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Hotel booking apps offer new twists for discounted rooms

Want to sleep with a stranger, stay for a few hours, or share details about your social media and travel loyalty program status to get a preferential hotel room rate?

Several hotel booking sites bet you will and offer booking apps “with a twist” in an effort to meet niche needs and stand out in the crowded world of online travel.

Club Winston

Seattle-based Winston Club is a free booking service that promises to save travelers money — and create unique social experiences — by connecting guests who want to share their hotel room.

“We wanted a safe, reliable, and cost-effective solution that provided a better experience than hostels, couches, or guest rooms,” says Winston Club founder Byron Shannon.

The service is expected to launch in March 2016 and, upon rollout, will offer shared room listings at a dozen participating premier hotels in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

How it will work: Upon registration, Winston Club members will share information about their interests and preferences, including whether or not they wish to share a room only with a person of the same sex. For security reasons, members will be asked to provide five different forms of identity verification. Winston Club will review booking requests, suggest pairings that members can accept or reject and, when pairings are approved, place the booking and arrange payment.

hotel

Launched in 2014, the free booking site Hotelied.com offers several tiers of hotel discounts based on a member’s social media presence and airline and hotel loyalty status.

“Most hotel booking sites assume that all hotel visitors are the same and offer uniform prices,” Zeev Sharon, co-founder and CEO of Hotelied, told NBC. “But some guests spend more money, come back more often and will definitely tell their friends about their stay. Our idea is that if you make more than the average customer, you should get a better rate.

How it works: Members create secure profiles that include information about their social media status and hotel loyalty program memberships. Hotelied does not share this information with hoteliers, but offers a range of reduced rates negotiated according to the profiles entered.

Hotels per day

Launched in February 2015, the growing New York-based HotelbyDay.com helps travelers find great rates for short-stay hotels during the day.

These are not stays of one hour or less. The service offers stays of at least four hours in three, four and five star hotels, allowing the traveler to rest and refresh before or after a long flight, to work in a quiet and comfortable space between meetings or , perhaps, for a family to have a “daycation” in a hotel with swimming pool, water park and spa.

“The norm has been to book a hotel overnight,” said Yannis Moati, Founder and CEO of HotelsByDay.com, “but today’s travelers want to check in and check out whenever they want, and more 40% of hotels inventory is empty on an average day.

How it works: Customers can search HotelsByDay by city, hotel location (airport, city, etc.) and hotel type and see rates for available rooms and time zones.

Remaining

On most hotel sites offering auctions, travelers often don’t know if they will “win” a room. Stayful sets itself apart by identifying properties on offer – a curated list of over 1,700 independent and boutique hotels in 33 cities – and suggesting an offer the hotel is likely to accept along with a discounted “book now” rate. .

How it works:After searching for hotels by city, travel dates, price, and amenities, travelers will see a list of hotels with both a “Best Online Rate” and a “Make Offer” suggested price. Customers can book the rate online immediately or submit an offer. If you do the latter, it indicates whether it is an instant response hotel or a hotel that may take up to 24 hours to respond. Hotels not currently accepting offers or reservations are also listed, so you can get an idea of ​​what might be available at another time.