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Originally published Monday, February 21, 2011 at 10:02 AM

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Hotel app alerts travelers to last-minute deals

The well-designed Hotel Tonight app helps last-minute travelers nab a deal on a same-day stay.

Los Angeles Times

Here's a well-designed hotel app that helps last-minute travelers nab a deal on a same-day stay.

Name: Hotel Tonight

Available for: iPhone and iPad

What it does: Offers three hotel deals every day at noon, local time, that are good for a stay that night in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles (Hollywood), New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Choose from "hip," "elegant" or "basic" categories until 2 a.m.

Cost: Free to download; a $25 credit is applied to your first purchase.

What's hot: The deals are inviting, but the real treat is how intuitive this app is. Users get a quick sense of the hotel with photos and information on amenities. The app also has a simple, professional design. Finding an "elegant" hotel in San Francisco for $169, for instance, when the hotel's website listed $251 as the lowest rate, was a find.

What's not: It would be helpful to know how many rooms are still available as the night wears on. (If a deal sells out, Hotel Tonight says it will replace it with a deal at another of its partner hotels.) More cities would be great too. There are plans to add Las Vegas, Miami, San Diego and Seattle.

Worth it: Absolutely. It's just as useful for locals having a late night out as it is for spontaneous travelers looking for good values.

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