Monday, July 26, 2010

A personal shopping assistant for hotels

Hotel bookings company Gekko have invented a tool that they hope will change the way you reserve hotel rooms online. Operating under the rather unusual name of save@gekko, the system works as a four-step procedure:

- First you find the hotels you like the sound of on any hotel site (TripAdvisor, Expedia, Venere…).
- After creating a list, copy the URL links into an email and send it to
- A few minutes later you receive a list of the supposedly guaranteed best available prices on these or similar hotels.

- Finally, you choose the best deal available and book through them!

This is the theory anyway. Complicated algorhythms in the back office rarely manage to reproduce the human touch, but the idea is certainly a seductive one. To see how it works, I gave it a quick 5 minutes test.

Firstly, they announce partnerships with the principal hotel booking websites, so I decided to take links from outside that group. For a weekend in Paris, I chose a 2* hotel from HRS, a 3* hotel from and a 4* hotel from I sent the mail and…it only recognised the link from Accor, but recommended something apparently unrelated!

Whilst my test was only a very quick one, I can draw two immediate conclusions. It’s not that simple to find the correct URL to paste into the mails, and not all hotel search sites seem to be recognised. Gekko have though promised to fix any gaps in their system, and ask users to report any problems they may find.

See for more details and to test out the system.

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