Setting room types/groups in my reservation system for the 1st time

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MountainMystery's picture
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02/23/2013

So we're finally ditching the old pen & paper reservation system for the sparkly new online one and I'm sitting here trying to decide the best way to group our rooms. Maybe you can provide some quick advice?

We're a little 20-room, 2 story motel with rooms on and off creek, rooms with a single king or two queens, a suite, and a couple special rooms with kitchens or in-room whirlpools. We also have 1 accessible room and 2 smoking rooms.

My plan was to sort the rooms based on types of beds or amenities, on vs off creek, smoking vs non-smoking, and also separate out the accessible room. This creates a total of 10 different room types. However, a good percentage of our guests are older couples that require 1st floor rooms and won't stay anywhere else. Because we are in an area so often visited by seniors, I was thinking perhaps I should also separate 1st floor and 2nd floor rooms? If I do that, I'll then have 15 different room types. Even at only 10, I'm still a little concerned it's going to be overwhelming to someone looking at our site. What do you guys think? Take the chance so it's easier for guests to book the room types they want or need, or leave off 1st/2nd floor and just tell guests requiring a 1st floor room to call us instead?

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

On our website we divide rooms by floor.   Often, that is the one most imporant factor.  Next is the view and last is the bed type.  A few people care if there is a bathtub, so we describe each.

First Floor - 1 - Queen bed, limited view, ensuite bath with tub/shower combination.

Second Floor - 3 - King bed, westerly ocean view, ensuite bath with claw foot tub and hand held shower.

Second Floor - 5 - Queen bed and daybed with easterly ocean view.   Private bath steps down the hall with claw foot tub/shower combination.

Third Floor - 6 - King bed with easterly view.  Ensuite bath with stand up  shower.  

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

A good idea is to graph it all out for yourself in the easiest possible manner for you to take a Rez.

You probably will find that your core group will still call anyway.

Although we have passed the 50% mark, a sizeable number of our guests still call us to book.

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10/07/2008

My best advice is the one I always hate being told, find a similar property and emulate that. 

Since this is the first go at even online reservations I would set them up as simple as possible. I would emulate other reservationkey users if that is the program or whatever program you are going to be using. Hotel/motel has a very different layout in this area to a B&B with say 5 rooms.  I know the units are set up by bed size/ room type, ie kitchenette vs non kitchenette. 

Do you charge MORE for first floor rooms? If they are primo I certainly would. 

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I'd do the chart like arks said. Then your description on the booking engine should be such that guests can figure out easily that's the room they wanted.

Room #101: 1st floor king creekside

Room # 205: 2nd floor queen nonsmoking

I have to say that we get our fair share of older folks here but it's always the 50-60 yo crowd who balk at the stairs. The 70-80 yo bunch are happy to be alive and would just like help with the bags.

Maybe offer that as a service to get more people booking upstairs.

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Madeleine wrote:

...it's always the 50-60 yo crowd who balk at the stairs.

Happy to report that at 59 I still take stairs 2 at a time. Don't have time to hit every step. Bully!

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Skamokawa's picture
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08/24/2008

HaHa.  Recent guest looked a bit askance when told her room was up a flight of stairs.  I offered to carry the luggage (don't smirk folks, its good exercise for me, plus fewer bumps on stairs/walls). she asked "Are you strong?"  I hesitated a bit then said "I suppose I am".   I overheard her companion say 'look how easily she carries that cooler'.  I just slung it on my shoulder, like the stevedores of old.  the easiest way to carry the heavy stuff.  Keeps your back straight  <grin>  I've actually done grip work off and on over the years, and used to carry those trays that hold 4 or more plates plus accoutrements when I worked in fine dining.  Use it or lose it, and I do way too much desk work at my other job. Apologies for the thread hijack.

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Arks wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

...it's always the 50-60 yo crowd who balk at the stairs.

Happy to report that at 59 I still take stairs 2 at a time. Don't have time to hit every step. Bully!

And they expect this Granny to carry their suitcases up the stairs for them. Or dh with his 5 stents in his heart.

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

 how have you handled it before?  by phone conversation or email? 

madeline has a diagram showing where the rooms are, floors they are on ... that would help a lot

and as arks says, on your website - you show what room has what

 it's going to take some getting used to, and you will need to tweak it as you go ... but having an online reservation system is going to help you so much!  especially with all those rooms!!

Innkeep's picture
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06/04/2008

One way to look at it, just because you asked for ideas.....

By giving an opportunity to book a first floor room vs a second floor room online, you might be getting lazy people (like me) who can climb stairs without any trouble but when given the option not to will book a first floor room.  By asking anyone with mobility problems to call instead, that's the demographic that probably doesn't mind calling anyway, so you probably won't lose their booking, whereas if all the first floor rooms are booked by lazy people you might lose the mobility issues

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

I don't see this as something to handle in the reservation system, but something to handle first on your website.

Make a room amenity comparison chart page on the website. A grid with room names/numbers on the left, and amenities (bed type, smoking/non, floor, etc.) across the top, and put an X in the grid if the room has the amenity.

Then let folks do their own research, pick the room that's right for them and go reserve that room.

In the reservation system you just need to give a little info about each room (room name or number, amenities) such that they can remember the room they picked on the website and reserve it in the reservation system.

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