When researching hotels for a vacation or business trip, a visit to TripAdvisor to check out reviews of a resort are a must. Pictures of rooms on hotel websites often misrepresent the exact size or luxury of a room and betting on hotels can be a bit of a gamble. But TripAdvisor reviews encompass all aspects of a hotel, including food, grounds, views, service and more. Today, Room 77 is launching as a comprehensive search engine and review site focused exclusively on hotel rooms.
The hotel room database and search engine has collected and indexed data on more than 425,000 hotel rooms in 2,500 properties and is also crowdsourcing reviews and ratings from travelers. For now, Room 77 focuses on three star hotels and above and features information on hotels in North America and the UK (but plans to expand to other markets in the future).
Currently accessible through both a website and iPhone app, Room 77 provides travelers with specific details about each hotel room at a property, including the room category, square footage, bed type, elevator proximity and if it is a connecting room. For each room, Room 77 also generates a virtual Room View, simulating the actual view from that room’s window using Google Earth-enabled technology.
The best rooms for each traveler are automatically ranked using Room 77’s proprietary Room Rank algorithm that adjusts to each individual’s preferences for high or low floor, distance from elevator, view importance and need for connecting rooms. Each room is then scored with a color-coded match percentage indicating: “strong match” (green), “fair match” (yellow) and “weak match” (red). Room 77 also gives travelers insider tips on how to request desirable room(s) directly from the hotel and increase the probability of securing one.
Room 77 says that the majority of hotel room data has been collected through the legwork of its staff through official and unofficial means, but the company is already working directly with major hotel chains and individually owned properties to validate and expand data. The company tells us that is is currently in discussions with Starwood on working together.
Room 77 reminds me of TripKick, which rates individual hotel rooms. In fact, Room 77 actually quietly acquired TripKick last year. If Room 77 can partner with hotel groups to include specific data on hotel rooms, it will save the startup a lot of time and effort from actually visiting each room. I’m curious to see if the startup will be able to compete with TripAdvisor on the reviews/ratings front. TripAdvisor has become the ubiquitous destination for hotel reviews, and it may be tough to match the scale of the travel giant.
Room 77 offers the most advanced hotel shopping experience on the Web today by allowing travelers to simultaneously compare pricing across every major online travel agency and more, shop across a variety of room types, and book more than 200,000 hotel rooms worldwide. Unlike other travel sites, Room 77 doesn’t stop at the booking. Travelers booking 4- or 5-star hotels, or stays totaling more than $400 on Room 77 get access to a complimentary Room Concierge who utilizes Room...