Yelp, the online user-review and ratings site of everything from restaurants to spas to churches, is entering the hotel-booking game.
On Tuesday, it announced a partnership with Hipmunk, a travel search engine that lets people browse flights and hotels by a combination of factors like pricing, layover duration and amenities. Hipmunk, already in partnerships with direct-booking sites like Getaroom and Hotels.com, now supports a small number of hotels on Yelp. Users will now be able to book hotel rooms through it, without ever leaving Yelp's site.
Rachel Walker, a Yelp spokeswoman, would not specify the number of hotels this includes, though she said it was small. She added that the this is just a first step.
"Once we we feel confident that our users are happy with the experience," she said, "we'll add more listings and eventually roll out booking functionality to tens of thousands of hotels."
Yelp began its foray into bookings in 2013, forging partnerships with companies like Delivery.com and Booker that have allowed it to process transactions for food delivery and spa appointments.
But other online companies are also increasing their booking capabilities. Thanks to its acquisition of La Fourchette, the user-review site TripAdvisor now accepts restaurant reservations. And earlier this year Priceline, which already books flights and hotels, bought the reservations site OpenTable, aiming to add restaurants to its offerings.
And another sign that the worlds of user-reviewed listings, bookings and online deals are increasingly colliding: Now Groupon is heading into Yelp's territory. On Wednesday it announced the launch of Pages, an online directory of individual businesses that will include user reviews.