by James A. Martin

Photo-Rich Travel App for New iPad Sparks Wanderlust

Mar 26, 20122 mins

Want to get the most out of your iPad’s Retina display—and get some vacation ideas in the process? If so, Jetsetter is the app for you. Just don’t expect to find any great deals.

The new Jetsetter for iPad app is, quite literally, made for Apple’s new Retina-iPad display. The free app features gorgeous, immersive, detail-rich photography and 360-degree tours designed to make you want to pack your bags now. But it’s probably best to use the app mainly for exploring intriguing getaways, rather than booking your stays.

The iPad app is an extension of Jetsetter, a free vacation-booking service that focuses on high-end vacations in the United States and abroad. Jetsetter’s website and iPad app let you can take advantage of “flash sales” on accommodations. (There’s a Jetsetter app for the iPhone as well.)

For example, the Dream Downtown hotel in New York could recently be booked at flash sale prices beginning at $192 per night. The Jetsetter iPad app featured brilliant photos of the hotel’s restaurant, guest rooms, and rooftop pool. The information offered up about the hotel included a review by a Jetsetter “curator,” as well as reviews from users; a “What we love” list of favorite amenities and features; and another list entitled “What to know.”

Jetsetter iPad app Retina display

Unfortunately, nabbing that $192-a-night rate (or something close) proved difficult in the iPad app. Using the app’s calendar, you could pick your check-in and check-out dates. But you can’t see room rates until you choose the dates–which, in my experience, were well above $192 per night. In comparison, to learn the rate for a given night on the website, you just click on any date on the hotel’s calendar.

The Jetsetter app does a great job of grouping properties by interest. Ten properties are included in the “Family Playcations” list; 11 places are highlighted in “Pack Your Pet,” and 12 places to stay are listed in the “Your Own Private Island” collection.

As you might have guessed after reading that last paragraph, this isn’t the app if you want to search across thousands of potential hotels. Jetsetter is far more exclusive, offering information on only a small sampling of well-heeled properties. In other words: Trip Advisor it ain’t. Still, it’s worth a download, if only for the drool-worthy photographs.