New service launched alongside housekeeping live reporting tool as part of ‘all-in-one’ hospitality ecommerce platform.
DUBLIN & DENVER — Hotel software solutions provider P3 has become the industry’s first hotel booking engine provider to allow guests to book interconnected hotel rooms online. This pioneering new service is designed to enhance the guest journey for families and other groups, making it easier for them to guarantee their booking of interconnected rooms without the need to contact the hotel.
The P3 booking engine is able to identify and secure interconnected rooms in the hotel’s property management system at the time of booking, eliminating the risk of human error, and avoiding families or groups arriving at their destination to find that their rooms were not actually reserved in the desired configuration. This also removes the need for guests to either phone or email a hotel with a request for connecting rooms, which also reduces the work of hotel staff, who otherwise would have to manually complete the task for their guests.
P3 CEO Phelim Pekaar said, “Booking a family or group stay in a hotel has always been difficult to do online. It has traditionally involved either a phone call or email to the hotel to request interconnecting or adjoining rooms. We wanted to remove that barrier, in order to make it simple for guests to search and book interconnected rooms at a time that is convenient for them. That’s what our new booking engine functionality does – it secures the interconnecting rooms at the time of booking, and it does it on the hotel property management system, so the rooms are guaranteed.”
Currently only a few very large major hotel groups, such as Hilton, facilitate booking interconnecting or adjoining rooms online within their own proprietary booking systems. P3 is the first independent booking engine provider to offer this functionality to hotels and hotel groups of any size. The service can be integrated into Oracle Hospitality’s OPERA property management systems.
Pekaar shared that P3 faced two main challenges when building the technology into the P3 booking engine, saying, “Firstly, we needed to be able to guarantee that the guest would get two rooms that would be interconnected. This requires the booking engine to have the capability of not only seeing room types but also seeing the availability of actual physical room numbers and understanding which room numbers have interconnecting doors. Our booking engine is now able to assign specific room numbers to a reservation to ensure that two interconnecting rooms cannot be taken by any other reservation agent for the same stay period.
Hotels typically offer a discount to families who are booking interconnecting rooms. The first room is charged on an adult/child occupancy rate, while the second room is charged on a child-only occupancy rate. Traditional booking engines and PMS systems cannot handle this, so a reservation agent would need to make a manual price override on the reservation to give a family discount.
“What we’ve done is build a discounting function into the booking engine that can mimic the same group family discount that reservations agents offer over the phone,” explained Pekaar.
The interconnected room booking service is not the only new feature from P3. The Irish technology company – which has a U.S. office in Boulder, Colorado – recently released a housekeeping tool that allows staff to update and view live information on the status of each room. This tool is a mobile webpage that pulls out the changes made in OPERA to display a live report of whether a room is vacant, occupied, clean, out-of-order, etc. This dynamic tool is designed to help housekeeping staff better organize room cleanings, but can also be used by the maintenance team to get a report of rooms that need to be checked. Users can filter their view by floor, room status or housekeeping status according to their role.
Pekaar concluded, “Interconnected room booking and the housekeeping tool are just the latest features on P3’s all-in-one hospitality ecommerce platform, which provides a seamless online booking and guest experience for hotels and their customers.”
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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.