Android App Review: Hotel Quickly

Hotel Quickly is an international app that has recently expanded to New Zealand. It lets you book cheap hotel rooms at discounted prices and has a charming tone, but a few technical flaws let it down a bit.

Let’s start with the good points. First of all, Hotel Quickly is cheap. It matches last-minute bookers with unoccupied hotel rooms so it can give them discounted rates, and offers additional discounts and promo codes just for using the app.

You choose between a selection of rooms which are ranked by cost, rating or proximity. The range isn’t huge but Hotel Quickly assures us that this is because they are very selective about which hotels they work with.

An unexpected good point: the tone of the writing in the app seems playful and refreshingly light-hearted to someone like me (who has to read plenty of corporate waffle in apps).

It’s fun and surprisingly irreverent – there’s even a poo joke in the FAQ (I assume it’s a joke. There’s a poo reference, anyway. I have to assume it’s there for comedic effect, I mean we all know hotels have toilets).

Another good point is that the customer-service staff are quick and attentive. But unfortunately that brings us to the bad points – the fact that I had to get in touch with their service staff at all is a warning sign.

I was originally going to write about how you have to be (ahem) quick using the app – in the time you take to book, that room might get snapped up.

But this happened to me repeatedly, so often that I gave up for the day, tried again the next, and even then it still took several goes to actually be able to book a room. The border between ‘oops gotta be quick’ and ‘yeah sorry our app just doesn’t function that well’ is a thin one.

Eventually I was able to book a room, or at least that’s what the app told me; when I called the hotel they had no knowledge of my booking, or of Hotel Quickly.

As an icing on the hassle-cake, there are local support numbers for most of the countries the app services, but if you’re in NZ you have to call the international number.

The support people were pretty quick to get back to my email but if you’re stranded in a foreign city this is the sort of stressful experience you really don’t want to have to deal with.

Anyway, it was all sorted eventually, and when the system works it’s good – it’s easy, straightforward, and significantly cheaper than booking a hotel the traditional way. The only sticking point is that ‘when the system works’ bit.

This is a new app to the New Zealand market, and I really hope the technical hiccups I experienced are just teething glitches that they’ll be able to smooth over soon. This is a neat idea for an app, and it does work. Assuming it works reliably it’ll be one I’d happily recommend.

If you’d like to try it for yourself – and if you’re travelling anywhere soon and you’d like to save some money, why not give it a go? – Hotel Quickly are offering a discount voucher to Techday readers. Just use the promo code TECHDAY25 and you’ll get $25 off your first booking.

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