As a resident of the city of Toronto, I wanted to try the new feature of Google Maps Hotel Finder: Hotels by Travel Time. My query involved finding the hotels that are within 20 minutes traveling time to the iconic CN Tower. At first glance, the new feature highlights the areas where you can find public transportation and hotels. Most of my results ended up being on King Street and Spadina Avenue, close to the Financial District and Union Station and steps away from the CN Tower. But there were a number of hotels that didn’t make it to the list and I wondered why.
Even though it is a great feature and can be used as a reference, it does not take into account the subway line, which can take you all over Yonge Street and up to Bloor Street in a matter of minutes. Most of the affordable hotels and hostels are located on this area and have been skipped from the map result suggestions.
Another very important factor when planning a trip is traffic. During business hours, street cars and traffic jams can’t be predicted with much accuracy. A 15 minute street car drive can turn into a 30 or 40 minute nightmare. This can make your day trip more complicated than expected, so you’ll have to plan accordingly.
I think this is a great tool to find hotels, but the travel time feature still needs to be refined and populated with more data to improve the search results.