platform, HotelTonight is better than other same-day booking sites.

Other sites ask you to sign up and become a member before choosing a hotel. On the contrary, HotelTonight cuts the clutter and lets you get to work first.

Only after you’ve chosen the hotel you like from the cities list, hotel list, or the search bar, the website will direct you to the sign-up page. Here, you’ll have to provide your basic details and verify your email address to confirm your booking.

The best part is that HotelTonight adds your check-out and check-in timings to your Google Calendar.

This way, you can easily keep track of your booking and check into your accommodation.

Pros of HotelTonight

Now that you know all the details about HotelTonight, you have probably decided whether to give it a try or not. If you’re inclined towards giving it a pass, I have listed these benefits for you to provide second thought.

No Pre Planning Required

With HotelTonight, you don’t have to worry about booking your accommodation while planning your trip. Simply hop on the cheapest flights you get and book your room after you reach your destination.

Neatly Organized Lists

Despite hundreds of locations and hotels in its database, HotelTonight makes the booking process easy for users. All you have to do is navigate the website with a few clicks and get the accommodation you need.

Affordable Deals

Compared to other hotel booking sites, the HotelTonight business model offers users more than 50% discounts on luxury rooms for last-minute booking deals.

What’s more, the site guarantees that if you find a lower publicly available rate, you can put up a claim and get HotelTonight credits.

User-Friendly Interface

The website is catchy and clutter-free. This way, you can get your task done in minutes, even if you’re visiting for the first time.

Ample Customer Resources

Although it lacks any direct contact option, the website provides answers to your queries through its detailed FAQ page and help center.

No User Fee

HotelTonight does not charge any extra fees or hidden charges from its users. Instead, it generates revenue through partner hotel brands.

Earning Opportunity

If you own a lodging property in a major city, you can list your property on HotelTonight and become a partner. This will ensure that none of your rooms stay empty and help maximize your income in the long run.

Cons of HotelTonight

Yes, the benefits of HotelTonight are pretty attractive but let’s be honest, last-minute planning is not for everyone.

Even if you are willing to change your preferences, there are some drawbacks you should know about HotelTonight before using it.

No Room Type Guaranteed

HotelTonight lets you choose from a list of room types, there is no guarantee that you will find the kind you select whenever you search for them. Similarly, there is no binding clause that states that the room you book should fit two adults.

This means, if you are stuck with a small room, the hotel may charge you or refuse to find a place for your extra guests altogether.

You can contact reservations after you make the booking but they likely will not give you a better room as they have no insight into the system.

Non-Refundable Bookings

Of course, with same-day bookings, it is quite evident that the platform will not provide any refund if you change your mind.

Say goodbye to the potential for a full refund if you have a horrible experience. In this instance, you will want to consider contacting your credit card company to see what can happen. Also, speaking with the front desk won’t resolve anything since the reservation is paid directly through HotelTonight.

Shady Ratings

Like other hotel booking websites, HotelTonight also collects feedback from its clients to rate the properties listed on the platform.

However, most ratings you see on the website are above 90%. Meaning you should cross-check hotel ratings on other websites before confirming your booking.

Not a Great Option for Loyal Customers

If you love racking up those travel credit card points, Hotel Tonight is not for you. You won’t be able to earn travel rewards points with your favorite hotel loyalty program.

Key Features

After a brief overview of HotelTonight, it is time for the detailed part of my HotelTonight review. Here, I will explain each of its features individually to further explain in case you’re planning to use it for your next vacation.

HotelTonight Hotel Deals

The most famous aspect of HotelTonight is its outrageous hotel deals. You can book a hotel for up to seven days before your trip and choose the check-in and check-out dates of your choice.

Besides that, when you find a hotel that appeals to you, you can view all its details, including a map that shows its exact location and proximity to major landmarks.

Along with high-quality photographs of the hotel, you can get a list of facilities available to see if they fit your needs. Also, each hotel specifies charges for any extra add-ons like breakfast or wifi connection.

HotelTonight Room Type

The HotelTonight room type specifications make it stand out among its contemporaries. Rather than using stars to rate hotels, Hotel Tonight categorizes them into multiple room types so you can find an option that fits your needs.

The categories include,

  • Luxe – A list of high-end hotels with luxury services and lavish amenities for those who don’t want to compromise on comfort.
  • Hip – Popular, trendy hotels in the location.
  • Solid – The most comfortable hotels with all the necessary amenities for family and couple vacations.
  • Basic – moderately-priced hotels for those who are looking for affordable deals combined with good facilities.
  • Charming – Intimate accommodation options such as small inns, rental apartments, and B&Bs.
  • Crashpad – Low-priced hostels and rooms with minimal amenities for backpackers.
  • High-Roller – Over-the-top suites and penthouses for those who prioritize luxury and grandeur over everything else.

HotelTonight App Review

The HotelTonight app is available for both Android and iOS users who don’t want to visit the site to conduct their bookings.

HotelTonight app

Just run the app whenever you want on your smartphone and book your accommodations on the go with their user-friendly interface.

Customer Service

While using the HotelTonight website or app, you can refer to the help center to resolve any issues you have during operation.

HotelTonight CustomerService

Similarly, the neatly categorized FAQ page helps you get immediate answers while booking hotels last minute. Another excellent customer service feature is the live chat option as soon as you book a hotel.

HotalTonight FAQs

You can correspond with a customer service representative and receive guidance regarding your accommodation whenever you need it throughout your stay. However, most customer service jobs held here may not be in your local time zone

Overall Rating

  • Ease of Use – 5 / 5
  • Features – 4 / 5
  • Value for Money – 5 / 5
  • Customer Service – 4 / 5

Hotel Tonight Reviews

While we’ve provided our review, let’s outline what we’ve seen from other people. As mentioned, Hotel Tonight has received excellent reviews over the years. Apparently, it is a safe and secure way to book hotels last minute. However, if you are still unsure about using this platform for your next vacation, check out what others have to say about HotelTonight too before making your final decision.

While Hotel Tonight has generally positive reviews online, it’s important to do your own research before booking. We continue to favor or as better alternatives to Hotel Tonight.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one watchdog group that you can consult for more information on companies as well as user-compiled reviews.

As of this writing, Hotel Tonight has an A+ rating with the BBB. This is due to the company’s commitment to resolving complaints and working with customers to ensure they’re satisfied with their experience.

HotelTonight App Reviews

Using the app, you aren’t able to reach reservations as easily as making the booking directly with the hotel like other customers.

The mobile app has mixed reviews on the Google Play Store. Some users complain about the app crashing, while others note that it is a convenient and easy-to-use option for booking hotels. Overall, the app has a rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars.

On the App Store, HotelTonight has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Users appreciate the app’s convenience and easy-to-use design. However, some users note that there have been times when they were not able to find a room through the app.

If you need a hotel to book tonight or extremely last minute, you may want to consider this to find a hotel room for a single-night stay. However, I wouldn’t fully rely on the app for a two weeks vacation.

Is Hotel Tonight Legit?

Concluding my Hotel Tonight review, the San Francisco-based website is definitely legit for last-minute users. However, if you like to plan all the aspects of your vacation and ensure every facility is in place, this website is not for you.

Nevertheless, you should check the availability and prices while booking your accommodation to get the ultimate value for your money.


Does HotelTonight have hidden fees?

HotelTonight has a simple and pretty straightforward pricing model. It says right upfront before you make a reservation: “No hidden hotel fees.” The fees on standard hotel taxes should be paid by the hotels themselves.

Is HotelTonight a legit site?

Yes, HotelTonight is a legit website. With customer reviews and ratings averaging 4 out of 5 stars across the board, people are entrusting their personal information to this site with absolute confidence.

Is HotelTonight actually cheaper?

HotelTonight is cheaper than booking a room through a traditional travel agent or online travel site which can save you money. By bypassing the middleman, HotelTonight can offer lower rates and still make a profit. Plus, you can often find great deals on a last-minute room through HotelTonight.

Related Reviews

Related Resources



Ease of Use




Value for Money


Customer Service





  • Affordable Deals
  • Neatly Organized Lists
  • User-Friendly Interface
  • No User Fee
  • Ample Customer Resources


  • No Room Type Guarantee
  • Shady Ratings

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