Really awesome design Renee. Less is definitely more in this case, and I much prefer your design than that of Booking.com. I would love to see what you would’ve done with the hotel list and hotel pages.
Just an interesting note though, it is of my personal opinion that Booking.com’s primary focus is not as much the users’ experience of the site, than it is to make more money. Let me explain. Booking.com is famous for AB testing and data driven design and they truly believe that aesthetics is not synonymous to a better user experience. In their world, user experience is equal to higher conversion rates, which means that if an ugly button gets you to click on it, they’d rather use that above an beyond a great looking button. Booking.com does not really make use of common user experience design principals (like Hick’s law of conversion). But to a degree, it is understandable that they don’t make use of the common principals, and rather focuses on making money. But they’re definitely losing out on more simplified markets — like South Africa where people in general prefer almost clinical and to the point designs (we’ve done a lot of research on this point).
To take my point a bit further, have a look at Booking.com’s different regional designs. They don’t really cater for the different cultures and what appeals to them. Sure, there is minor differences to each region, but if you compare China’s design with that of the US or compare Japan’s design with Australia’s — you’ll immediately see that they never really considered those little details that matter.