MIAMI—Hoteliers need to balance many goals—guest expectations for design and service, increasing operational efficiencies, and maximizing revenue-generating space are a few that come to mind. But, sometimes, cultural shifts open up opportunities for hotel properties to not only meet, but also exceed, those goals.
The way we work is changing, as evidenced by the rise in both remote-work positions and the increase in the availability of coworking spaces. Hotel companies have been getting into that vertical, and some have made it clear that the integration of coworking spaces and traditional hotels is a no-brainer. After all, if meeting space is being under-utilized by hotel guests, why shouldn’t hotels supplement that revenue source with local businesses?
Enter HotelQuando. Founded in 2014 by Brazilian entrepreneurs Max Campos and Pedro Xavier, the online booking platform enables users to book hotel rooms in three-, six-, nine- and 12-hour packages, as well as choose check-in and checkout times. The company expanded into the U.S. in 2016, and now, it’s expanding its offering to include an online booking site and mobile app that allows consumers to reserve hotel meeting spaces by the hour.
“We believe that there is plenty of room to improve the way hotels are marketing their meeting rooms, especially since many hotels do not allow the reservations to be done fully online. Today, to book a meeting room at a hotel, the guest has to fill out a request form/quote, and then is contacted by the hotel event team. We are making this transaction seamless. With our solution, you can book completely online with a credit card and receive the booking confirmation instantly,” Campos said. “In addition, we are also seeing a trend in express, quick meetings. Hardly do people need to book a room for the whole day anymore.”
How does it work? “The user can book a hotel meeting room for at least one hour and, at most, eight hours,” Campos said. “The value of each hour costs 12.5% of the value of the daily rate per room.” Reservations can either be made via HotelQuando’s platform or that of the partner hotel.
When creating the solution, Campos said the core principles involved were “making hotel meeting rooms more accessible and, at the same time, generating more revenue for hoteliers.” Another differentiator for the company’s platform is that it enables the hotel to personalize with its own brand and visual identity.
HotelQuando assists the hotel partner in the definition of the hourly price, promotion of the services via marketing campaigns, and customer service. “We help in price definition because the fractional economy is still a very complex issue for hoteliers,” Campos said. “We show them the potential demand that the rooms would have offered only a few hours. We also show how much it costs to book alternative places to the hotel meeting room, like coworking spaces. We breathe fractional economy; the marketing work is to guide the best practices of communication and distribution of this product.”
Noting that this product works best for hotels located near major financial/commercial centers, airports and regions with a large flow of executives, Campos said that the fractional economy opens up new demographics and users for hotels. “Starting with the resident population itself around the hotel,” he said. “Many micro-entrepreneurs and professionals who today do not have a meeting room can now rely on the rooms of the hotels in the neighborhood; also, there are many travelers who decide to stay at a particular hotel because they can also hold their meetings there. It’s all about convenience and functionality.”
The meetings world is changing. “In my view, the great change is in delivering a tailor-made solution adapted to today’s multifaceted executives,” he said. “The world is becoming more and more express, with meetings now lasting an average of 30 minutes. The world is also increasingly going online and mobile.
“I believe that the way of working is evolving,” Campos continued. “We no longer need a specific physical space to make things happen. We have everything in the cloud and in the palm of our hands. In parallel, this is the age of sharing. People seek in all sectors for shared solutions. I believe hoteliers have enormous potential to be part of this revolution in how we work. We have excellent properties, and we are born to serve.” HB