Today New York-based Want Me Get Me launched its free members-only website that connects travelers with exclusive perks, and announced that it has signed agreements with 200 luxury and boutique hotels around the world, including Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Trump Hotel Collection, and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts among others. The company wants to help travelers pay regular hotel rates but get VIP treatment, with perks like room upgrades and free in-room WiFi.
“We allow members to tailor their stay at boutique and luxury hotels for the same standard rate and it’s something that sounds too good to be true, but what we’ve built is a tech product that allows individuals to go on and we’ve established relationships with hotels to bring them on and offer amenities and perks they wouldn’t offer anywhere else,” co-founder Tristan Mace said in an interview.
After members sign up, they search for hotels by specifying their destination, preferred dates, and preferred VIP perks. Every booking includes getting added to a hotel’s VIP list for the duration of the stay, room upgrades when possible, and free WiFi, and travelers then have the option of selecting up to three other complimentary amenities, which include valet parking and free meals. Hotel options dynamically update as travelers add or remove amenities, so while someone might see 20 NYC hotels with the regular perks, that number might go down to two if they request a bottle of wine in their room.
Travelers can browse photo galleries and available room rates and types, and each hotel can update the amenities they offer based on a number of variables, such as time of day, seasonality, and demand. Each partner hotel chooses the amenities and upgrades they want to offer, though they all have to offer the three guaranteed amenities (VIP list, room upgrades when available, free WiFi).
If a user signs up with Facebook, their profile photos are sent directly to the hotel for instant recognition upon check-in, and users can also view reviews from Facebook friends. It’s free to sign up as a member on the platform and the company also doesn’t charge its curated list of featured hotels, rather they take a 10 percent commission from every booking done through the site.
With countless hotel sites available to travelers booking online, Want Me Get Me is recognizing the key may be in offering a customized and tailored traveling experience, especially when it comes to the younger tech-savvy generation. However, there are other services like Tablet Plus and Valet which charge members an annual subscription fee which then gives them complimentary perks and amenities at partner hotels. Where Want Me Get Me’s founders believe they stand apart is the fact that they don’t charge an upfront member fee, in addition to their focus on a younger demographic.
“I think it’s not so much about the competitors we’re going up again, but really about the audience that we’re going after,” co-founder Melanie Brandman said. “This younger demographic really wouldn’t necessarily consider a travel agent to make a reservation, they walk around attached to their iPhones and iPads and tend to make most of our travel purchases online like booking airlines tickets, but they do want the benefits that come with booking with a travel agent.”
Want Me Get Me has an undisclosed amount of funding under its belt and an advisory board that includes Path founder Dave Morin and KAYAK’s former VP Communications Kellie Pelletier. The company will be looking to add to its existing list of hotel partners and hopes to double that number by the end of the year, in addition to building a presence in every major city in the U.S. While it’s currently focused on the U.S., it plans to work with its hotel partners to then expand internationally. While the business model isn’t unique (most hotel booking sites take a commission of each booking), the offer of free upgrades and VIP status could be enough to lure travelers away from Expedia, Hotwire, and other online travel sites, though it will have to match the lure of amenities with having enough inventory in a given city.