Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Search engine AllTheRooms integrates five more lodging companies

Accommodation search engine AllTheRooms.com has integrated five more lodging companies into its portfolio of providers, adding more than 1.5 million accommodations to its inventory.

The aggregator announced Dec. 2 that it had added lodging sites VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner), Onhotels.com, BedandBreakfast.com, HRS, and GetARoom.

"Integrating these companies will continue to expand our reach to practically every destination on the planet," Joseph DiTomaso, co-founder and CEO of AllTheRooms, said in a statement. "The variety of each company truly expands our diversity of offerings to appeal to a wide range of travelers."

The five sites are now seamlessly integrated and available in all searches. With well over three million places to stay in its database and growing daily, AllTheRooms has more availability than any vacation rental provider, online travel agency, or metasearch company combined, the company claimed.

"With our technology and carefully crafted programming architecture, there is no limit to how many providers we will add," DiTomaso continued. "We aim to appeal to all types of consumers, from the couple looking to stay at a four-star resort to backpackers looking for a last-minute hostel as they travel the world."

Using the filters on the site, users can select from types of properties, price, star rating, location, deals and discounts. Travelers can also view a map to find the accommodations closest to their current location or those near famous landmarks.

AllTheRooms claims to be “[T]he world’s first and only complete room search engine, combining hotels (like Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia and Agoda) with vacation rentals (like Airbnb, Homeaway, VRBO and 9Flats), secret deals (like Last Minute Travel, Hotwire and Priceline Express), and all other types of accommodations (like Hostelworld, GlampingHub, Groupon and Jetsetter).”

According to its press materials, existing hotel-only focused metasearch engines such as Kayak and Trivago present travelers with only a limited selection of the rooms available at a given destination, thus forcing consumers to visit dozens of different sites. AllTheRooms claims to save the customer time and money by combining all available rooms into what it calls “one well-designed and incredibly fast search engine.”

Although I already have a reservation for an upcoming trip to a suburb of Denver, I tried a search for accommodations on the dates of my visit and was quite impressed.

“Please give us exactly 3.54 seconds” to return results, the Web page said. While that was hardly enough time to grab my stopwatch, results were indeed quickly presented and ranged from the hotel I’d booked through the hotel’s website to deals through Hotwire and Groupon and houses offered through AirBnB and Flipkey. A wide range of choices indeed.

One word of caution: as with any such site, the prices reflected in the search results may not be the final price offered. Specials offered by properties have parameters - either limits on the number of rooms available, deadlines for booking, or other criteria – so, as AllTheRooms itself cautions, travelers should double-check the room information including the price before finalizing their bookings.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

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