A novel way of booking hotels with TravelSpice

posted in: Asia, India, Stays, Tips | 44

Last week began with a lovely lazy breakfast by the pool at Taj. Some of you may have caught on through my social pages but for those who have missed, this is what my last Monday morning, courtesy TravelSpice. looked like 🙂

Breakfast by the pool at Taj
Breakfast by the pool

Last weekend, TravelSpice gave me an opportunity to try out their services and enjoy a stay at one of the well-known five-star hotels of Bangalore. TravelSpice is a new company, who approached me with their novel concept of online hotel booking. They basically, help travelers bid for rooms in hotels of any category. They not just explained the concept to me but allowed me to try out their service and see it for myself. And I must say, I am impressed! So, what is TravelSpice and how does it work?

The concept of TravelSpice

The way TravelSpice works is – a customer goes online to their site and bids their lowest price for a hotel room. Once the bid is accepted. TravelSpice reaches out to their network of hotels with the bid price. Based on the availability, the hotel accepts the price and allocates a room to the customer.

The concept ensures that the customer gets a good room in a hotel, within his budget. On the part of the hotel, where the room inventory would have otherwise been vacant, gets filled and hence, the hotel benefits. A win-win situation for both – the customer and the hotel.

As interesting as this concept of booking hotels through TravelSpice sounds, I had a few doubts and queries of my own.

  1. What kind of hotels are we talking about?
  2. What if you get a room, in some locality that you are not familiar with or is not convenient to your business in that town?
  3. Since we would be paying a low price for a room, would there be any compromises on the quality of service or the room?

This is where TravelSpice suggested that I try out the entire process myself and see how it works. What better than a live experience to understand the concept and even get convinced by it. So, here is how I went about it –

Step One: Onto TravelSpice

Surprisingly, there is no need to create an account or log in. Just go to the TravelSpice Website, enter your destination city in the home screen and specify your dates. Click on the bid button and you will see the next screen.

Step Two: – Picking your locality and hotel


This screen put me to ease as far as my questions 1 and 2 were concerned.

You can pick your locality as per you convenience. Once that is done, you need to select which type of hotel you wish to stay in – the choice ranges from five star hotels to three star hotels. Under each hotel category, you can view the participating hotels.


You can check out the reviews of the various hotels through forums like TripAdvisor to know more about them. If there are some hotels that you are not keen on, you can mark them ineligible on the same screen. TravelSpice allows two hotels to be taken off your list. That way, you can be sure that the hotel that you are picking is something that appeals to you.

Having seen this option, my doubts on the location and the type of hotel that I would be given were put to rest.

Step Three: Finalizing your bid

Once you have selected your locality and hotel, you need to bid. TravelSpice gives you a mean price on the bidding screen. You can see the same in the screenshot above. You can bid anywhere between 50% – 60% of this price and submit your bid. If the same is within the bid range that hotels are offering, it will be accepted immediately and you will be directed to a payment screen as below:


Step Four: Payment terms

As you see, the bid is for a double occupancy in a standard room with breakfast. TravelSpice gives you a minimum guarantee of this. Once you are done, you need to pay the entire amount and that’s it. TravelSpice confirms the same by email and even calls you confirming the bid. They promise a room within 3 business hours. However, if no hotel accepts the bid, then, they refund the entire amount to the customer within 72 business hours. Once your bid is confirmed, you get a hotel voucher by email.

Waiting for the allocation is like opening a Christmas Gift to see which hotel you get. My delight when I opened my voucher 😀



And that is how I landed up at Vivanta by Taj over the last weekend.

Step 5: At the Hotel

Once I arrived and checked in, my last question and doubt were put to ease. A beautiful room with a cozy King-sized bed and breakfast by the pool – Life is Bliss! Take a look at my room below:


My husband and myself had an amazing weekend playing tourist in our city. All thanks to TravelSpice.

Stay at the Taj

If I were to lay out the pros and cons of this concept, I would put it as below:

Pros of TravelSpice:

  1. Convenient and Easy booking as per your budget
  2. A choice of well-known hotels in over 180 cities in India ( a fairly wide network for a newbie)
  3. Choice of picking your desired location.
  4. List of hotels shared with you in the beginning, hence, you know what you are getting into.
  5. Chance of getting a higher-starred hotel in your original budget of a lower one.
  6. Great for last minute bookings – especially since you are not shelling out extra.
  7. You can expect the same service levels and hospitality as you would otherwise pay for in full price

Cons of TravelSpice:

  1. If you are specific about a hotel or a destination stay, you may or may not find it in the TravelSpice network. They are still growing and it will take them time to get all the hotels into their network.
  2. You can only mark 2 hotels as ineligible. You may have more hotels that you wish to discard owing to your own personal preference. However, you may not be able to do so.
  3. The bid is only for a standard room with double occupancy. There is no way to add your special requests – like single occupancy or an extra bed. You will need to deal with the concerned hotel directly.

On the whole, I found the entire process of hotel booking through TravelSpice convenient and easy. I think it is a great concept and very useful for all kinds of travelers, especially when there are last minute bookings to be done. For business travelers, this might just be a boon. 🙂

What did you think of the concept? Do you think you would like to try out TravelSpice yourself? Comment in and share your views.

Travel Spice _pin


P.S: Though my experience was sponsored by TravelSpice, the views and opinions expressed here are completely based on my own experience and are solely my own.





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44 Responses

  1. Fly With Shaunak

    Hey, this is good stuff Ami. I think we should give #TravelSpice one shot. Keep posting newer things for all of us to try and well, save some money of course 🙂

    • Ami

      Thanks Shaunak. Anything that is convenient on time and pocket is something we all look for 😀

  2. Sims

    Nice tour of the website, thanks for sharing the pro’s and cons.

  3. Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden)

    This sounds similar to a site called Priceline, which has operated in the United States for several years. There are other bidding sites. I have not used them, personally, but know people who have, with varying degrees of success. You did get yourself a lovely room.

  4. vishalbheeroo

    It’s very user friendly and spares the visitor of getting into tiring task. Commendable effort in writing at length about, Ami:)

  5. Neha

    The interface is definitely very user friendly. The whole concept seems to be new and interesting…will give it a shot and see how it works!

  6. camanishpurohit

    That sounds like giving it a shot atleast once. These kinda innovations empowers consumers to evaluate options at one hand & also make it competitive for them to extract optimum value for their bucks. The only apprehension remains the quality of the room etc. but you have been kind enough to absolve those too. Many thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Ami

      Thanks Manish. As you noted, my apprehensions too, were put to rest with the experience.

    • Ami

      It’s a new start-up and hence, not too well known. I did find the concept interesting.

  7. 2traveldads

    I kind of love the interactive map for selecting an area. That’s great for cities you’re not fully familiar with, especially if you’re going to rely on public transportation!

    • Ami

      It sure is and it was one of my major concerns. Glad that TravelSpice has thought that through

  8. enidhi

    Interesting concept- what is the timeline- how many hours/days it takes from the moment of bidding to confirmation?

  9. uoprincess

    Seems like a great idea. I’m glad it works so well for you.

  10. Allison Fun Family Vacations

    This is a great idea. This might be a great way to get some deals on hotel rooms. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Dan

    I’m gonna give this a shot. Such a great idea. I have seen a couple of websites with a similar kinda structure but these seems to be a lot better set up. Thanks for the tip!

  12. Arnab

    Th concept seems to be not that clean and pure as it claims,,, choice of hotel should come first not the payment, Once you swipe your credit card, you are left with no choice but to pay. Why cant they first let you to pick the hotel and the pay.

    • Ami

      The system works on the basis of left-over inventory. Hence, your bid goes to all the hotels in the list to see which one is available for you. I think it is fine given that most hotels are in the star category. Once you select the location, you get to see the list of hotels that you maybe allotted. you can even mark down two hotels if you are not keen on those. Essentially you are getting a star hotel at half the cost.

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