Zeev Sharon wrote in his elementary school yearbook, "I will own hotels one day." While he doesn't own a hotel yet, his passion for travel and years of experience in the hospitality industry has resulted in creating new travel startup Hotelied—with co-founder Nick Colletti—to reduce the headaches involved in the hotel search and booking experience. They've upped it up a notch, however, by also offering discounts to reward travelers for, well, being themselves.
"I find the current one-size-fits-all experience of online hotel booking to be antiquated and frustrating. We live in an age when technology allows for people to have a more customized experience in most aspects of our lives and yet we're still booking travel like it’s the ‘90s," Sharon tells CH. "The generic pricing and offerings that travelers receive when booking online are part of the inspiration behind Hotelied. We believe that travelers should be rewarded for being themselves and receive personalized unpublished discounts based on who they are and how they travel." While the online booking engine and service model is not new, the pricing model is. Hotelied offers hotels the opportunity to create special pricing for those who travel most and are likely to consider switching their favorite hotel in any given city given a better price from one of its competitors. Hotels have full transparency into who can have access to those rates as Hotelied takes your social media profiles and travel rewards data and creates tiers of desirable, influential travelers. The higher your social media presence and the more status you have with airlines and hotel groups, the more attractive you are as a customer to the hotels and the lower your price will be.
The first step is creating a profile at Hotelied, then entering your social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn with Instagram soon to follow), hotel loyalty programs (IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards, etc) and airline loyalty programs. Not all of the obvious brands are part of Hotelied yet but Sharon says that they are negotiating with all of the major players and will continue to add to the platform. The more you add to your profile, the higher the chance of getting an even better deal. After plugging in your travel dates, you choose from a list of hotels that are offering discounts. While the interface design feels similar Hotelied is definitely the cleanest, minimal booking site we've ever seen. All the info you need is in one place, the final price is clearly displayed and the absence of annoying ads is a great plus. Besides exclusive offers that can't be found elsewhere online (the rates are negotiated directly between Hotelied and their hotel partners), other perks include "free value-add packages such as room upgrades, free breakfast, complimentary bottle of champagne in your room and other fun treats," says Sharon.
Currently, Hotelied has signed on more than 15 notable lifestyle and luxury hotels across the country—such as Crosby Street Hotel, the New York Palace, the Viceroy and The Mark in NYC, as well as all Sixty Hotels, Gansevoort Hotels and Soho House Hotels. They're presently in advance negotiations with other locations, and expect to add new ones to Hotelied on a weekly basis.
Sharon and Colletti's longterm goals are to use technology to personalize the hotel booking experience. "We've now personalized hotel pricing by matching individual travelers with customized offers," Sharon says. "The next step is to also personalize the hotel selection process and help travelers sift through the clutter and quickly identify the hotel options that are most relevant to them."
Visit Hotelied online for more.
Images courtesy of Hotelied, hotel images courtesy of respective hotels