Amenities Return to Google's Hotel Search Results

When Hotel Finder was officially decommissioned, we mourned the loss of some very valuable search capabilities that allowed users to efficiently find the exact hotel they wanted. The amenities feature was one of these, but it looks like it may be making its way back into the hotel search results.

Here’s what we’re seeing for the search term [hotels in dallas]:

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 4.03.37 PM

As you can see in the screenshot, there is a new drop down smartly titled “Amenities” that has a list of the major hotel features a user may be searching for. A user can select one amenity or multiple amenities. When the selection is complete and the “Apply” button is clicked, the user is taken to the Maps interface with the filters in place:

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 4.19.25 PM

Even though the filter is basic, it opens up the potential for search improvements. Right now the selected amenities aren’t reinforced in the search results, even though Google has the content to make this happen. Imagery could be made dynamic depending on what filters were selected. For example, if a user selected “pool,” it might make sense to show them a picture of the pool in the hotel summary, or expose ratings that mentioned the pool.

Google has also been crowdsourcing data about these locations through various platforms, which opens up other possibilities like matching an onsite restaurant to cuisine, ambiance, or price preferences.

It’s notable that this filter isn’t yet available on searches that begin directly in Google Maps. There is a slight difference in the user experience for the hotel results in that entry path, which may point to this being an experiment instead of a broad rollout:

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 4.33.46 PM

Features like this encourage and enable users to make better choices about the hotels they’re researching. It creates more value and stickiness in the process, which should help increased adoption of the product. This in turn increases the value of users and should help increase the efficiency of Hotel Ads for advertisers, so we see it as a positive.