Hipmunk Bases Hotel Search On Neighborhoods, Trip Purpose

Hipmunk this week is launching new hotel booking features allowing users to search by neighborhood and providing detailed information about ancillary fees. Travelers also could indicate as search criteria the nature of the trip__business, family travel or romance, for example__and the results will highlight the best fit.

Hipmunk tapped local bloggers and writers in each city to develop map-based neighborhood guides for its booking tool, said CEO Adam Goldstein.

"This is the first site that pulls together information in a single place and gives you context about that neighborhood," Goldstein said. "All of that context comes together with a beautiful visualization of the cities."

Travelers can also pull in calendar events to see which hotels are near their meetings, he said.

Hipmunk gathered data for the listing of all ancillary fees, such as charges for Wi-Fi or parking, by directly calling up 50,000 hotels in the United States, Goldstein said.

Roughly one-third of Hipmunk's bookings are for business travel, according to Goldstein. While most of those are in unmanaged programs, some travelers in managed programs also use Hipmunk to comparison shop before booking or for cities in which their companies do not offer negotiated rates, he said.

Goldstein is a judge in this year's PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit, taking place Scottsdale, AZ this week.