Answering Your Most Frequently Asked Questions About Roomkey

woman raising hand to ask questionWho else had that teacher who, every time you raised your hand and said, “I have a question,” they said, “and I have an answer!” Well, we know you have questions about Roomkey, and yes, we have the answers. If there’s anything we didn’t cover, please reach out to us at feedback@roomkey.com or through our Twitter or Facebook pages.

What is Roomkey?

Roomkey is a hotel booking site founded by six of the world’s leading hotel companies. Our mission is to bring honesty, integrity, and transparency to the hotel booking process.

When we took a hard look at online hotel search, we didn’t like what we saw—tricks, half-truths, and misleading information were making it harder than ever to know if you were picking the right hotel and getting a fair price. A lot of online travel sites claim to have the “best” price on a hotel room, and many “guarantee” it. But often they just have the same price that everyone else does, accompanied by a lot of techniques designed to get you to buy a hotel room quickly.

At Roomkey, we’re setting a new standard in travel. So we created a hotel search that puts your best interests first and makes it easy to find a hotel you won’t have to second-guess. We even give you the ability to compare hotel prices against lower loyalty rates so you can know you’ve left no stone unturned in your research.

We give you all of the facts you need, presented in a way that makes sense. Then we take you straight to the hotel’s website where you’ll secure your rate, room, and loyalty points. Because we’re owned by the major hotel brands, we get our information straight from the source and you get to shop across all of the brands you trust. At Roomkey, our motto is No tricks. Just travel.

Get to know us a little better.

Where can I stay with Roomkey?

We’ve partnered with trusted hotel chains that have more than 45,000 locations around the world. That adds up to over 4 million hotel rooms worldwide! Our partners have hotels in 150 countries and on every continent besides Antarctica, so you’ll be sure to find a hotel wherever you’re traveling. Want some inspiration? Check out some of these ideas:

How is Roomkey different than other hotel booking sites?

Travel sites like Expedia, Travelocity, Booking.com, Priceline, etc. are known as online travel agencies (or OTAs for short). These sites are third-party booking agencies that take your hotel or flight booking and then pass that reservation information onto the hotel or airline. When booking through an OTA, you pay those sites, not the hotel directly. As a result, you are a customer of the OTA, not the hotel.

In contrast, Roomkey is not a middleman. We don’t actually take your hotel booking. Instead, you use Roomkey to search for the hotels you want, and then we pass you off to the hotel to complete your transaction. All of your credit card information, name, stay dates, room requests, etc. remain with the hotel. This ensures a much better experience for you because you won’t risk your reservation getting lost with someone else. Read this story for what happened to someone who booked through an OTA instead of directly with the hotel. Don’t let that happen to you!

Why should I use Roomkey instead of something else?

OTAs like the ones we just talked about are really good at selling you hotels. And we mean selling you hotels. If you ever thought that using one of those sites felt like you were being sweet-talked by a used car salesman, you’re not alone. They use flashy colors, confusing messaging, and biased search results to steer to you toward hotels that they want you to book. Roomkey doesn’t do that. We offer you a simple and honest way to search for hotels without all the gimmicks or confusing pricing. Plus, when you search with Roomkey, you’ll end up booking directly on the hotel’s website which, as we said before, is the best way to book a hotel.

How do I get a refund or change my reservation?

Since Roomkey directs you to book your reservation with the hotel itself, you’ll need to contact the hotel directly to change your stay, cancel your trip, or make specific requests. Working with the hotel one-on-one helps you get the most flexibility and best customer service. You’re a customer of the hotel, so when you communicate with them you don’t even have to mention Roomkey—just tell them your name and the dates of your stay.

How does your pricing work?

Roomkey gets its rates directly from the hotels themselves. So the prices you see for a hotel on Roomkey.com are the same prices that the hotel offers on their website. Each hotel passes us all the rate details for their different room sizes plus any taxes or fees that are associated with the hotel. First, we list room rates by the average nightly price you’ll pay. Then, we add up the total price for your stay and show you the final amount that you’ll expect to pay.

Do Roomkey prices include taxes and fees?

Yes. We summarize how the total price for your room breaks down on each hotel’s page. For example: This Hilton Grand Vacations resort in Hawaii is showing $389 per night for the room and dates that we selected. Our rate breakdown shows us how we’ll pay $389 x 2 for two nights, which is $778. Then it shows $128 in taxes + $80 in resort fees, for a final total of $986.

We want our pricing to be as transparent as possible. We know the feeling many travelers get when they find a good looking price on an OTA site, only to find taxes and fees that were hidden in the fine print until the very last second. That’s so frustrating, and we’re not about that.

I see a low price on Roomkey, but when I go to the hotel site, the price went up. What happened?

Each hotel site that we link to shows their rates a little differently. Sometimes, you might need to change tabs or choose a room on the hotel page until you find the price that we listed on Roomkey. Often times, the low price that we list on Roomkey.com is a loyalty member price which might be listed in a different place than the standard prices on the hotel’s site. Look for phrases like “Member Discount” or “Member Rate” if you don’t see it right away.

What’s the difference between “Flexible” and “Prepaid”?

Many hotels give you the option of paying for your hotel now or waiting until you check in. There are pros and cons to both options.

Prepaid rates (also called Advance Purchase rates), can almost always save you money. You’ll pay a lower full price for your room as you complete your booking, but keep in mind that many prepaid rates are non-refundable. If you’re not worried about a possible trip cancellation, then prepaid rates can be a great way to save money.

Flexible rates allow for reservation changes and cancellations, usually up to 24 hours before check-in (but check each hotel’s policy just to be sure). A flexible rate won’t be the lowest price you’ll find, but you’ll be more protected in case a problem arises and you need to change your reservation.

Still have questions about how hotel pricing works? We’ve got more details in these articles: Breaking Down the Different Types of Hotel Rates and How Hotel Pricing Really Works.

Can I use my hotel rewards points when booking with Roomkey?

Yes! With Roomkey, you’ll complete your booking on the hotel’s website where you can accrue and redeem your hotel rewards points for stays that you book as a loyalty member.

What’s the Roomkey pop-under window I see when I visit Marriott.com, Hilton.com, or other hotel websites?

Roomkey has partnerships with several hotels, including Marriott, Hilton, and Wyndham. Sometimes, if you’re looking at a room on one of these hotel sites and then leave the site to look for options elsewhere, you might see a window pop-up that is hosted by Roomkey. This is meant to help you compare the rates that you just saw to hotel rates for some of Roomkey’s other partner hotels. We’re simply giving you more options. To ignore these suggestions, just close the window.

Some people think that this pop-under window is spam; it’s not. It is a valid service that is hosted by Roomkey and the hotel site that you are on. Each hotel site has their own way of determining when to show this window. It is not something that anyone has been subscribed to, so neither Roomkey nor the hotel site can opt you out. Keep in mind that even though you might see this window, Roomkey does not know any personal information about you other than what cities and stay dates you were searching for.

What is Scout?

Scout is a browser extension (currently available for Google Chrome and Firefox) that, when installed, will compare hotel prices when you search on Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Priceline, Orbitz, and Travelocity. If Scout finds a price for a specific hotel that has a lower rate on the hotel’s site, Scout will let you know and give you a link to book that price on the hotel’s site.

Scout was developed by Roomkey to provide options for people using popular OTA sites. Because you can often get lower prices by booking a loyalty rate directly on the hotel site, Scout will be your loyal companion and alert you if a lower price is available. Read more about Scout, or download it for your browser.

I’m a hotelier, and I have some questions about Roomkey.

Great! Reach out to us at partnersupport@roomkey.com, and we’ll be able to handle your questions and requests directly.