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Hotel Room Alerts Might Be The Best New Booking Service We've Seen Yet

February 19, 2014 at 2:26 PM | by | Comments (3)

What do you do when the hotel you want to stay in is sold-out? You probably exhaust all the options you can--like hitting up every booking site known to man, constantly checking the hotel's own website and perhaps even begging the front desk to try and find you a room. But you can stop all of that busy work, thanks to Hotel Room Alerts.

This new service will send you both a text and an email alert as soon as availability opens up at the hotel you want. No refreshing, no plugging in dates over and over, and best of all, no begging.

The site is linked up to Hotels.com so if the hotel you're looking at is listed on Hotels.com then you'll be able to get the room alert. Once you get the notification, you'll have a direct link into the hotel's listing on Hotels.com to book away.

The notification system works not just for sold-out hotels but also for sold-out room categories. Say you want a room with double beds but those are sold-out. Sign up with Hotel Room Alerts to get notified when a double-bed opens up again.

Keep reading to see what the alerts look like

Email notification from Hotel Room Alerts

Hotel Room Alerts founder, Dylan Loch, came up with the idea after trying to nab a certain room type at a hotel for a weekend getaway. He was constantly refreshing the hotel's online calendar before finally getting the room he wanted. But it took him a month.

"It was literally the biggest pain I've ever encountered," Loch said. "I thought there's got to be an easier way."

Drawing inspiration from the alert system he used in college (at Michigan State) which told students when spots opened up in certain classes, Loch started working with an engineer to develop a similar system for hotel rooms. And boom, Hotel Room Alerts was born.

The site officially launched last July but at the time, it was charging 99 cents per alert. However, Loch did away with the charge in late November and has made the alert system totally free. Since then, Loch said 500 people have signed up for room alerts. And we imagine that number is only going to go up now.

Currently, Hotel Room Alerts is working on reformatting the email notification that guests receive so that they will be able to see each individual room available and the room rates. Loch said they are also working on implementing a call-in service that will allow guests to talk to an actual booking agent. And of course, an all-important mobile app is in the works, launching in about four to six weeks.

We've honestly not been this excited about a hotel booking service since HotelTonight came out and we've already added it to our booking arsenal. It's weird, we're like, praying for a hotel to be sold-out just so we can activate Hotel Room Alerts.

Give Hotel Room Alerts a whirl and tell us what you think in comments below!

Comments (3)

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Why

finding it hard to think about when this would actually be useful. How often do you really need to stay at a specific property? probably not enough to warrant installing an app on your phone. and if you did need to stay at a specific property (due to conference or wedding or ???), wouldn't you enlist the help of the sales office who organized your group instead of a third party text alert?

Room types

I like using the idea of using it for specified room types. I also just signed up for a hotel alert in Palm Springs during Coachella.

Extremely Useful

@mcrgwt: There are plenty of reasons why someone would want to stay at a specific property:

  • - Your company has a chain-wide discount for the brand.
  • - You want to use loyalty points (for hotels that offer award rooms as long as the room type is available).
  • - The hotel is the only local option within your preferred loyalty program.
  • - In times when all area hotels are sold out (provided you can set up multiple alerts with this service).
  • - For any time period outside of normal business hours or when you don't want to rely on a person monitoring cancelations.

As someone who used to work as a hotel Revenue Manager, I agree that it's helpful to contact the Sales Department for situations involving room blocks. Doing that, however, is hit or miss. Sales people spend their time selling. Any waitlist requests will get relegated to an Assistant or Reservations staff member. Those people might check for availability a few times each day. Compare that with an automated system that checks and notifies you immediately upon receiving a cancelation. Of course, no one is going to monitor cancelations after normal business hours.

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