Guests booking into properties belonging to Glh hotels will be able to first select a specific room, following the launch of a new booking service.
The Choose Your Own Room website will be on offer for all 14 Glh hotels in central London, across its Amba, Guoman, Every and Thistle brands, by August 2016. Glh's intends the improvements in its booking strategy will meet the competition of Airbnb head on.
Mike DeNoma, chief executive officer for Glh hotels, said: "Airbnb - and the sharing economy players - are not just outflanking the traditional hotel industry they are outclassing it too, by giving customers the ability to choose and configure the exact stay they want - combined with the real human connection they make between host and stayer. So we believe in doing the same in hotels."
The service was initially trialled on the brand's Thistle Euston hotel in 2014, with guests able to choose rooms after booking, and has since been expanded to several of its other London hotels. Customers are now able to make their choice of room before booking.
The new website offers:
• The ability to view, compare and book a specific room.
• A search facility that allows users to filter results based on location, price and amenities, as well as room layout and floor plan.
• Guest reviews for specific rooms.
• An individual host to answer all questions during the booking process.
Colin Roy, Glh chief marketing officer, described the new initiative as a "difficult technological journey", but added: "We realised we had to start providing a service on our website rather than just a place to buy rooms."
He said the company intends to roll out the service elsewhere and plans to discuss the possibility with other hotel owners. However, he suggested the service may work better for companies of a similar size to Glh than it would for bigger hotel brands, where there is more uniformity between rooms and furnishings.
Hilton Worldwide recently announced it is teaming up with Google Maps to enable Hilton HHonours members to choose their room view, enabling them to also choose rooms from digital floor plans.
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