Mobile

Roomlia Enters Crowded Hotel Reservations Space

Roomlia, a discounted hotel reservations mobile app that gives access to more than 250 hotels, launched Monday for iOS, TechCrunch reported.

The goal of Roomlia, which was started by two former Expedia employees, Michael Reichartz and Jim Ferguson, is to increase speed and convenience by linking directly with hotels’ operations systems, instead of making customers negotiate rates and payments through the hotel’s website site like Expedia and other competitors.

Roomlia also offers discounted hotel rooms up to seven days in advance with only a few clicks to complete booking. Alternatives such as HotelTonight, on the other hand, only offer discounts on the day of booking. Certain hotel rooms listed by Roomlia have extra-deep discounts, which are indicated by a red flag on the listing. These only last a limited time.

The app’s user interface is also specifically designed to make booking the room quick. When customers first log in, they see a lengthy list of cities, and can tap on one or search for a city that isn’t on the list. That brings up a list of hotels with pictures, ratings and average prices. Customers can put in their hotel dates on the bottom using a calendar or a slider to request up to a five-night stay. Then a simple swipe to the left sends the customer directly into contact with the hotel to complete booking. Everything is done in two taps.

The hospitality industry is currently filled with smaller technology players streamlining back-end operations, and bigger players launching interesting tech initiatives to keep competitive. For example, Starwood launched a robotic butler, while Hilton’s a new app allows customers to choose a room and check out without speaking to another human.

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