Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped thousands of hotels choose the right reservation software so they can manage reservations and avoid scheduling errors.

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innRoad

innRoad is a cloud-based property management system designed to meet the needs of hospitality businesses of all sizes including hotels, motels, resorts, B&Bs, lodges and campgrounds. innRoad provides tools to help users manage hos... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 29 recommendations

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eviivo

eviivo suite is a cloud-based booking management software designed to help small hotels, lodges, vacation rentals, and other establishments manage guests, reservations, payments and more. It offers white-labelling capabilities, wh... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

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Cloudbeds

Cloudbeds is a cloud-based hotel management solution suitable for small to midsize hotels, vacation rentals, hostels and B&Bs. Key features include front office management, central reservations, housekeeping management, online boo... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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ThinkReservations

ThinkReservations provides a fast, professional and comprehensive property management system (PMS) for independent lodging businesses. With a blend of business management solutions, integrated payment processing, US-based cus... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 15 recommendations

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Little Hotelier

Trusted by more small, independent properties around the world than any other provider, Little Hotelier is the hotel platform that lets you easily attract more guests, take direct bookings online, understand how your business is p... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations

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RMS Cloud

RMS is an all-inclusive hotel management system that provides dynamic pricing, as well as a number of other unique features fully integrated into the system. This robust solution is a great fit for properties of all sizes.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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protel PMS

protel solutions form a robust technology stack for all hotel business types, with a worldwide team of local partners to support it. The ground-breaking app store, accessible directly via the protel PMS, has rapidly changed the wa... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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roomMaster

roomMaster by InnQuest is a cloud-based property management solution suitable for hotels including chains, independent hotels, business hotels, boutique properties and resort hotels of all sizes. On-premise deployments are also av... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Wix

Wix is a cloud-based landing page solution that helps users create and manage websites. The solution provides multiple templates with video backgrounds, fonts and animation. It allows users to customize the website with their own ... Read more

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Acuity Scheduling

Acuity Scheduling is a cloud-based appointment scheduling software solution that enables business owners to manage their appointments online. The product caters to the needs of small and midsize businesses as well as individual pr... Read more

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Eventbrite

Eventgrid is a cloud-based event registration and ticketing solution that helps users organize conferences, seminars, festivals, shows, forums and matches. Key features include event management, ticketing and payment modules. ... Read more

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Mindbody

Mindbody is a cloud-based club management and appointment scheduling solution designed for the needs of small to midsize businesses. The product is primarily used by gyms, fitness and personal training centers, salons, spas and ma... Read more

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Fresha

Fresha, formerly Shedul, is a cloud-based appointment scheduling and business management software solution. It offers slot booking, calendar management, product management, service management and a point of sale (POS) functionalit... Read more

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FareHarbor

FareHarbor is a cloud-based tour and activity booking solution that enables tour operators to manage their day-to-day business operations. It offers online booking management and payment portals, and it integrates with user websit... Read more

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Booker

Booker by MINDBODY is a cloud-based booking solution that provides businesses in cosmetics and wellness industry such as spas and salons, tools, which help them to manage their booking routines, payments, customer interactions and... Read more

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SimplyBook.me

SimplyBook.me is a cloud-based scheduling solution designed for service businesses in multiple industries. It provides a booking site so that users can accept online bookings, collect client feedback to optimize revenue and servic... Read more

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Setmore

Setmore is a free appointment scheduling platform suitable for a variety of business sizes and industries. Make it simple to connect with more clients with a free, online booking page. List your availability and services online a... Read more

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OpenTable

OpenTable is a cloud-based restaurant management solution that enables restaurant managers to accept online reservations and optimize seating arrangements. It is suitable for restaurants of all sizes. OpenTable is available i... Read more

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Peek PRO Tour Operator Software

Peek Pro is a cloud-based solution for tour and activity operators of all sizes. The software helps activity operators by providing their websites with an online booking management engine and centrally manages online, offline... Read more

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Xola

Xola is a cloud-based booking solution that allows activity and tour companies to manage bookings from a variety of different sources including via the phone, websites or in person. The solution provides a mobile interface and can... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: September 23, 2021

Here's what we'll cover in this guide:

What is hotel reservation software?
Common Features of Hotel Reservation Software
Key Considerations
Market Trends to Understand

What is hotel reservation software?

Hotel reservation software is an application that helps hotels, resorts, home-stays or lodges accept bookings from customers and collect payments online. The tool allows customers to choose the date and length of their stay as well as the type of room that they want. Customers can also pay the rent amount upfront through credit card or net banking options. Hotel reservation software can be integrated with your hotel website and with other third-party booking websites to help you seamlessly manage bookings and room availability.

Common Features of Hotel Reservation Software

Hotel reservation systems perform several functions related to online reservations, including managing rates and inventory and storing customer profile information. These systems also interface with various sales channels to ensure your hotel’s inventory and information is available to guests no matter where they reserve a room. These channels include:

  • The Global Distribution System (GDS; defined below)
  • Online travel agencies
  • Booking engine software and reservation call centers

Finally, most reservation systems can interface with a property management system, which is used to manage other areas of a hotel’s daily operations.

Here’s a list of the most common capabilities of hotel reservation software:

Feature Description
Reservation tracking Enter and track reservations in a “tape chart”: a color-coded grid of reservations hoteliers can modify to reflect changes in availability. Some systems, like more robust travel agency software, include the ability to track where reservations originate (e.g., from the hotel website or an online travel agency).
Rate management Adjust rates and determine which rates are available to certain guests during certain times of the year or during promotions.
Customer data profiling Manage phone numbers, payment information, membership status, statistics on past stays and other information about guests.
Internet booking engine Many hotel reservation systems can enable online booking from your hotel’s website, turning your site into a veritable booking engine—an essential function today.
Global Distribution System integration A GDS is a network that stores the rate and inventory information of hotels connected to it by a central reservation system. Online travel agencies also access the GDS, and use the information to ensure consistency for customers when booking online. Connecting a hotel to these networks with hotel reservation software allows guests to book rooms on systems other than the hotel’s system. Though the technology is aging, four major GDSs exist today (Worldspan, Amadeus, Galileo and Sabre) that are still used by most hotels.

Key Considerations

If you are in the market for hotel reservation software, here are a few factors to consider during your search:

Choose a system that fits the size of your hotel. Hotel reservation systems can vary in the number of rooms, number of properties and room types they support. Select a system that accommodates your hotel’s needs: choosing one that is designed for larger hotels when your business is a small bed and breakfast, for example, could make the reservation process more complicated than necessary. Large resorts, on the other hand, may require dedicated resort tools to meet their needs.

Consider GDS integration. Hotels should still consider GDS integration when choosing a hotel reservation system to ensure that rooms and rates appear correctly on the several thousands of sales channels GDSs link to.

Evaluate usability. Choose a system with an interface that is easy for you to decipher and that gives your hotel the most exposure to sales channels. More importantly, since the systems allow for online bookings, you should pick one with an easy-to-use customer interface. A simple, intuitive interface can mean the difference between a completed guest transaction and a failed conversion.

Market Trends to Understand

The biggest challenge for the hotel industry today is wrestling revenue back from online travel agencies, which have attracted travelers with reduced rates from hotels. Keep these trends in mind when comparing hotel reservation systems:

Online travel agencies. With the advent of the Internet, traditional travel agencies were undercut by airlines and hotels that could now offer direct sales to customers through their websites—avoiding the fees required to be listed with an agency.

Online travel agencies (OTAs) developed their own Internet presence by connecting to the GDS. These websites, such as Expedia, Priceline and Orbitz, focused their services on sorting and and comparing hotel rates and inventory to make planning easier for travelers.

OTAs charge hotels 10 to 25 percent in commission fees for being listed—but neglecting the millions of dollars generated through those websites is not an option for the vast majority of hotel managers. By using an appropriate hotel reservation system and increasing your online marketing strategy, you can drive more bookings directly from your website.

Metasearch engines. Other websites, such as Kayak and HotelsCombined.com, scour through the OTAs’ independent search engines to bring users a live inventory of hotel rooms across multiple OTAs. They allow users to sort these results by price, rating and other filters. These sites redirect travellers to the hotel website or OTA for the final purchase, and generate revenue through advertising and listing fees.