Flushing the chain hotels

4 min. read
Published 07 Nov. 2018

Thoughts and general musings from our Co Founder Chris.

Once upon a time, there wasn't an internet. Booking somewhere to stay for the night involved more luck than judgement. (Because there wasn't enough information to make a decent judgement.)

Armed with a Yellow Pages and your posh phone voice, you'd book your B&B based on a short advertisement and whether or not they answered the phone.

There was no website for you to peruse, no image gallery for you to swipe through, no reviews for you to read, no availability for you to check.

You never quite knew what you were booking.

So, pre-internet B&B booking was akin to blindfolded chocolate choosing. After all, British B&Bs come in all tastes and sizes. While you might like the strawberry ones, I'm a coconut kind of guy. But, at the end of the day, we're all trying to avoid the coffee and walnut horror show.

And so the chain hotels solved a problem. Your expectations – however low – were met. You got somewhere to stay at the right price, in a convenient-enough location with a nice view of the motorway. Sure, there was lack of heart and soul in said hotels, but at least you didn't get a dud.

No more pot luck.

Brian Chesky – the founder of Airbnb – knew the internet could become the descriptive card you get with the box of chocolates. He was right. You can now confidently book that quirky little place, because there are no nasty surprises. All the information you need is somewhere on the web. 

But while guests embrace the internet booking revolution, not every accommodation owner does. Opening up your home to guests isn't easy money.  It comes with its worries – and, for some, those worries only increase when you start taking online bookings.

  • What if a large stag party books out my accommodation?
  • What if people think they can turn up at 1am in the morning?
  • What if I don't have an opportunity to keep my diary up-to-date and I end up with double bookings?
At Inn Style, we want to remove those worries, and empower independent accommodation owners. Here's how we're doing it:

Old-Fashioned Booking

Disable instant online bookings, meaning that any reservations made online are subject to your approval.

Although we believe guests like instant confirmation, we understand that some accommodation owners want to check bookings before accepting them. It's a nod to the old-fashioned way, and it's still a million miles better than a contact form or email ping-pong.

Check In Times

Define a window for guest check-in. This means you can lock the door at 11pm, safe in the knowledge that you can get some kip and not be awoken by an arrival at silly o'clock.

What's more, check-in times can be assigned by accommodation type. So if you've got a B&B and campsite, you don't need to have the same window for both.

Trust in technology

These features are designed to give independent accommodation owners peace of mind. Because the more trust that these accommodation owners have in technology, the more visibility they'll have on the internet.

That means we can ensure that booking a small B&B directly isn't out of the ordinary. Chain hotels don't need to be the default option.

Holidaying becomes more personal, with a greater connection between holidaymakers and the local economy.

Let's make that a reality.

Accommodation owner? Sign up for Inn Style now.