See Online Video of Your Hotel Room Before Booking
If you're going to London, or even better now, Paris, you can now see a video of what the hotel looks like before you make a reservation.
Trivop.com is a French site (in English) with short videos showing what's inside hotels, as well as the neighborhood in which they're located. In the 90-seconds the video lasts you will see more than enough to help you decide whether the Hotel Relais Saint Germain is worth 279 euros ($377) a night.
A video view is definitely a level above a series of still pictures for giving a sense of the hotel. You're much less likely to be disappointed by the hotel if you've seen the film.
The site is enhanced by the use of Google Maps for selection and hotel reviews from TripAdvisor, one of the biggest travel sites.
The limitation with Trivop now is that it covers only Paris well. It has a handful of hotels in London, but nothing else. Our hope has to be that it has the funds and buzz to expand throughout the U.S., as well as Europe. Our friends at TechCrunch, who tipped us off to this, suggested that the basic idea is so simple, we should expect to see copies all over the Web. In fact, it's the perfect idea for city-specific travel portals.