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Hotel Booking Sites / Amazon Travel / HotelWatchdog / Hotel Websites / Hotel Booking Tips / Hotel News / → All Tags
You use already use Amazon.com to do everything you need from buying books, diapers and shoes to streaming TV shows and movies so it makes sense that the e-tailer will start allowing you to book hotels through them. But this won't be just another massive web hotel deals aggregator.
According to Skift's exclusive report about the forthcoming Amazon Travel service, hotel options will be curated and independent hotels. Here's how it will work from the hotel side:
Properties would load their room types, availability, pricing information, and photos into an Amazon extranet and would pay a standard 15% commission to Amazon for the prepaid bookings, the hoteliers at the independent properties said.
The properties would get notified by Amazon via email of bookings, hoteliers said, and they would update calendars on the extranet.
The hotels would generally list their properties at rack rates, but would be free to discount, one hotelier said.
Hoteliers would receive their payments from Amazon for the stays in two installments and could obviously attempt to negotiate a lower commission than the standard 15%.
Did you catch that part? Pre-paid bookings. But if the discounts are good and more importantly, the hotels are hand-selected, rather than being just hundreds of big hotel brands, this could be very attractive when searching for a reasonably-priced hotel that still has some personality.
Skift reports that Amazon Travel will start around January 1 in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle with other cities to roll out soon.
What has happened to Quikbook? I have had an account with them for more than 20 yrs.
Went to book a hotel today and could not find the usual log in button where I put in my user name & password. Normally, I log into my account and can book my travelers by their stored information in my account on Quikbook. I have about 50 travelers with all their stored personal info & credit card numbers. The Quikbook page looked the same except no way to log in to my account.
I thought maybe it was a page glitch for the day & proceeded to book and just manually enter all the info. Then, when I hit purchase I received an error message that said I would need to have an agent confirm.
The girl says she's with Expedia! When I tell her that's the number on the Quikbook site, she disconnects me. I pulled up an old Quikbook confirmation copy. The NYC number is disconnected. I have spent hours on the phone today and even called Expedia corporate office in Washington state & they too gave me the complete run-around. I talked with one of the major NYC hotel's that I frequently book through Quikbook. They said 2 wks ago, the hotel also could not get into their Quikbook account information & that they'd heard through the grapevine that Expedia has taken over Quikbook.
My question is, what happened to all my traveler's confidential credit card numbers & profile information that was stored in my Quikbook account that I can no longer access. If Expedia is now booking Quikbook's site, why isn't that disclosed? I have a corporate account with Expedia too. If I wanted to book with Expedia, I wouldn't have gone to Quikbook's website!
Hotel Booking Sites / Hotel Room Alerts / Hotel Alerts / Hotel Booking Apps / Dylan Loch / Hotel Booing Tips / Hotel News / → All Tags
Back in February, we called Hotel Room Alerts the "best new booking service we've seen yet" because the site emails and texts you when availability opens up at a sold-out hotel. The service also let you know when different room categories opened up as well, making it a useful tool when you're in need of a hotel room during a busy weekend.
Hotel Room Alerts is linked up with Hotels.com's booking system so you can check on over 170,000 hotel rooms. Now, the site has gone one step further and created a smartphone app called, Hotel Alerts.
The app does pretty much the same thing that the website does, except in app form which is always more convenient since you can create a reservation from anywhere. The app also uses a map view with your phone's locations service. And you're able to see hotels that are both available and sold-out.
Dylan Loch, founder of Hotel Room Alerts, explains this a bit more, saying:
When somebody searches the map, they will see every single hotel, whether it's available or completely sold out. When you search with a meta-search or through the hotel's direct page, the sold out hotels do not even show up.
We provide the opportunity to add hotels to the alert, but we also show which hotels are nearby and currently have availability. It's like having a front desk manager in your pocket.
If you suffer from allergies, you know how nerve-wracking spending the night in a strange place can be, let alone a hotel room where many other people and their questionable living habits have gone before you.
We like to think that all housekeepers do a thorough job cleaning the hotel rooms but sadly, we know that isn't the case. And besides, people with severe allergies can still be affected by traces of the dog that stayed in the room three months before. Which is why there are Pure Rooms.
Hypo-allergenic hotel rooms have been around for nearly a decade now and Pure Solutions has been creating allergy-friendly hotel rooms for various brands and properties across the U.S. Each room follows "a patented 7-step process that eliminates and protects against 98-100% of viruses, bacteria and other irritants that are harmful to people with asthma and allergies." Now, Pure is letting allergy sufferers book their special hotel rooms through a new booking engine, booking.pureroom.com.
The brilliant idea behind HotelTonight, which separates it from all other booking sites out there, is that you can book a last-minute hotel room for a steeply discounted rate, all from your phone (or tablet.) The only problem is, you have to wait until 9am the day of to see what the room rates are like.
This typically isn’t a problem when you’re unexpectedly stranded somewhere and desperately need a hotel room, or if you decided spur-of-the-moment to spend the night in the big city. But true deal hunters start looking at HotelTonight a few days before their trip to get a feel for the room rates. Why, just the other day we were on HotelTonight to see the rates in Vegas in case we felt like heading out there this week. (Confession: we've also been known to do this, just for fun, while we're sitting in a doctor's office, stuck in traffic, waiting for take-off, etc.)
But now, HotelTonight is gonna do that rate guessing work for you—with their new Look Ahead feature. Here's how it works:
Nearly three years after it launched, hotel booking site Room 77 has achieved a major milestone, and at the same time, has pretty much closed up shop by scoring a licensing deal with Google.
The all-powerful search engine is now using Room 77's extensive hotel database which includes details on specific rooms at hotels, including the size, the layout and even the amenities inside. The goal here is obviously for Google to snap up a larger share of the $450 billion that people around the world spend on travel & tourism in a single year (last year to be exact, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.)
But according to Skift, this means that Room 77 has somewhat given up trying to be a player in the metasearch realm, with several of its engineers transferring over to Google to work on the licensing deal.
In a society where smoking is becoming less socially acceptable by the day, many hotels in the States no longer offer smoking rooms, and the ones that do tend to keep it on the down low, so as not to scare off nonsmokers (if anyone has seen a hotel openly advertise itself as smoker friendly of late, we would sure like to know about it).
To travelers looking to find a room where they can light up, the industry has essentially shrugged its shoulders and wished them good luck. But a new website/app, Smoketels.com, is out to give smokers a break.
The purpose is pretty simple: Allow users to search within a city for hotels that still set aside rooms for smokers. Speaking to the New York Times, the site’s operator said it has rooms available at over 100,000 properties all over the world.
Hotel Room Alerts / Hotel Booking Tips / Hotel Booking Sites / Hotel Technology / Hotel News / → All Tags
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
Boutique Hotels / Berlin Hotels / Germany Hotels / Hotel Search Engines / Hotel Booking Sites / → All Tags
Seven boutique hotels located across Germany's capital have joined together in creating a booking site called BoutiqueHotelsinBerlin.com. No hotel on the site has more than 200 rooms, and only two have been operating for more than three years. Customers can search by location and compare notes on the properties' themes, rooms, and facilities.
Granted, this is not an extensive collection by any means for a city as big as Berlin, but we like the concept of seeing the little guys join forces. We assume more properties will jump on the newly-launched site over the next year, giving the bigger, more SEO dominate hotel chains a little competition as travelers continue the trend of seeking out small, more authentic properties around the globe.
As a storm brews over the East Coast just days before Thanksgiving--one of the biggest travel days of the year--we're already bracing ourselves for the horror stories of folks whose flights have been delayed and stranded. We're also bracing ourselves for the inevitable "my hotel wouldn't let me cancel my reservation" stories too, no matter what sort of storm gets in the way.* But this year, there might be a way around those cold-hearted cancellation policies, thanks to Roomer.com.
The easiest way to describe Roomer, and this is how they describe themselves, is "a Stubhub for hotel rooms." If you're stuck with a hotel reservation that you can't actually make, you can put it up for sale on Roomer and folks looking for discounted hotel rooms can buy your existing reservation for less. Now, instead of losing all of your money for a hotel stay that you can't even do, you'll get a little bit of the expenses back.
Discounts vary depending on the property but some go for up to 50 percent off (or if you're the seller, that means you'll get 50 percent of your money back.) Meanwhile, someone else is getting a steal on the hotel. It seems like a total win-win.
Right now, we're seeing a Roomer listing for the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC for $287 a night on Thanksgiving and Friday. That same room is going for $349 on both Expedia and the hotel's own website. That's a nice chunk of change to save. But of course, the Roomer reservation is nonrefundable too, so you really have to be sure you are going to make it. After all, we don't think you can Roomer a Roomer reservation.
Keep reading for more info on Roomer, straight from the founder and managing director!
The other day when we were cruising Expedia for a hotel stay, we noticed something different with the site--the room rates were buried under one or two-word "reviews" of the property. Say what? Oh hell no. So we had to investigate.
Here is how the search results looked last week. Look at how teeny that rate is while the "Very Good" is bigger and bolder.
And here is how they used to look back in the spring.
When we inquired at Expedia what this was all about, we were told the following:
" Expedia began testing new search hotel search pages earlier this year. The Expedia teams are constantly testing pages to see what improves the user experiences and you likely encountered one of the new pages being tested."
Mobile Booking Apps / Hotel Booking Sites / HotelQuickly / HotelTonight / CheckInTonight / → All Tags
Launched in March, the smartphone app works very much like HotelTonight--guests can book seriously last-minute rooms up until 4am for that same night. And like HotelTonight the app only lets you access hotel room rates for that day, starting at noon--you can't book a room the day before or the week before. It's also only available through a smartphone app store--either iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.
We checked today for the options in Siem Reap and two hotels pulled up--one for $100 USD and another for just $30. (Some cities also have just one hotel listed.) If you can't decide between the options, HotelQuickly tells you to shake your phone which will then make your selection automatically. You can also earn credits for recommending friends to HotelQuickly, which is something that HotelTonight has done from the beginning.
Right now, HotelQuickly is operating in Australia's big cities (Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne) along with Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Siem Reap and cities in New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. You can read through their FAQs if you still need a little help understanding how the app works. We also just discovered another app that's doing the same thing for Asia called, CheckInTonight, which does most of the same cities at HotelQuickly, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand.