Want the Hotel Room with a View? Try Room 77.
Let’s face it, we definitely all want the corner room that boasts the coastline vista or the majestic view of the city skyline at night – but often we instead find ourselves looking out over a parking lot or rooftop of a neighboring building, which isn’t quite so glamorous or appealing.
In the ever-changing world of online travel, a new Web site – Room 77 – has emerged, and its goal is to give us all exactly what we want: The room with a view.
Room 77 takes into account several important factors when ranking hotel rooms, including distance from elevators, which floor a guest prefers and of course, the view. Users can then click on individual room numbers and see how closely that room matches their search criteria.
When clicking the hotel rooms on the site, images appear that show the actual “view” from individual rooms at each hotel. This is a great idea in theory, but in practice, it ends up giving a false sense of the actual view, showing an image that may not be as picturesque as the view truly is. The images are satellite images from Google Earth, which are often not the most aesthetically pleasing or accurate.
For example, check out the would-be breathtaking view from a room below. It's the view from room 3117 at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. The buildings in the foreground are blurred out, and the lake in the background, which might actually look great from the hotel room, is barely visible in this image.
As the site matures and becomes more well-known, hopefully the imagery will also improve. Room 77 does offer the opportunity for hotel guests to submit their own view photos, which would probably be a more accurate portrayal of a hotel’s views.
Currently, the Web site has collected data through “official and unofficial means” according to Tech Crunch – and the site is working with big brand hotels to validate and expand its information database of individual hotel rooms.
So, what does this mean for hotels?
As a hotelier, Room 77 could be your best friend or your worst enemy. As mentioned before, most of the photos that the Web site has pulled from Google Earth’s satellite images may not be the most flattering for your property – often showing blurry images and inaccurate coloring. The images can make a completely desirable view look less than desirable.
If you have the means, and your hotel is in one of Room 77’s target markets, it might not be a bad idea to take some professional pictures of your rooms with a view and submit them manually to Room 77 – it could give you an edge against the competition that uses only Google Earth images.
In addition to submitting photos, the hotel can contact Room 77 with "tips" from the concierge or hotel staff, offering a little insight into what it's actually like to stay at the hotel.
You can search here, but you can’t book here
While Room 77 gives users a unique opportunity to search for the perfect hotel room or suite, the website doesn’t offer its own direct booking. Once you’ve found a hotel and a room that suits you, you can click on the “Make a Reservation” link and the Room 77 will redirect you to the hotel's official reservation page or a partner site so you can (hopefully) book the room of your choice.
The link to "Make a Reservation" takes you to a Room 77 partner site - where you can book your reservation. There is also a link at the top of the search page that takes you directly to the hotel's Web site. That link is called "Hotel Website."
Room 77 is still in its Beta stage and is currently only available in certain cities in the U.S. and England. Which cities, you ask? Here’s where you can currently book your room with a view:
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Diego