Budget hotel chain Travelodge has just released a handy iPhone app that locates nearby hotels, allowing users to make a reservation. 

The iBooker app can be downloaded free of charge from the app store, and makes good use of the phone's GPS functions.

I've been trying it out...

iBooker iPhone app

Simply open the iBooker app and it will automatically open up a browser window for you and show you the five hotels nearest to your current location, complete with a photo of the hotels. All good, but perhaps linking to Google Maps to provide directions would be useful here:

iBooker search results

It assumes that you are looking for a hotel for that night, and returns results for available rooms, but search parameters such as date and location can be changed.

Prices and other information is provided on available rooms, and options can be changed using the iPhone's scroll down menus. All simple enough so far:

iBooker room information

The Travelodge mobile site has been well optimised for the iPhone, and the menu options are all simple to use; it only becomes complicated when adding address and other details, and though the process has been made as simple as possible there are a couple of areas for improvement. 

For example, though no payment is taken, users are required to enter credit card details to confirm the booking, which seems an unnecessary step, and one that makes the whole process a little bit longer.

Also, on the address entry page, users need to type in the address, when it would be better to take a postcode and house number first and avoid unnecessary data entry:

iBooker app - address entry

Apart from these relatively minor usability issues, iBooker is a useful app, and booking hotels is something well suited to a mobile app, and though Travelodge is the first UK hotel firm to come up with an app, other chains could easily follow, either through a downloadable app, or an iPhone optimised website. A good effort though.

Graham Charlton

Published 31 March, 2009 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (3)


Yan Kit Chan

It is great to have websites optimised for mobile and pda regardless of industry since 3g on mobile has really flourished. I wonder how useful it is to develop an app for the more upper scale brands though since I imagine, those brands have a longer lead time comparatively speaking, and comparatively few people would suddenly decide to spend 100 pounds for a night. Coupled with the usual booking message that "earlier one books, cheaper the booking is", I have doubts over whether other hotels will follow suit.

what will be really good for an app to do is perhaps based on alerts? users define prices, location and rough date(s) they want to be allerted on, or users may fix a price range, and get alerted on what locations are available for a weekend break etc.

over 9 years ago


Rachel Burkot

This does seem like it would make good use of a phone's GPS functions. It also seems like a practical way to use mobile internet. So much of what mobile internet is used for could easily be done from home, but for travellers, this application seems like it will be useful and effective.

over 9 years ago



where has this app gone ? I cannot find it on the app store ???

about 7 years ago

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