How to: Accept Online Reservations on Your Website

 

UPDATE (April 1, 2015): Since this article has been written over an year ago, we now have an updated list of Hotel Reservation Systems.

In our day and age it is very important that your property website can take online reservations, no matter how small or big the property is. By landing more direct reservations through your website, you could seriously decrease the commissions that you pay out to OTAs.

If you don’t have a booking engine on your website right now, you should seriously consider signing up with one of the providers presented below.

This is not an extensive analysis of all solutions that are availablle on the market. What could work well for some, might not work at all for others.

The focus of this article is not to analyse complete Property Management Software (PMS) packages, but only direct booking solutions.

As most of these products are hosted off-site, it is easy to integrate them with WordPress (and our themes), as you simply add a link/button to your unique reservation page.

These products are not displayed in any specific order. Being first or last in the list doesn’t speak of their quality of service.

 
reservation-key-logo

ReservationKey

In their words:

Reservation Key was started in early 2010 in order to provide a simple, yet powerful and economical, way to display availability online and manage reservations.

ReservationKey is popular among independent B&Bs and inns.
An extensive User Guide is available, which makes it easy to get started.

  • Pricing: starts at $20 / month;
  • Free Trial: available (30 days);
  • Integration: just add a link (button) on your website.
 
logo-thebookingbutton-siteminder

TheBookingButton (by SiteMinder)

In their words:

TheBookingButton is a world class, commission free, feature packed booking engine that allows you to take direct bookings through your own website 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

TheBookingButton looks to be a very high-quality product, managed by a strong professional team.

So far I have noticed that it is quite popular among properties from Australia and New Zealand.

  • Pricing: starts at $29 / month (varies according to number of rooms);
  • Free Trial: available (14 days);
  • Integration: just add a link (button) on your website.
 
little-hotelier-logo-new

Little Hotelier (Powered by SiteMinder)

In their words:

Little Hotelier is an all in one accommodation management system specifically thought about, designed and built for B&B’s, guest houses and small hotels.

Same developers as TheBookingButton, quite a similar product.

Currently available only for United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

  • Pricing: starts at $49 / month (varies according to number of rooms);
  • Free Trial: available (30 days);
  • Integration: just add a link (button) on your website.
 
logo-travelclick

iHotelier® Web 3.0™ (by TravelClick)

In their words:

The latest iteration of TravelClick’s award-winning booking engine, iHotelier Web 3.0, revolutionizes the online booking experience. Built on extensive hotel and customer feedback, its enhanced user interface features a progress meter, collapsible menus and clear calls to action, allowing guests to book more quickly and efficiently.

One of the “big boys”, TravelClick is a huge company with over 1.000 employees and offices all around the world.
According to this article, they serve over 36.000 properties worldwide, include major hotel chains.

  • Pricing: information not available;
  • Free Trial: information not available;
  • Integration: information not available.
 
logo-rezovation-homeaway

RezOvation (from HomeAway)

In their words:

RezOvation Web is the leading web-based Bed and Breakfast software designed to provide Innkeepers with the tools to save them time, increase their occupancy, and provide them with the freedom and peace of mind to run their business online securely from anywhere.
Our software is affordably priced, connects to GDS partners, and is the only software that seamlessly synchronizes with BedandBreakfast.com merchant online reservations program, making it the leader in Bed and Breakfast reservation software.

Being created and managed by the team behind HomeAway, it is a product that should be seriously considered.

  • Pricing: from $69 / month;
  • Free Trial: available (15 days);
  • Integration: just add a link (button) on your website.
 
logo-webrezpro

WebRezLite (by WebRezPro)

In their words:

WebRezLite is a Web-based room reservation system (booking engine) that easily integrates into new and existing websites, saving you money and simplifying the booking process for you and your guests.
Scalable to fit almost any size property, WebRezLite is ideal for hotels, inns, lodges, bed & breakfasts and cabins. And because WebRezLite is priced on a fixed yearly fee, you never pay commission or transactions fees.

If you have been watching the Hotel Impossible TV-show, then you might have heard Anthony Melchiorri promoting WebRezPro. Looking at the Client Map I see that almost all of their clients are from the USA. The prices are higher than other solutions, but probably there is a good reason for that.

  • Pricing: $299 Set-up Fee, from $500 / year;
  • Free Trial: free demo is available;
  • Integration: integrates directly into the website.
 
logo-guestcentric

GuestCentric

In their words:

GuestCentric developed a booking engine that can connect to blogs and websites developed on the WordPress platform. This connection allows designers working with WordPress to integrate the booking engine of Guestcentric in an easy and trouble free manner.

With offices in USA, United Kingdom, Spain & Portugal, looks like this service could be good for anyone. As long as their fees are reasonable, this could be a product you should consider.

  • Pricing: unknown monthly fee;
  • Free Trial: available (14 days);
  • Integration: just add a link (button) on your website.
 
logo-eres-booknow

eRes BookNow

In their words:

eRes BookNow is your very own internet booking engine – ideal for both individual properties as well as hotel chains (multi-property booking engine). The new age traveller wants to find information quickly and easily and to transact immediately based on this available information.

NEED TO ADD.

  • Pricing: fixed monthly fee (unknown);
  • Free Trial: information not available;
  • Integration: just add a link (button) on your website.
 
logo-resonline

Booking Form (by ResOnline)

In their words:

Resonline was established in December 2003 and was the first two way channel manager in Australia. Currently there are more than 3,000 hotels connected, across 30+ countries.

Very limited information is available on their website, so a proper analysis is difficult.

  • Pricing: fixed fee from $59 / month OR 2.2% commission;
  • Free Trial: available (30 days);
  • Integration: add a link or integrate the booking form directly on the website.
 
Logo-HotelSpider

Spider-Booking

In their words:

Use Spider-Booking to sell your rooms via your own hotel website, via your mobile website and via your Facebook page.

Small family owned Swiss company (their words) with support being available in 5 different languages. Lots of information on the website, but the content structure makes it a bit difficult to comprehend.

  • Pricing: from 50 EUR / month;
  • Free Trial: available (30 days);
  • Integration: just add a link (button) on your website.
 
logo-globekey

Globekey

In their words:

Accept unlimited hotel room bookings or reservations from your own website or your Facebook fan page with commission-free, clutter-free monthly packages.

A live demo is available for hoteliers to test out, even without signing up for a trial. A customer showcase map, as well as a detailed About Us page makes this provider more trustworthy.

  • Pricing: starts at $40 / month (varies according to number of rooms);
  • Free Trial: available (30 days);
  • Integration: just add a link (button) on your website.
 
logo-bookandpaybutton

Book and Pay Button

In their words:

Maximize bookings from your own website & optimize your business social media profile with the Book and Pay Button.

Looks like this service is aimed mostly at properties in Australia. No clear information about where the company is located or who runs it, just one telephone number and nothing more. The outdated stock photos used on the website don’t make it justice either.

  • Pricing: from 3% booking commission;
  • Free Trial: information not available;
  • Integration: just add a link (button) on your website.
 
logo-cendyn-ebooker

eBooker™ (by CENDYN)

In their words:

Catering to the growing trend of guests going directly to hotel and travel websites to find the best rates, packages, leisure options and more, eBooker gives you more ways to convert a potential guest from a “looker to a booker.”

Very limited information is available on their website, so a proper analysis is difficult.

  • Pricing: information not available;
  • Free Trial: information not available;
  • Integration: add a link or integrate the booking form directly on the website.
 

Have your say

Have you had any experience with any of these products? Is there something you can share with us? Please post your comments below.

 
  • Ben

    Another good one is Veribook (veribook.com). They don’t have a WP friendly plugin yet but they have a GREAT program for small businesses and very affordable.

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