Consumers are sick of shelling out for hotel amenities like snacks and decent-size rooms. They dropped an estimated $1.8 billion on hotel fees in 2011, and rates were expected to spike more than $100 per night this year, according to Consumer Reports.
But if a traveler prefers the posh digs of The Standard to the shabby (and not so chic) quarters of Comfort Inn, it's hard to book a tony room and receive the star treatment free of charge.
Enter Want Me Get Me, a sleek new startup launched in public beta on Tuesday that aims to sweeten the luxury hotel experience by throwing in freebies you actually want.
How it works
Want Me Get Me works like any travel booking site, where users book rooms by dates and city. In contrast to the Expedias of the world where hotels run the gamut from bargain bin to ultra luxe, Want Me Get Me is free to all members and only partners with Trump-worthy names including Ace Hotel, Peninsula and, yes, The Standard. It's a win for chains concerned about dilluting their brand, and a boon for millennials not willing to part with cash for the sake of being pampered.
"By using Facebook Connect our system sends the hotel the user's likes and interests, and in addition to that, it sends them their current profile," Mace said. "Everyone knows their face at the hotel, and the hotel gets a competitive advantage compared to a travel agency because they can provide a better experience that will likely lead to repeat business."
We like the idea of being called by name, but we also like that Want Me Get Me offers the standard going rate for all rooms and that a deposit isn't necessary to book. To sweeten the deal, all rooms come hooked up with free WiFi and the option to upgrade when possible.
"The idea came to us when we were standing in line for American Airlines and hearing other people get upgrades," said Brandman. "You wonder, 'Why didn't I get that?' We worked with hoteliers to understand what VIP service means to them, and worked with consumers to create some of these lists of typically requested ammenities."
Want Me Get me should exit beta by the end of this year, when the co-founders hope to be partnered with hotels "in every major U.S. gateway city and in North America," said Mace. After that, look for it abroad and via your smartphone.
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