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Travelocity Talks 'Top Secret Hotels' With HotelChatter

March 26, 2010 at 11:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

Travelocity's Top Secret Hotels officially launched on Wednesday and while we are excited to have another option when going hotel deal-hunting, we're hesitant to try something new, especially when it involves opaque booking.

But Travelocity wants to change our mind. The booking site's hotel team has told us that they are the only major opaque booking site to show consumers "quality ratings on 10 key details of the hotel" such as staff and service, room quality, bed comfort, value for money and cleanliness. These quality ratings also come from previous Travelocity travelers and not another review site.

Additionally, Travelocity pointed out that they give consumers the option of looking at both the general hotel results and the top secret hotels in one window "without the hassle of the bidding process." See for yourself by clicking the "List View" option on the Top Secret Hotels page.

What this means is you can see both hotels with their names, star ratings, traveler ratings and prices and secret hotels that have star ratings, traveler ratings and prices but no hotel names. You can see both of these options on one page, so essentially you can see all of Travelocity's hotel inventory here. Get it? Ok, we'll let you mull that one over for a bit.

Nevertheless, we still had a few more questions for the Travelocity. Check out what they had to say below.

HotelChatter: What prompted Travelocity to kick off this Top Secret Hotels sale?

Travelocity: “The opaque model is something we have been watching closely for some time, and we feel that now is the right time to bring it to market as it is becoming increasingly popular with a very particular segment of travel shoppers,” said Lesley Harris, vice president of hotels at Travelocity. “According to Forrester more than 30 percent of online shoppers use opaque sites and we know that many of those shoppers are already comparison shopping at Travelocity. We wanted to offer something that lets every type of hotel shopper find what they need on one site – and that’s what we’ve created with Top Secret Hotels.”

HotelChatter: With so many options out there for blind booking from Hotwire, Priceline, Kayak and even Quikbook, what makes Travelocity's offerings stand out?

Travelocity: Unlike many other opaque models, customer do not have to fret over the bidding process on Top Secret Hotels. We’re the first of the major OTA’s to offer one search that pulls up general hotel results and opaque results in the same window without having to bid. We offer customers some of the deepest hotel discount in the business – reaching as much as 45% off the standard rate. Travelocity’s the only major opaque booking site to show consumers user quality ratings on 10 key details of the hotel before committing to booking, giving added peace of mind to the shopper. Finally, TSH bookings are backed by the Travelocity Service Guarantee.

HotelChatter: One thing we found to be a little lacking was the amenity listings. Do you plans on adding to these or being more specific or will that give too much about the property away?

Travelocity: On par with competing models, Travelocity’s opaque offering currently gives the customer insight into important hotel amenities before committing to the purchase. As of today, the amenities we identify for Top Secret hotels include: Pool, courtesy breakfast, non-smoking, high speed internet and shuttle. We have not determined specific additions to these categories as of now, but will continue to evaluate ways to enhance the opaque offering.

HotelChatter: Also we are now seeing this American Express code for people who book using Amex cards, can you tell us a bit more?

Travelocity: Sure, the promotional code AMXSECRET20 for $20 is valid between 12:01 am CST on March 19, 2010 and 11:59 pm CST on May, 31, 2010. It is good for a purchase of a 2-night or longer Top Secret Hotel stay, which is offered on Travelocity during the promotion period. Travel must be between March 19, 2010 and July 31, 2010.

To redeem the promo code you simply type in AMXSECRET20 into the Promotional Code field on the Checkout Review page on the site, and $20 will be automatically deducted from the final price of your qualifying GoodBuy Hotel.

Thanks Travelocity! We're planning a Vegas trip soon and we'll take a chance on your Top Secret Hotels then! To our readers: If you've booked a Top Secret Hotel on Travelocity, can you tell us how it went? Put your experience in comments below.

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