Casa Violeta, Tulum from AHotelLife.com

Best new travel websites for finding great hotels

We do like a good travel site and there are so many out there, yet few that really hit the spot.  Well, recently two have come to our attention that do just that.  First up is AHotelLife.com, set up by Ben Pundole in New York in February of this year. With over 20 years of experience in the hotel and bar business (his cv includes The Groucho Club, Met Bar and Ian Schrager Hotels), the genius of this hotel site lies in the contributors.  Like Pundole, they’re all industry insiders.  Indeed it was a Restaurant PR who first alerted us to the site (now also the UK Editor) who has impeccable taste.   We know we’d try anywhere that she recommends.  You can search by location or hotel (we especially like the highs and lows section, plus the tips on what to do locally) and whilst there isn’t a huge amount on there yet, any site that picks out The Standard in Miami (fun, great spa) and not The Standard in LA (thinnest walls in any hotel we’ve ever stayed in), is clearly in the know.

The second site combines the photographic allure of Instagram with the frank reviews of TripAdvisor (although these reviewers are a lot more stylish).  We love the name – Triptease – but it’s real pull are the wonderful photos.  This is travel porn at it’s best.  Whether it’s a sun-pink mountain towering over a Lodge in Megève or the dunes of Wadi Rum at a Glamping Resort in Jordan, it all looks divine.  Anybody can sign up and proffer a review but you have to be named and as the photo takes pride of place, there isn’t room for waffle.  Also reviewing restaurants, bars and even beach parties too, it has a good range of great places that’ll make you want to book your next holiday pronto.

What:
Best new travel sites for booking hotels
— Francesca
27th March 2013