How to Use Hotel Tonight To Save Money – Our Review

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Hotel Tonight

Hotel Tonight Review – A Great App for Saving Money

Today I am reviewing one of my favorite travel apps Hotel Tonight. I first heard about Hotel Tonight a couple of years ago when they were offering a pretty lucrative bonus of $50. (You can still get $25 in credit for signing up with promo code SCOOMER2. Find the full details towards the end of this review in the “Free Money” section.) I was able to use that money to for a Staycation here in Las Vegas. The process was simple and the stay smooth.

Since then I have used the app many different times to book last minute stays including several here in Las Vegas. I have found that their prices are often the lowest around. In September, 2014 Hotel Tonight added the ability to book hotels up to seven days in advance. Through the end of October, 2014 they are offering 10% back in Hotel Tonight credit when booking rooms in advance.

App Basics

Hotel Tonight logo

Up until last month, the premise of Hotel Tonight was simple. You fired up the app on the same day that you needed a hotel.  While you can now book rooms up to seven days in advance, same day bookings are still the apps strong suit. Since hotels are trying to fill their rooms, Hotel Tonight often has deeply discounted rates that other online travel agents can’t match.

Over the past couple of years Hotel Tonight has improved the user experience by making the app much more visual.  All of the information you need to know about the hotel you are looking at is easily accessible. Also, the addition of high-res photos has really made a difference when browsing through properties.

Booking A Hotel

Using the Hotel Tonight app is simple.  After the initial process of signing up, you will be presented with hotels in your area when firing up the app.  If you need to book for a different city, simply click the hourglass logo which will take you to the search screen.

From there click one of the popular cities or type in the area you are looking for. Currently Hotel Tonight lists rooms in well over a hundred cities located across more than 20 countries.

Hotel Tonight search screen
Hotel Tonight search screen.

After selecting your city, you will be presented with a list of hotels. You will notice at the top that you can set which dates you are looking for. Stays can be searched up to 7 days before hand. When changing the days and amount of nights, the available hotels and prices will change based on availability and rates.

Las Vegas hotels for a Sunday-Tuesday booking.
Las Vegas hotels for a Sunday-Tuesday booking.

You can also click the “View Map” button at the bottom to see where all of the hotels are located around the city.

Hotel Tonight map.
A map showing the available hotels in the area.

When looking at hotel listings, you may notice that each hotel has a description such as “Solid” or “Luxe”.  Hotel Tonight actually uses seven different descriptions to describe available hotels.

  • Luxe – An upscale hotel with stellar service, lavish amenities and serous comfort, for when your feelin’ swanky.
  • Hip – A stylish, sometimes quirky hot spot that’s as popular with in-the-know locals as it is with travelers.
  • Solid – A comfortable, reliable hotel with all the gotta-have-em amenities.
  • Basic – A modest hotel with limited extras, perfect for when you need a place to lay your head.
  • Charming – A hotel, B&B or guest house that’s quaint, intimate and delightful.
  • Crashpad – A budget hostel or inn without many amenities, for those nights you don’t need ’em.
  • High Roller – An over-the-top, tricked-out suite or penthouse for VIPs and high rollers.

Hotel Tonight hotel types.
Hotel Tonight – Hotel types and explanations.

Once you choose a hotel, you will be taken to that properties page.  This page displays a photo which can be tapped to bring up an entire photo gallery. Scroll down and you will find all of the pertinent information regarding the hotel. You never have to go to another tab or leave that section.

Among the information Hotel Tonight provides, is a map, list of amenities and information regarding ancillary fees. They also list the hotel’s main selling points under the “Why We Like It” section. This quick synopsis often proves to be helpful when you are looking at a lot of properties.

An example of the Hotel Tonight listing for the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
An example of the Hotel Tonight listing for the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

An example of the Hotel Tonight listing for the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
An example of the Hotel Tonight listing for the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

An example of the Hotel Tonight listing for the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
An example of the Hotel Tonight listing for the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

As you scroll through the listing, you will notice the “Book Now” bar on the bottom of the screen. At any point you can click this to go to the booking screen. On the booking screen you will see a breakdown of the room rate, taxes and fees and the total rate.  If you have any credits, they will be applied towards your total here.  Once you are ready to book, click “Select Card”, enter your credit card information and the room is yours!

A Few More Things

Hotel Tonight does not guarantee a specific room type.  Additionally, the rooms you book are only guaranteed to fit at least two adults.  While you may be able to bring more people, the hotel has the option to charge you extra and there is no guarantee that they will have a room to accommodate them.

All bookings are non-refundable which makes sense given the last minute nature of the app. Hotel Tonight does have a best price guarantee though. If you find a lower publicly available rate that matches up, they will give you the difference in the form of Hotel Tonight credits.  I have usually found their rates to be quite a bit lower than other sites, so this hasn’t been an issue for me.

Hotel Tonight price guarantee.

After checking out, Hotel Tonight will prompt you to leave feedback regarding the property. Hotel Tonight uses this information to give each hotel a rating. I don’t know if they only choose good hotels or the rating system is flawed, but I rarely ever see a rating below 90%. In my opinion it is hard to determine how accurate the rating system is, so I recommend seeking out reviews elsewhere before booking, as they don’t provide enough information regarding their rating process.

Free Money

Hotel Tonight is available on iOS, Android & Windows Phone.  New members who download the app will receive $25 after using the code: SPCOOMER2 when signing up. (Please note that is our referral code. You receive $25 when signing up and I receive a $25 credit after you complete your first stay.)

Everyone has a referral code that will give you $25 so feel free to use a friend’s or post yours in the comments.  If you use our code, then we sincerely thank you for the support!

From time to time Hotel Tonight comes out with new promo codes for existing users as well.  You can redeem the promo codes from the “Credits” section of the app. Right now there aren’t any that I can find, but it is a good idea to be on the lookout for them.  Free money after all is a good thing.


I have booked several hotels over the past couple of years with the Hotel Tonight app.  The app itself is beautiful and continues to improve with every update. It gives you an abundance of information about the hotels along with phenomenal rates. Now that they have added the ability to book up to 7 days in advance, things are even better.

If you are the person who micromanages and plans everything in advance then this app isn’t for you.  On the other hand if you are someone like me who likes to be flexible or you find yourself in need of a last minute room, this app should become a tool in your travel arsenal.

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Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. I used HotelTonight to book a room in the Detroit area when the airport shutdown due to ice storm. I managed to get into a room, but HotelTonight booked me for the following night (I got the last room), and then 2 weeks later someone used my “membership” AND MY CREDIT CARD for 2 nights at a very expensive hotel somewhere else. I didn’t find out until my credit card bill came. I called HotelTonight customer service and was shortly talking with a nice customer service agent, who took my info and said she would have to pass my complaint on to others. They got back within an hour, rejecting my claim, so as far as they are concerned, I’m out well over $500 for a 2 night stay at a nice hotel in some unknown (to me) location that they wouldn’t share with me. The only people who could possibly have my membership/account number and my credit card number are people who work for HotelTonight. Do not use this scam! The sound oh, so nice, but they will use your identification and credit card and not take responsibility for it. I’ve never had an issue with any other hotel or agency, and I have traveled extensively across 2 continents for work for decades.

  2. used their site once to book two separate rooms. later was told they could only do one room. went on another site and WAS able to book two rooms (and at a lower price). called hotel tonight back to cancel the one room. they said it would take time and would let us know. checked out the next morning and paid for both rooms, and then later was charged by hotel tonight that they couldn’t cancel – they have a no refund policy. so ended up paying twice for one night’s stay. I will never use this site again.

  3. One thing to note … Real their legal eagle fine print which is very confusing when it comes to their taxes and fees section. I noticed that the ‘taxes and fees’ for all my bookings seemed very high even when I booked hotels which had no resort fees, etc. When I inquired as to why taxes and fees were almost 35% of the room price when no fee was charged … I was told to check their terms and conditions on taxes and fees. It seems like sometimes (over half the time now that I go back and do the math) hotel tonight charges a booking fee or ‘cutting service fee’s which is rolled into ‘taxes and fee’s. The thing is … They refuse to break out the taxes and fees section so anyone traveling for business who has to explain to an auditor exact charges will be in trouble because the generic ‘taxes and fees’ is not broken down. Very misleading as often the hotel isn’t as cheap as it looks compared to all the other sites (hotwire, Priceline, Orbitz, which charge no customer service booking fee. I’ve had some good buys on the app but I’m tired of fighting with my accounting department over hidden fees not being broken down, so I’m out.

  4. TERRIBLE APP. Used hotel tonight; went through the confirmation process after selecting room… name, cc, etc., only then did the app tell me the hotel was ACTUALLY sold out. Hotel Tonigh chat toperson told me it was booked while I was booking??? I went to Orbitz, booked The Room in a couple minutes for $7 cheaper. I deleted the app immediately – it’s useless.

  5. This app is great for getting cheap hotel rates, but the second time I used it my Visa information was hacked by someone in Kenya and a fraudulent transfer of nearly $3,000 was made from the associated checking account. I immediately contacted Hotels Tonight via email (which was totally ignored by them) and telephone. I had two of the poorest conversations with their representatives who only wanted to state that I had no recourse through Hotels Tonight and that there was nothing that they could do for me, not even open a fraud claim, complaint, etc. My overriding goal was to get assurances through them that whatever security issue caused this breach would be addressed, but their position is that they have “the highest security” in the industry. Not a compelling statement when $3,000 was taken from me the second time I used the app…

  6. I had a horrible experience using the app. The hotel assigned me a room with cockroaches and lizards. When i contacted the hoteltonight customer service, they did not care at all! This is one of the worst experiences I have had dealing with any customer service. Stay away from this app!

  7. Stay away from Hotel Tonight for many reasons! I have traveled millions of miles for work and have seven years worth of hotel rooms and the experience I had with both Hotel Tonight and the hotel Manahattan at Times Square a property which I reserved through the site now both have the dubious honor of being the worst experience I ever had with a hotel. Where do I start? Nobody but nobody would take any responsibility. There was a two hour wait to check in due to hotel housekeeping issues. Then they “lost” my reservation and since it was prepaid I had no recourse. I requested to be refunded and they would not do it, promising me a room right away along with the other fifty guests, who were promised the same. Any “real” hotel would have had the situation immediately rectified. Or placed their guests at another hotel. Next they ran out of keys and I had to be escorted to my room by security anytime I left or returned. I was In an executive level room ( I would hate to see what a regular room was like ) and the toilet was not flushed with what children would call number two. All I wanted was a refund to go to another hotel, but neither the hotel nor Hotel Tonight would refund my money blaming each other for lack of said refund. Of course everybody was very sorry. I wish all I had to do at my job is be sorry…and to add insult to injury I am right by three elevators that sound like they are cutting though the room – again I am on an executive level and the hotel would not move me. Did I mention the noise of people partying in the hall? I am truly disappointed with Hotel Tonight unless I had unrealistic expectations – they were not less expensive than booking directly with a hotel – in fact they were more expensive than my travel agency, I was treated poorly – not like a real guest since I booked through a third party and the hotel was noisy due to elevators, fans and other guests – certainly not like their luxe description of this property. Speaking of descriptions WOW talk about being misguided!! There was nothing luxe about the hotel. The lobby looked like a worn down train station with neon lights and bad furniture. The rooms were small and cramped ( remember I am on the executive, special floor) with paper thin walls. Thank goodness one of my noisy neighbors was only watching television too loudly..

    • It should be SCOOMER2. Make sure to use all caps. Just verified it should be working. Also make sure you type it in and don’t copy/paste. Sometimes that messes it up.

  8. Hi Shawn tried using both codes mentioned here SCOOMER2 & SPCOOMER2 and neither one worked. Any thoughts? Thank you.

  9. Hey Shawn!

    I did this: “Hotel Tonight is available on iOS, Android & Windows Phone. New members who download the app will receive $25 after using the code: SPCOOMER2 when signing up. (Please note that is our referral code. You receive $25 when signing up and I receive a $25 credit after you complete your first stay.)”

    The app says it does not recognize the code. Did you get a new referral code or is this dead or…?

    Can you help a brother out?



  10. never ever have i seen a goid rate w this comoany! You would be lucky to get 10 percent off the rack rate! I wonder if this is a paid testemonial?

  11. They are thieves. Overpriced by FAR you’re better off calling the hotel directly for a better rate. I will NEVER USE THEIR “service” again.

    • Not every company is going to have the lowest prices all of the time. I have written about a few times where I have saved quite a bit off of what any other site was charging. Of course there are times they weren’t cheaper and I decided to book elsewhere.

      Hotel Tonight should be a tool along with many others that one uses to find the best rates. Thanks!


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