While hostels are known for being active social hubs where you can find like-minded travellers to become your future overlooked Facebook friends, hotels traditionally don’t seem to lend themselves to the same open-armed attitude. Enter HelloTel, an app that bills itself as the travellers’ social network, promising to “turn any hotel check-in into a rich social network.”
Like Tinder, you populate your data via Facebook and scroll through a feed of others users nearby, either checked into your hotel or a neighbouring one. You can update your status, give “kudos” to things (it’s like “liking”) or indicate if you’re there for business or pleasure. You can private message users and plan to sightsee together or to meet up in the hotel bar for a nightcap.
While business travellers are already adding the app to their arsenal of conference networking tools, it does take a bit of the excitement out of those awkward hotel bar launch-pad interactions between lonely nomads. Imagine how different Lost In Translation would have turned out had Scarlett Johansson swiped left on Bill Murray from the comfort of her hotel room.
HelloTel is currently US-only but it’s available in the app store for those with trips planned to the land of bald eagles and Beyoncé.