If you don’t mind putting your hotel plans on the auction block, check out the innovative new booking platform, Bidroom.
Less than two months ago, London-based startup Bidroom created a service that could both save customers money on a hotel room, as well as spare hoteliers the enormous commissions they’ve been coughing up to OTAs.
Instead of traditional booking websites, which ask customers to input their dates and destinations in order to generate a database of fixed-rate rooms, Bidroom asks hotels to bid on guests.
The incentive, co-founder Mark Bradshaw explains, is Bidroom’s no-contract, no-commission agreement with hotels. “[By removing] this huge burden from the hotels,” Bradshaw says, “[they can] offer cheaper prices to customers.”
Bidroom is the only completely free booking platform available, providing a service to both travelers and hoteliers at no cost to either. Guests are simply asked to outline their accommodation requirements, and Bidroom sends the request to all applicable hotels.
As soon as a hotel makes an offer, a 24-hour countdown auction clock begins, giving competing hotels an incentive to make a better offer, and the customer time to appraise his or her options and accept a bargain.
Typically, hotels provide discounts of 25 percent of their normal rates. For the most significant deals, Bradshaw recommends that guests wait 2 or 3 weeks before their trip before placing a request.
Since its launch, more than 10,000 hotels have made offers on Bidroom. “They love it,” said Bradshaw. “[We’re] a transparent, open and free platform, not simply a booking website.”
Currently, Bidroom operates in 46 cities—primarily in Europe. But starting April 1, Bradshaw divulged that hotels would become available in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Miami. What’s more, the team behind the service is adding features every few days.
Look forward to a more curated hotel selection (based on proximity to landmarks or the hotel’s star-rating) and mobile applications for almost every smartphone.
Melanie Lieberman is the Editorial Projects Assistant and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow her on twitter at @LittleWordBites.