Bing Now Helps Find Your Perfect Hotel and then Order Your First Meal

Bing Now Helps Find Your Perfect Hotel and then Order Your First Meal

We're a cord cutter family going on about 2 years of being cable TV free. One of the best parts of cord cutting is not being a slave to TV commercials, but in a way this is also detriment. Let me explain.

We use a variety of services including NetFlix, Amazon Prime, HuluPlus, and Crackle. Crackle and HuluPlus still serve commercials. The commercials are shorter in length and fewer than regular cable television. This is a good thing. However, due to the limited supply of unique commercials, both Crackle and HuluPlus show the same commercials over and over. It can get pretty annoying.

One commercial that has gotten on my last nerve is the Trivago commercial. This thing runs constantly. Over and over. During a single, hour-long TV show on HuluPlus, I may sit through this same commercial 5 times. The pitchman, Tim Williams, explains how Trivago combines 600 hotel sites into a single search engine. It sounds like a valuable service, except Williams looks like when his alarm failed to wake him and the camera crew rang the doorbell, he threw on the previous night's clothes and couldn't find a hair brush.

Still, the service looks valuable. Search by city and Trivago will show available rooms by price, allowing you to find the best rates and the best hotels.

Microsoft has recently announced a very similar feature built into Bing. You can now search using "hotels in " and Bing will display applicable lodging places in a new carousel that allows you to quickly switch between and compare potential locations.

Here's what it looks like searching for a hotel in one of my favorite places, Ft. Collins, CO…

When you click on a hotel in the carousel, the right-hand side of the Bing page will change to display review snippets, location maps, average price per night, and links for reservations and the hotel’s website.

It's not as full featured as Trivago (yet), which allows you to filter to the nth degree, but for anyone looking for great hotels by rating and price, this is an awesome feature. Now, that I know it's available, I'll be using it quite a bit.

My only fear is that if the Bing feature becomes popular, Trivago may start approving its commercial to air even more often.

Additionally, once you've arrived and checked in at your chosen hotel, you might want a quick bite to eat in the room. Room service meals are horribly expensive and you feel a bit uncomfortable not writing in a tip on the receipt even though you know 15% gratuity is already included. Well, Bing has an answer for that now, too. If a local restaurant offers delivery options, Bing will now include an Order Online option in the restaurant's web description.

For traveler's, both of these new features should prove extremely valuable. I'm a long time Bing user (proud to say I haven't used Google search for almost 5 years), and Microsoft's decision engine just keeps getting better and better.

 

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