I recently got contacted by TravelPony.com – a hotel booking website with a new twist – you save money on hotels by posting on social media. Basically you promote where you stay on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #ShareThePony, you get cheaper rates. And from what I’ve checked out – looking at hotel in Las Vegas on TravelPony, Expedia, Oribtz, and straight at the casinos – the rates on TravelPony are usually the cheapest. Sometimes $20-40 or more cheaper!
TravelPony asked if I would review their site – from the booking process straight through do I get the room I booked. So I decided a little staycation would be nice, especially after my current week of crazy long work hours, so I went on TravelPony and booked a night at the Rio.
TravelPony won points right away with how easy to use, and the fact that they lay out prices very simply and upfront for you. No multiple pages and having to go all the way to the final booking page to find your total price here. You put in your city, TravelPony lists hotels with deals, you pick a hotel, and on the next page you pick your room. But the best part, it says EXACTLY what you will pay for each room right here, on page 2, including the taxes and fees, before you even pick the type of room you want!
The first page lists the hotels (you can also click on the map on the left and search by location)
On the second page (I used the HardRock Hotel because it has multiple rooms to choose from) you see all the available rooms WITH taxes and the total price per room. THIS IS ONLY THE 2nd PAGE!
The only thing it doesn’t include is the resort fees (but this extra ‘resort’ fee, which usually includes internet, the pool, spa, and fitness areas, is pretty much an extra charge exclusive to Vegas hotels and casinos. If I were, say, staying in Boston, MA, where this resort fee doesn’t exist, the price I see would be the final total price). Since It doesn’t include the resort fee, I had the option of paying it when I arrived at the Rio.
I really like that you can see your final price with taxes BEFORE you pick the room. It saves a lot of time and hassle going back and forth between multiple pages trying to figure out the real price of a hotel. And most taxes and fees are whole numbers: $5, $8 etc. TravelPony even does the addition for you right there!
When I arrived at the Rio I had zero issues checking in too. They had my reservation ready, and check in was super easy. All I needed was an ID and a credit card (to put down in case I wanted to order incidentals or use the resort fee). I didn’t even need my TravelPony reservation number. I loved that there is no hassles with check in.
As for the room, I GOT EXACTLY WHAT I BOOKED! With TravelPony you book a room, not ask for a specific room and hope it is available (like with some sites). What you book is what you get.
You know the total price before you even pick the room, check in is easy and hassle-free, and you get the room you book! TravelPony makes booking hotels super easy and stress-free. I loved it!
On a last note, TravelPony’s customer service is great! I had an issue booking (because my credit card company never updated my billing address). After a call to my bank to update my address properly, I called TravelPony, because I wanted to confirm if the booking was on hold, canceled, or possibly going through. When I called them, I got a REAL person right away who was super friendly and helpful. I emailed their main line email too, and got a response a few hours later. Neither time did I mention I was a travel blogger nor that I was reviewing their site – which basically means they are this super friendly and responsive to ALL their customers. Another total bonus for TravelPony.
To see the prices in TravelPony, you must log in. You can log in through Facebook (and I can confirm that they DO NOT post anything to your page unless you specifically tell them to), or you can log in with email and password if you don’t want to link to, or don’t have, a Facebook page. If you just want to see the hotels available to book on the nights you are looking, you can do so without logging in, but you must log in to see rates and book the rooms.
Travel Pony also gives you the option of sharing that you just saved money booking with TravelPony on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t have to do it, but they use the power of social sharing to help get great deals. And why not post to your friends about TravelPony? They are great!
The one suggestion I have is in regards to the hotels available to book. I noticed a distinct lack of hotels in the Downtown Vegas/Fremont Street area. On some days I was offered the Golden Nugget to stay at, but other than that, most hotels you can book are on The Strip or in the local areas of Vegas and Henderson. As a local in Vegas, I hope to see more downtown hotels offered, because local’s love downtown! But other than that, the deals TravelPony has for the Strip hotels are pretty awesome!
So if you are planning on staying in one of the major cities around the USA, (or one of their currently 4 European options: Barcelona, London, Madrid, and Paris) check out TravelPony.com first. Great customer service, fast and easy to use, and no hassle bookings make TravelPony the new and upcoming big hitter in the hotel-deals booking sites.