FIVE OF THE BEST: Booking engines


Every hotel is looking to muscle in and capture more direct bookings to help cut sky-high commission costs commanded by the OTAs. Not every booking engine is just after your money however; we bring you a round up of the best ones designed to help you boost your status online and steer consumers away from the dominating travel agents.

Direct Booking Manager (DBM)

What it does

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Guestline’s DBM supports direct bookings, offering a streamlined system to enhance the customer journey. This includes fully integrated Guestline distribution and PMS products, bookings and rates, all of which are updated in real-time.

Why best for boutique hotels?

The DBM’s flexible interface looks great on any browser or device and has been engineered to drive direct bookings, with a future-proof architecture to pave the way for online sales of accommodation and non-accommodation products.

The DBM can be easily styled to match any existing online presence, with a full theming control panel to manipulate fonts, colours, brand logos, and social media channels.

The system features a persistent ‘Shopping Basket’ that is updated live with any changes to room choice, rate selection, or upsell adding. Google Tag Manager integration is built into every page of the DBM for tracking, transaction reporting, and third-party functionality to further enhance marketing visibility and monitoring. Payment Gateway support for Secure Trading and Worldpay gives access to all major payment methods including PayPal.

Commission rate: Set transaction fee.

How much more business can a hotel expect to receive?

Hotels will see the benefit of pushing traffic to this modern, streamlined booking platform through increased revenue from direct business.

Current hotel clients:

Examples include: Duke of Normandie Hotel and Bauhaus Hotel



What it does is the only booking tool that provides both the customer and hotel total flexibility to book rooms tailored to the hours that they require – enabling the customer to dictate check-in/check out times to suit them.

This flexibility will always remain within the parameters of your hotel’s comfort, whilst consistently calculating the optimal rate for your hotel for any duration of stay.

Why best for boutique hotels?

We all know hotels have empty rooms during the day. In response, Flexibookings offer the consumer extended or contracted stays at a function of the nightly rate, whether it be 110% for an extra hour or 95% for one less hour, it’s all a function of nightly rate, by the hour and adaptive to occupancy.

Commission rate: 3% commission

How much more business can a hotel expect to receive?

A recent case study shows, a hotel’s direct revenue grew from £7,093 per month to £29,036 per month over a period of three months.

Current hotel clients:

A huge range of hotels from independent boutique style properties to Mercure hotels, Moxy hotels and Best Western hotels.


Allora by Avvio

What it does:

The world’s first AI booking engine.

Why best for boutique hotels?

Allora uses AI for continuous learning. Constantly optimising to achieve better outcomes for every hotel and accommodation provider using the platform. Allora watches and learns from what’s happening now, and what has happened in the past. It explores data to understand behaviours and help hoteliers to make the right decisions for your property.

Commission rate: Monthly commission fee, or advanced monthly payment.

How much more business can a hotel expect to receive?

Avvio guarantees to grow direct business by at least 25% when you switch to using the booking engine. Avvio is the leading direct booking platform and digital agency for hotels and accommodation providers.

Current hotel clients:

The Arch, The Ampersand, Adare Manor, Classic British Hotels, Sopwell House, Dromoland Castle, Manorview Hotels Group, Ashford Castle, Great National Hotels and Resorts and many others.


Hotel Perfect’s Direct Booking Engine

What it does:

Hotel Perfect’s Direct Booking Engine drives direct bookings through your website, avoiding the high commissions of the OTAs. The engine is styled bespoke to your website and branding, is fully responsive across all devices and sits within your website so that your guests are reassured that they are booking with you and will receive the best rate.

Why best for boutique hotels?

Not only does the Direct Booking Engine need to visually sell your rooms but it also needs to upsell anything you offer that is special or different. This booking engine is flexible and allows you to intelligently market unique packages or special offers to set yourself apart from the competition.

Commission rate: 0% Commission.

How much more business can a hotel expect to receive?

This all depends on type of hotel, design of the website and marketing strategy. Many customers see their direct bookings more than double after implementing our Direct Booking Engine and if they also implement an automatic dynamic pricing strategy at the same time they can often see an even bigger increase in direct bookings.

Current hotel clients:

Examples include Olga Polizzi at her Hotel Tresanton and Hotel Endsleigh.


Inn Style

What it does:

Inn Style is an intelligent property management system for hotels, inns, and B&Bs. The site provides guests with a slick and simple way to book online, and give you a platform with which to manage reservations and take payments.

Why best for boutique hotels?

The booking pages are completely customisable, meaning hotels can offer a consistent band journey throughout the booking process. We understand the importance of attention to detail – which is why we match button colours, backgrounds, fonts and logos, to each hotel’s individual needs. Our system is also mobile-friendly – something of huge importance given that over 65% of hotel bookings are now made through a smartphone.

Commission rate: Monthly subscription fee, based on the size of your accommodation. (Prices start from £20 per month).

How much more business can a hotel expect to receive?

A slick booking experience significantly decreases the risk of cart abandonment. As such, Inn Style’s booking system means guests are more likely to book direct through your website – and less likely to head to an OTA instead.

Current hotel clients:

The Chestnut Group in Suffolk to St Valery Boutique B&B in Cornwall, to The Bower House Restaurant with Rooms in Shipston on Stour. The company also works with clients across the globe – in destinations such as Europe, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the USA.

Tags : booking enginefive of the best
Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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