You won’t see too many reviews of hotel booking sites on our blog. It seems like there are hundreds popping up every day (I may be slightly exaggerating) and I always ask myself, “What makes you different from the other hotel booking sites?”
When TravelPony.com approached us to write a review, my initial reaction was to politely decline. But their tagline, “Where Social Travelers Save More on Hotels” got my attention.
TravelPony.com: Just Another Hotel Booking Site?
When you begin a search, it is required that you log into your Facebook account in order to show the members-only prices. Before you approve the log in, this message will pop up:
“We never post to your wall without your consent”
“We respect your privacy so we only request your name and email”
“Facebook is used as a convenient way to create and access your account”
Sounds easy enough, right?
Each city search shows you the savings compared to all of the major booking sites. (I verified the numbers with the other sites and they were spot on.) The savings range anywhere from 1-70% below the big travel sites.
Here’s what they have to say about why they are able to offer such low rates:
“Spread the word about TravelPony. This is how we can offer such low rates. Our customers are our best marketers!”
This is smart marketing. Most large companies spend thousands or more every year on advertising to get their name out — which ultimately means higher prices for their customers. But some companies are beginning to understand that their customers can be their loudest fans as long as they can provide something other companies are not — like lower prices.
Here is the best part about TravelPony.com:
At first I thought, “I’m not sure how I feel about posting a sales pitch on my Facebook page every time I book a hotel.” So, I looked into it further and the customer has complete control over what they post or even if they post anything at all. If you choose to share the deal with your friends, the message is completely editable and you can write as much — or as little — as you feel comfortable with.
They even go a step further. If you decide not to post on your social media page, then you can just take the “Pony Promise” to tell your friends about it offline.
I found the site easy to use. You pick a city, enter your dates and the list of hotels comes up on the right side of the page.
You can sort the hotels by: PonySavings, Price, Top Deals, Standard Hotels and Upscale Hotels.
Once you click on a hotel, you can view the hotel’s location on a map and conveniently enter any destination to see how far it is from a particular place.
You can make changes to your reservation by logging in to your account or calling and talking to a live representative.
They pull their hotel reviews from Yelp.com.
Room for Improvement
TravelPony.com just launched in July 2013, so right now they only offer hotel bookings in major U.S. cities as well as Paris and London. They don’t have as many hotels available as the bigger hotel booking websites because they are so new.
I’m excited to see this site grow its inventory and I will definitely be adding it to the list of sites I check when booking a hotel online.
Have you heard of TravelPony.com?
This post is brought to you by TravelPony.com — who asked us to provide an honest review of their hotel booking site. As always, all opinions are our own.