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Laylow Hotel

An App That (Almost) Guarantees the Lowest Hotel Rates

It’s said there are no guarantees in life. But does that apply to travel?

For hotels, a relatively new app may offer the closest thing to a guaranteed low price that I’ve seen.

It’s called Pruvo, and it promises that if you tell it your hotel price, you won’t be undercut.
 
Here’s how it works. The consumer goes hotel shopping, using any online travel agency they like—Booking.com, Expedia.com, Hotels.com, you name it. Once they’ve booked a hotel, the consumer registers the rate through the Pruvo app.
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Then, in the weeks before travel, Pruvo tracks the booking. If it is able to find a lower rate for the same hotel, and in the very same room category (or better), it alerts the consumer. The traveler then rebooks at the lower rate, and cancels the original booking. Boom!

The booking has to be a fully refundable one for Pruvo to do its magic, but that’s not a big deal: 80% of hotel bookings are. 
 
“We want to give the consumer as much choice as possible,” says Doron Nadivi, Pruvo’s CEO and founder. “So if the price drops on several different sites, we’ll show them all the options.”
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That’s an important point because it means that you can take part in the loyalty programs offered by many hotel purveyors (like the Hotels.com scheme that awards a free hotel night after 10 purchased ones).
 
It isn’t the first tool out there to monitor hotel price fluctuations—booking site Tingo does so as well. But when you use Tingo, you must also book the room with them, and then it takes a percentage of what you've saved on the room as its cut. Pruvo gets its commission not from the consumer but from the booking sites it directs you to; if it can't find a lower rate, it gets no commission whatsoever, a potent motivation.
 
So how often do prices drop? According to Nadivi, hotel rates dip downward for 40% of the bookings Pruvo monitors. The average savings is 17%, though Pruvo has seen prices free-fall by as much as 70%.
 
In the coming months, Pruvo is hoping to expand its program in ways that are TBA. But even in its current, more limited form, we think the service is pretty nifty. 
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Pruvo is at Pruvo.net.

Tags: Pauline Frommer, bookings, Hotels, Apps, Pruvo

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