Does Hold the Key to Your Traveling Heart?

5:11 PM Posted by Admin

Is just another dime-a-dozen travel site or something you should be paying attention to?

Shall we count the number of travel sites online that claim to better than the next site? If only we had so much more time in the day to do so. Which is why when launched in January of this year it wasn't huge news.

So what's so special about

Well it was founded by companies that are in the hospitality industry (Choice Hotels, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Wyndham and Marriott).'s claim to fame is the way it makes booking a room much easier and simpler than what already exists online right now. If you take a look at their website the one thing you'll notice is that it's clean and very simple looking. There are no banners, flashing lights, moving pictures, or headlines coming at you from all angles.

In other words, you're not pulled into different directions when you land on their site. If you've been to other competitor's sites then you know exactly what I mean. Your focus is entirely on one thing - booking a hotel room. In fact, it seems so darn simple that's it's even kind of scary.

RoomKey's other claim to fame is that you can book directly with each hotel that's a partner (direct connect) with RoomKey. In other words, you are connecting directly into each hotel's website. Direct connect partners of will say book at.

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For those hotels that are not direct connect partners of you can book the hotel room indirectly via Roomkey (notice it will state book it when you're looking up hotels).

To understand the difference between book at and book it, you'll have to go to the's website to see what I mean. Think of "book it" as what you do when book via Expedia. They, being Expedia, are the middleman and you pay them and they in turn pay the hotel.

This is a model that some travelers have to come to despise especially when travel plans go awry. I would think that these types of issues are the main reasons came into existence in the first place.

The Pros of

The biggest pro of using is that you can book directly with each hotel. You also get loyalty points from the hotels themselves when you book directly. When you do use the direct connect and book directly you have greater flexibility in case you need to change your travel arrangements. also lets you see reviews and ratings of each hotel...courtesy of This way you're not booking your hotels blindly.

The Cons of

Because is still fairly new, there isn't a whole lot of inventory - in other words, there are still a lot of hotel chains and independent hotels not on board with roomkey.

Although the direct connect function on RoomKey is a hot selling point there are drawbacks; one of which is that you must be aware of each hotel's policy on cancellations which can differ greatly between hotels.

Before you confirm your reservations double check the hotel's policy so it doesn't come back to bite you later.

Another con is that sometimes by using the "book it" feature where you book indirectly and RoomKey is the middleman, it isn't always a sure-fire thing that the rates will be much lower than using a site such as Expedia.

What Does the Future Hold For RoomKey?

Things seem to be looking up for room key as Sabres reservations system has added roomkeky to its system (see story )

It seems the best use of this site is its direct connect feature where you book directly with each hotel. If you choose to book indirectly via roomkey you may not be that much better off than using any other online travel site.

Let's see where this company is one year from now.


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