A new service on Twitter allows users to reserve a hotel room with just a couple of tweets.
Here is how it works:
First the costumer tweets their request to a Stayful account, including destination, price range, arrival date and number of nights. At this point, the Stayful team negotiates a private deal with the hotels available in town, securing a cheaper offer than most of the costumers would get on their own.
Here is how it looked when we tried to book a room in Seattle for Thanksgiving.
The only condition is that the trip must be within 30 days.
Once Stayful has secured a handful of deals, it tweets back the top three to the costumer, who can choose their preferred option and book it on a payment page, all managed by Stayful. There is no direct exchange of money between the costumer and the hotel.
Here is how the different options are presented. You have 8 minutes to complete your booking, because every deal is negotiated in real time.
The perk is that there is no need to register or open an account, and a booking normally takes about two clicks.
Stayful was founded last year by Cheryl Rosner, who worked at Expedia and Hotel.com. Her co-founder Shariq Minhas also worked at Expedia, as well as Hotwire. The company manages a huge database of independent, boutique hotels in most American cities, and claims it can secure the best deal on the market: “Since we negotiate prices behind the scenes in real time, we can offer #TweetStay costumers a better price that they can find online, and the process couldn’t be simpler…” says Cheryl.
Deals tend to vary from city to city, but the company doesn’t look at the cheapest areas: the budget class lists deals normally below $US100 (£65) per night, the middle range is up to $US150-$US180 (£95-£115), and anything higher is premium.
At the moment, the #TweetStay service is available in 24 North American destinations (you can read the whole list here), but plans to expand rapidly. It will launch in Europe next year.
Here is a recap:
1. Tweet your booking: “@stayful #TweetStay I am going to [destination] and want a [category] hotel, [mm/dd], [#nights]
2. Wait for the options selected by Stayful. In the case presented below, we only had one option: Boston looks crowded for Thanksgiving!
3. Click your preferred option and book.
4. Pack your luggage, call your travelmates, you are ready to go!
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