A few days ago I was asked If I could check out a hotel search engine called the Hotel Calulator. I was a bit dubious at first, as I have had mixed results with hotel booking search engines before, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the Hotel Calculator! Read on to get my verdict…
First off, what is the site for? Hotel Calculator allows you search and book more than 100,000 hotels by comparing results from over 20 travel sites. That’s some pretty impressive stats right there. If you have ever used the flight comparison service Kayak then you will know what to expect.
Ok, lets get down to business. The first thing that strikes me about the hotelcalculator.com is its simple design. There is no clutter that makes things hard to find, type your destination into the search box, which by the way has a nice time saving auto-complete function. Select the dates, number of guests and number of rooms, press “Search Hotels” and you’re away.
The search results appear really quick considering the site is searching through so many hotels, even on my painfully slow connection! Nobody likes waiting around for sites to load so this is definitely a positive! Not only did it load quickly, but I was about to be impressed once again…
This is really cool. Once the intial search results have loaded, the site has a shed load of refinement options! Of course there is the usual sort by price etc, but the Hotel Calculator allows you to narrow your search by location, amenities, rating and type, all of which also have a huge number of sub-categories.
This is a real time saver as it prevents you from having to wade through hundreds of results trying to find the hotels that have all the specifications you need. Instead, if I need a hotel with Internet access, I check the internet box, click apply, and as if by magic I am left with only blogger friendly internet providing hotels to choose from.
I honestly don’t think I have seen search narrowing facilities as good as this before.
This is another great feature, and again, something I don’t think I have seen on a site like this before. Sat to the left of each search result is a handy little “add to shortlist” check box. Basically, if you see two or three hotels that you like the look of, check the box and then click save shortlist up the top. The site then gives you a link to your short list with only the hotels you selected on it. You can then share this list with friends to compare and make a final decision. This is a great idea, and is just another of one of the many things that set this site apart from the competition!
Although it is not the case for everyone, for us budget is important. A site like this could have all the features in the world but still be useless if the results it offered were extortionate. Luckily this isn’t the case with Hotel Calculator. It provides great selection price of levels, ranging from the luxury to the basic.
On our trip, we plan to stay mainly in hostels, so I was interested to see if the site would include any in its results. It does! When searching for rooms in Rio De Janiero (our first stop), the site included two hostels in its results. Not a huge amount, and I would definitely like to see more in the future, but it is better than none at all.
I am pleased to have come across this site. It is always nice when something exceeds your expectations. The clever people behind the Hotel Calculator have obviously done their reserach, and as a result they have created a product that will be useful to travellers all over the world, and not just us backpackers. It makes finding, comparing and booking hotels a quick and painless experience. I can see this site becoming very successful in the near future and it defintely deserves a bookmark. Go check it out hotelcalculator.com