When it comes to planning a trip – especially one to a new destination – we like to turn to people we trust for recommendations: when to go, what to do, where to stay. These days, we also have the entire internet as a resource. So many photos, blog, reviews, and too many booking sites that all claim to have the best price. This is when travel planning can easily get overwhelming and when finding a source you can trust becomes even more important.
Enter Room Key. We partner with the world’s largest and most well-known hotel brands – brands that you’ve trusted for a long time – to help you find the best hotel to meet your needs. We’re different from other hotel booking sites because we have a unique connection.
Room Key’s Beginning
Room Key was founded by a collective group of six hotel brands: Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, and Wyndham Worldwide. It may seem odd that competing hotels would come together to create a joint online booking site, but there was a good reason for it. They were tired of being overshadowed and pushed around by the two huge travel site conglomerates, Expedia and Priceline. They hated how those online travel agencies (OTAs) treated their customers with shady sales tactics, tricky cancellation policies, and sub-par customer service.
But travelers loved the one-stop, one-search aspect of sites like that. Being able to search across all available hotels at once is convenient and useful when planning for a trip. So, Room Key was created to serve as a multi-brand hotel search site that – unlike the others – actually puts the customer first.
Room Key Today
Today, we still uphold the mission and values of our original charter. We’re committed to setting a new standard for hotel search and changing the travel industry for good. We know you have a lot of decisions to make, so we’re here to help by providing you with hotel details, rate information, and travel content aimed at making you feel more confident in your choices.
Finding hotels should be straightforward. So we offer hotel search without the gimmicks or runaround that other travel sites put you through. We put your best interests first and make it easy to find a hotel and a rate you won’t have to second-guess. Because we’re owned by the major hotel brands, we get our information straight from the source. This means our information is as accurate and as up-to-date as possible. When you’re ready to book, we take you to the hotel website to complete your booking. That’s the best way to secure your room, rate, and loyalty points too. Our partnership with hotels gives you a better booking experience, simple as that.
Why It Matters
Room Key was created by the hotels for the guests. Guests have the ability to search multiple hotel chains at once and compare rates, hotel information, and room options. Once you’ve selected your hotel of choice, the rest is a direct relationship between you and the hotel – no middleman! When you book directly with the hotel, you have peace of mind knowing there won’t be any lost reservations. You’ll also have more flexibility to change your stay if you need to. You get the service you deserve because you’re the hotel’s customer, not Travelocity’s or Booking.com’s customer. This is key to ensuring a smooth vacation, and we love being able to help facilitate that relationship.
Find a Lower Rate
Booking direct is also the best way to secure the lowest possible rate for your hotel. Here’s what we mean: price-parity agreements between hotels and OTAs dictate that the price shown for a specific room must be the same no matter where it’s sold. This means that if you’re comparing a room on Wyndham.com to the same room on Orbitz.com, the base rate for that room will be the same.
An exception to this agreement lies with loyalty rates. Many hotel brands – like each of our partners – offer discounted rates to members of their loyalty programs. Because these rates are sold to “closed user groups” (i.e. loyalty program members,) they are allowed to undercut the parity agreement and be lower than the publicly available rate.
OTA sites don’t have access to loyalty rates. In fact, these rates are only available if you book directly with the hotel. But Room Key is different. Because of our direct relationship with our partners, we’re allowed to show hotel loyalty rates in our search results. No other multi-brand search site can do that! By searching on roomkey.com, you’re able to compare all the lowest rates out there to know you’re getting the best deal.
Better for the Hotel, Better for You
Booking directly with the hotel not only benefits you but the hotel as well. When you book your stay on the hotel’s own website, the hotel doesn’t have to pay high booking commissions to the OTA. Every time you use Hotels.com to book a Hampton Inn, for instance, that hotel has to pay Hotels.com a percentage of the total amount of your stay. That commission percentage varies by each hotel, but for some properties, it can get as high as 25%!
These fees add up over time. This means that hotel properties have fewer funds for facility management, property renovations, and room improvements. Instead, those commission dollars go right into the pockets of the OTAs. Avoid this by booking directly on the hotel’s website. Your travel dollars will be put to better use, and you’ll end up staying in cleaner, happier hotels.
We Love Our Hotel Partners
Our relationship with our hotel partners is something no one else has. Because of that, our goal is to help you find a hotel that you can book with confidence, knowing you’re getting the lowest rate with the customer service you deserve.
We trust our partners to give you a comfortable place to stay at the lowest price you can find. You can trust us to give you a reliable and gimmick-free search experience. That’s how Room Key makes travel work for you.