What if you could book a beautiful room at a tasteful hotel for less than expected in the time it takes to ride the elevator down from work? We test out a new last-minute booking app that's bringing a touch of spontaneity to the staycation experience.
There's a lot you can do with a smartphone during your daily NYC commute. You can check all of your social media accounts, chip away at the neverending stream of emails, and order your usual from Seamless so that it arrives home when you do. Or you can break from routine and book a really nice hotel room on the fly.
That's what I did with One Night, a free app from The Standard Hotels team that allows users to make same-night reservations at a variety of cool hotels in New York and Los Angeles. The app works by accessing hotel rooms that haven't been filled at their lowest rates from hotspots like: 1 Hotel Central Park, 11 Howard, The NoMad Hotel, Refinery Hotel, Wythe Hotel, and Urban Cowboy in NYC, and Palihouse Melrose, Petit Ermitage, Sixty Beverly Hills, Casa Laguna Hotel & Spa, and The Line in LA. It goes without saying, but The Standard hotels are also on the list.
The process is simple. So simple, I was able to snag a room at The Standard, High Line, on Halloween weekend in less time than it takes to post a photo to Instagram. Before the booking window opens at 3 p.m., create an account (it's as easy as logging in with Facebook and scanning your credit card). To get a feel for the properties, visualize them on the built-in map and consult the hourly itinerary that comes with each hotel, which actually has good suggestions for the neighborhood. When the metaphorical ball drops, scroll through the available rooms and swipe left to make a reservation. Congratulations! Check in is as soon as you can make it to the front desk.
While the app may come in handy during impromptu visits, it is not meant to be used as a planning tool for extended getaways. Rooms can only be booked for the night of, though it's possible to add on an extra day (at some hotels) and push checkout to 3 p.m. (at all hotels). One Night is a beautifully designed platform featuring some of the best high-design hotels at low prices, making it a convenient and thrilling way to book a spontaneous staycation with a flick of the wrist.
Available on iTunes and Google Play.