Hotel Pic of the Week: La Residencia Hotel Deià, Mallorca

This beautiful boutique hotel is located in Deià, amidst the Tramuntana Mountains of Mallorca and said to be one of Spain’s most luxurious hotels. Historical buildings have been converted into a 5-star hotel by keeping most original features and furnishing it with local antiques.

La Residencia has 2 outdoor and an indoor pool, plus 3 luxury suites with their own private pools.
It is also home of the famous El Olivo gourmet restaurant.

The hotel was once owned by Richard Branson of Virgin before Orient-Express Hotels took over in 2002.

View more photos of La Residencia Hotel Mallorca on Flickr

 

The Hotel and Travel Week

Google Hotel Finder launches in Germany

This week saw the launch of Google Hotel Finder in Germany. Now, the hotel search is also available in German language and is incorporated into both Google Maps and Web search. Hotel Finder lists every hotel world-wide that is also found in other hotel or travel portals. The data come exclusively from the various vendors, that when the search is successful, will process the booking.

Google Hotel Finder @ www.google.de/hotels/

While the search is presented in a very simple way with 2 form fields asking for destination and check-in plus check-out dates, the results page much reminds of Google Maps.

Google Hotel Finder Results Page on Google.de

On the right a map displaying hotels as red dots which show the hotel name when hovered over. The same results are also displayed in list form on the left. Some filters such as price, star rating, user rating and brand can be found directly above the map.

Google Hotel Finder Custom Area Search on Google.de

By clicking on “Custom Area” the desired area can be chosen on the map, and the results change accordingly. There seem to be pre-defined sectors in major destinations but the user can also define their own specific area. Zooming in works in the same way.
Once you’ve found an interesting hotel, but would still like to keep looking, it may simply be dragged and dropped into the list – where it can be accessed again in one click later on.
Also interesting is the price comparison indicating whether the chosen accommodation  is cheaper or more expensive than average on the desired dates. All other details about the hotel are displayed in the detailed view, including reviews from Zagat and Google+ likes.

Google Hotel Finder Detail Page on Google.de

The hotel reservation can then be carried out via various providers or directly on the hotel website, although the owners website is usually shown at the bottom of the booking link list and doesn’t have a rate indication (see above). Google will then forward the booker to the partner website and has done it’s job. It is not involved in the booking process, though there is speculation that Google gets 0.2% commission per booking.

Google Hotel Finder Form on Google.de

Google has also integrated its hotel finder in the web search. For searches like “Hotel Berlin” there is a form displayed with the choice of check-in and check-out dates.

It will be interesting to see how OTAs will fare with this new Google offer. On one hand Google Hotel Finder might render OTAs unnecessary and their traffic may suffer.
On the other hand, Google still forwards all bookings to the websites user select and this could often be OTAs if they offer a competitive price.

We would love to hear from you, what you think!

 

Hotel Pic of the Week: Waldorf Astoria Hotel Berlin


Waldorf Astoria Hotel Berlin, originally uploaded by Corinna Witt.

The new Waldorf Astoria Hotel had it’s official launch party a few weeks ago after a soft opening end of 2012. It’s located next to Bahnhof Zoo and should inject some luxury back into the area.
Do check out the library on the 15th floor for great views onto the City West with the famous Memorial Church (Gedächtniskirche).

View more photos of Berlin Hotels on Flickr