Well, have you ever thought that you can bid a price to get yourself a standard room, in a good and comfortable hotel? Sometimes, luxurious too without burning your pocket much!
Recently, I tried this really cool concept during my stay in Mumbai on recommendation from a fellow blogger friend. Honestly, I couldn’t believe that I can get myself a room in a FOUR STAR hotel in Mumbai suburb, at a rate which I was paying otherwise, to get myself a budgeted property around the area I was looking to stay in Mumbai
But before discussing this concept, let me share the challenges I was facing (considering I travel on strict budget)
- Since, I was looking for a hotel in a closer vicinity of Juhu or Bandra, even a basic budget hotel room was costing me Rs. 2300/-, during the period I was looking to stay
- All the options I could get wasn’t closer to the local railway station, which meant I needed to travel for an extra 5-10 kms to reach either the station or hotel
- I tried finding a dorm and got one too, but it was booked for the said period. An AC room was costing me Rs. 800/- including breakfast
So what did I do?
TravelSpice- a hotel booking platform which help travelers bid for your own room in any Hotel category
Travel Spice came as a recommendation from a friend, when I wasn’t able to get a room in cheaper rates and that’s when she suggested that I should try this platform. TravelSpice is a Bangalore based hotel booking platform which allows travelers to stay in any of the quality assured star hotels at discounts upto 70% compared to lowest available market price. This means that a regular traveler can book a room in a star category hotel, without burning their pockets. For me it meant, that if I would be paying a somewhat equilivalent amount for a budgeted property, I might as well get myself a good hotel
How do TravelSpice work?
I am sure you would have your doubts on how Travel spice operates or it is impossible to get such huge discounts. I had it too and therefore I am sharing everything that I observed while booking my room through TravelSpice
Let’s understand the process first
The process of booking a room through this platform is fairly simpleDownload the TravelSpice app from the Playstore. They doesn’t require any login details, which means less hassle. The brand will ask for your email id and phone number, during the process of making the booking. This is entirely for communication purposes since they give a follow up call
Upon opening the app, TravelSpice will ask you to pick a city and a particular area, within the city, where you are looking to stay along with your travel dates & number of people traveling
Upon selecting the dates and area, TravelSpice will ask you to choose a hotel category which ranges from a three star to five star property.
Upon selecting the category, TravelSpice would display a price slab where you can bid for your price (Scroll below to understand this )
Upon selecting the price, TravelSpice will display an entire list of hotels registered on its platform where a room can be booked in the said price (Again a catch here. I am talking about it below).
Select a hotel of your choice but you can’t choose a single option. Minimum 3 selections is required to process this further
Payment terms of TravelSpice are simple. Upon marking the options from the hotels, you will be directed to a payment screen, where you are required to pay an entire amount in advance. Once the payment is successfully processed, TravelSpice reaches to the selected hotels and give a confirmation on your room within three working hours. And incase no hotel accepts the bid, the entire amount is transferred to the customer within 72 hours.
- My personal experience of booking through this platform, shows that the price I paid to get myself a room was less compared to other offered pricing of the same hotel, on other hotel booking platforms during the mentioned period. I wish, I took the screenshots but let’s compare it with the present pricing. So, I chose to book a 5 star hotel on 11th May in Mumbai around Juhu, Santacruz and Thane. My bid price including taxes is coming to Rs. 5,118 which means I will get a room in the mentioned price.
Now, when I compared the hotel pricing on booking.com (from where I make the hotel booking generally) the hotel pricing on the same dates is costing me above Rs. 8000/-
- I found it a win- win situation for both the travel community and the hotels. Hotels benefits because they can fill their vacant rooms while a traveler can dream of staying at a good star category property within a limited budget. Some say that they can check with the hotel directly for a bargain incase they are vacant, but guess not everyone would do so. So, I found the TravelSpice ideation fruitful for both here
- TravelSpice offers rooms in three categories- Three, Four and Five star, so I think it is viable to opt for a good property within a limited budget
- All the rooms offered by TravelSpice are a standard room with double occupancy, including breakfast and free wi-fi service. That’s a normal service that everyone wants. Therefore, you don’t need to pay anything extra to get these but incase you need any extra service, laundry to say as an example, you need to pay an extra amount. This goes default with everyone so fair enough
- The price slab displayed by the brand would have a minimum and maximum amount already mentioned, on which you can bid. This means that you shall be given a minimum and maximum rate card to bid, which depends on the room pricing during the selected dates and basis the number of people. So, don’t think that you can get a room in Rs. 100 in a four or five star category hotel. Just kidding 😉
- Confirmation on the payment doesn’t guarantee you a room. TravelSpice will try its best but this entirely depends on the availability of room with the said hotel. This is default again
- Incase, you would want a hotel in a particular area only, there might be a chance that you will not get it, as single selection option is not available
- Though, one of the catch I found here is- that the allotment of the hotel is basis the selected pricing by you. For example, your chosen options in a Five star hotel category is Taj, ITC and Westin and your bid price is the minimum on the given rate card. It is more likely that you will end up getting a room in Westin than Taj, which is cheaper in the selected category. Though, I wouldn’t mind it since I get to stay in a good hotel at a reasonable price
On the whole, I find the concept interesting especially for last minute booking since you don’t have shell out extra
Disclaimer: The review is based on my personal experience of booking hotels during the said period.
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