Tour European hotels from home

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Launched in June, TV Trip's growing collection of unbiased hotel videos lets you scope out neighborhoods, lobbies, restaurants, and rooms before you book--so you can avoid any unpleasant surprises. Professional cameramen shoot the videos, which are paired with Google maps, starting rates, and descriptions by the editors.

Unlike most sites featuring hotel footage, TV Trip doesn't accept user-generated or hotel-supplied videos, nor can hotels pay to be featured (the site makes its money through ads and commissions from its booking partners). The brainchild of former managers of Expedia Europe, tvtrip.com began with 15 major European cities and tackles the U.S. in September.

Related: Trivop.com, an online travel agency in Europe, was the first website to offer videos of several hotels in Western Europe.

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