Google just made it easier to book a hotel room, just in case you’re planning some travel for spring break. (Is it possible to write those words and not hear it in the voice of James Franco’s character in Spring Breakers?)
The company has been dabbling in the hotel booking space for a while now, including a spotlight feature that highlighted hotel deals that was unveiled in advance of the holiday travel season last year. Now, as spotted by Skift, Google unveiled a bunch of new features in Google Flights and Hotels, in a blog post published late last week.
Once you decide on a destination and start looking for flights, Google’s price insight will pop up, which some users may recognize but was previously only available for holiday dates last year. The price insight will tell travelers whether they are overpaying for a fare, getting a deal, or forking over an average amount of cash for a plane ticket.
Similarly, Google’s newly launched full-fledged hotel booking site will let you determine whether you’re getting a deal for your chosen hotel and how that rate compares to nearby options with similar amenities. For instance, if you want to go to Cincinnati during the last week of March, just add the details to the Google site, choose between Hampton Inn, the Quality Inn, and another Hampton Inn, and Google will tell you if you’re getting a bargain.
Once you’re ready to choose, the “Book a room” button is hard to miss. Click it and it links to either the hotel directly, or a third-party booking site, or there is an option to book right on Google. If you are overwhelmed by options or just like a bargain, apply the “Deals” filter, which Google says “uses machine learning to highlight hotels where one or more of our partners offer rates that are significantly lower than the usual price for that hotel or similar hotels nearby.”
It’s quick, easy, and sure to annoy the heck out of Hotels.com and Booking.com.