15 min read
Oct 20, 2020
Software Buying Tips

3 Essential Types of Software Systems for Hotels

If you’re opening a hotel, you’ll need the right software to help you manage things efficiently. We can help you put together your hotel software stack.

C.C.
Collin CoueySenior Content Writer

If you are preparing to open a hotel or are working to manage your hotel in a more efficient and profitable manner, you’ll need to consider the right types of software. 

Unlike choosing tax preparation software, which only involves picking one program, hotels have a variety of different software options to choose from. You have to consider different software categories as well as the dozens of potential products within each of those categories in order to narrow down which solutions might be best for your hotel. 

This might sound like a lot to consider, but don’t worry—we’re here to help.

In this article, we’ll look at three foundational software categories for running a hotel—hospitality property management, reservation and online booking, and workforce management. Not only that, but we’ll give you a few leading options to help you start your hunt.

In each section we’ll go over why that category is essential for running a hotel and why each of the highly-rated products listed is a good fit.

Group 3@1x Created with Sketch.

Automate core operations with hospitality property management software 

The first place your mind probably goes if you’re looking for software as a hotel is hospitality property management software. And that’s for a good reason—this type of software performs essential financial and organizational functions for hotels, motels, resorts, bed-and-breakfasts, as well as a variety of other types of lodging.

Features

The three most important features to look out for are front desk management, housekeeping management, and reservations management.

All three of the upcoming tools that we’re recommending have these as core features and have received over a 4.5 out of 5 rating from reviewers who have used the software. We’ve listed them in order of highest to lowest ratings.

ThinkReservations

User ratings Reviews
4.98 81

ThinkReservations was designed with hotels and hospitality in mind and provides a comprehensive property management system for independent hotels. Features include front desk, reservations, and housekeeping management as well as a point-of-sale system and built-in accounting features.

ThinkReservations’ room booking dashboard

Additionally, ThinkReservations comes with US-based customer support and direct connectivity with channels such as Booking.com, Expedia, TripAdvisor, and Airbnb. It’s one of the best reviewed systems for another important type of software that hotels need to consider: reservation and online booking software.

Pricing is $10 a month per room with a $50 a month minimum. ThinkReservations does not offer a free version of their software, nor do they offer a free trial.

Learn more about ThinkReservations, and read user reviews here.

Rentlio

User ratings Reviews
4.97 33

Rentlio is a cloud-based tool made for vacation rentals, small hotels, hostels, and hospitality property managers. Some of the features that make Rentlio stick out to reviewers is the channel manager, hotel property management system, and booking engine.

Rentlio’s reservation page

Pricing starts at $9 a month and is based on the number of units your vacation property or hotel has. Rentlio also offers a free trial but doesn’t offer a long-term free solution.

Learn more about Rentlio, and read user reviews here.

Hoteliga

User ratings Reviews
4.96 25

Hoteliga is a cloud-based hotel property management solution built for hotels of all sizes to manage their business operations. Key features which our reviewers rated highly include reservation management, point of sale, reporting, housekeeping management, and guest history management.

Hoteliga’s color-coded scheduling page

Their reservation calendar is color-coded and can be customized, and their housekeeping feature automatically generates schedules for staff. 

Services are offered on a monthly subscription basis that includes support via phone, email, online FAQs, and live chat.

Pricing starts at $30 a month for up to 10 rooms with higher tiers unlocking more features and increased room capacity. Hoteliga doesn’t offer a free version but does have a free trial.

Learn more about Hoteliga, and read user reviews here.

Group 3@1x Created with Sketch.

None of these jump out at you?

Click here to browse our complete hospitality property management software Category Leaders list featuring 15 top-rated products and thousands of authentic user reviews.

Group 3@1x Created with Sketch.

Stay at max occupancy with reservation and online booking software

If you’re running a hotel, chances are you’ve already shifted away from manually booking and reserving your rooms, but if you haven’t or are looking to switch, check out these highly-rated reservation and online booking software solutions.

Reservation and online booking software helps you manage reservation requests and bookings made online. It allows for rules-driven automation of pricing, availability calculation, and group booking management. One of the primary benefits of automating as much of this process as possible is that it helps ensure accuracy in reservations and reduces the need for manual intervention.

Through the software’s booking engine, your guest can choose the date and length of their stay as well as the type of room that they want and can also pay the amount upfront through payment processing features. This type of software integrates with your website and other third-party booking sites to help you seamlessly manage your bookings. We've listed three user favorites below, all of which have ratings higher than 4.5 out of 5.

Features

The three software solutions that we’re recommending have these two core features: online booking and payment processing.

ReservationKey

User ratings Reviews
4.88 68

ReservationKey is a cloud-based reservation management solution designed for hotels, inns, bed-and-breakfasts, and other vacation rental businesses. Aside from the two core features needed to make this list, it also includes calendar management and built-in email templates for marketing.

ReservationKey’s reservation information page

Additionally, with this tool you can monitor traffic on the booking page, as well as when a customer makes an availability search. It integrates with MyAllocator that provides connections to other online travel agencies such as Airbnb, VRBO, Expedia, TripAdvisor, and more.

Services are offered on a monthly subscription basis with support available via email, over the phone, and through an online knowledge base.

Pricing starts at $29 a month for up to four units, and the price is raised based on the number of units your business maintains. ReservationKey offers a free trial but no free version of their hotel software.

Learn more about ReservationKey, and read user reviews here.

Beds24.com

User ratings Reviews
4.85 20

Beds24 is a cloud-based solution that helps businesses automate the processes for booking and billing of hotels, inns, guest houses, cottages, hostels, campgrounds, and more. With Beds24, you get built-in accounting, vacation rental management, channel analytics, inventory control, and activities booking as well as the two core features required to be on this list.

Beds24’s booking information page

Beds24 integrated with various third-party applications such as Google Hotel Ads, TripAdvisor, PayPal, Kashflow, and more. 

Pricing starts at $9.90 a month with a variety of additional features you can add on such as additional user logins or a channel manager. Beds24 doesn’t offer a free version of their hotel software, but they do offer a free trial.

Learn more about Beds24, and read user reviews here.

Inn Style

User ratings Reviews
4.85 53

Inn Style is a cloud-based online booking and reservation solution for hotels. Key features include a booking engine and calendar, integrated payments, reporting tools, and distribution to a wide network of online travel agents.

Inn Style’s color-coded booking and reservation page 

Inn Style charges a fixed, monthly subscription cost, with no hidden commissions and no contract.

Pricing starts at $20 a month with an option for a free trial. Inn Style does not offer a free version of their hotel software.

Learn more about Inn Style, and read user reviews here.

Group 3@1x Created with Sketch.

None of these jump out at you?

Click here to browse our complete reservation and online booking software Category Leaders list featuring 15 top-rated products and thousands of authentic user reviews.

Group 3@1x Created with Sketch.

Automate scheduling and reduce labor costs with workforce management software

While not as specifically centered around the hotel industry as the previous two tools, workforce management software is still a crucial element of running a hotel because it allows hotel management to keep accurate time records as well as organize, plan, and delegate tasks for employees. 

Workforce management refers to the complex systems and processes used to schedule employees, track workforce time and attendance, and manage absences. If you’ve ever tried to manually schedule and manage your hotel staff using traditional methods, you know how cumbersome and time consuming it can be. 

Additionally, you can use it to manage payroll, time sheets, employee insurance information, as well as employee files. With a workforce management solution in place, you’ll be able to optimize hotel staff scheduling in order to reduce labor costs.

Features

In order to be considered for recommendation below, workforce management solutions needed to have four key features: an employee database, employee scheduling, labor forecasting, and time and attendance management.

The three software solutions recommended below all have a rating over 4.5 out of 5 and are well reviewed in this category.

Nowsta

User ratings Reviews
4.87 31

Nowsta is a cloud-based workforce management solution designed to help businesses streamline their workforce from managing work requests to analyzing data to better understanding labor costs. The dashboard lets you create and shift schedules, review scheduling conflicts, and approve overtime.

Nowsta’s workforce management page 

Some key features of Nowsta include employee scheduling, automated attendance tracking, payroll management, and labor forecasting. It also automatically captures working hours, calculates wages, and utilizes integration with payroll providers such as ADP or Paychex to export relevant data from within the system.

Pricing starts at $2 per user, per month with a $39 minimum for the basic plan. More expensive plans come with more features and functionality. Nowsta offers a free demo but doesn’t offer any free version of their software.

Learn more about Nowsta, and read user reviews here.

Hotel Effectiveness

User ratings Reviews
4.80 140

Hotel Effectiveness is a cloud-based software solution that caters to various hotel markets and service types that include independent operators, management companies, and brands. Key features include dynamic scheduling, automated monitoring, corporate visibility, and benchmarking, as well as the features necessary to be included on this list. It also supports integration with various third-party applications such as ADP, Paycom, Kronos, and WorkRecords.

Hotel Effectiveness’ employee scheduling solution

Hotel Effectiveness’ custom labor standards help you to determine staffing levels for different positions based on occupancy and minutes per room. It also helps managers set up standards for divisions, departments, and positions within their properties.

Additionally, Hotel Effectiveness helps users to create payroll budgets for different positions based on their labor standards and forecast labor standard costs based on occupancy and operational assumptions. 

Pricing starts at $99 a month on a per employee basis for up to 15 employees. Hotel Effectiveness offers neither a free version of their software nor a free trial.

Learn more about Hotel Effectiveness, and read user reviews here.

When I Work

User ratings Reviews
4.77 22

When I Work is a cloud-based employee scheduling solution that helps organizations track time and attendance, create and edit employee schedules, add new jobs to the calendar, review timesheets, and fill shifts.

When I Work’s color-coded employee scheduling calendar view

With this tool, you can manage schedules and track time on mobile devices using a native mobile app as well as browser-based apps. Your hotel staff will get alerts when their schedules change, and they can request shift changes or time off using the app. Managers are notified when employees make time-off requests and can approve them online. You can even import employee data from spreadsheets or comma-separated values (CSV) files and help avoid schedule conflicts.

When I Work integrates with payroll providers such as Gusto, QuickBooks, and ADP and is suitable for businesses of multiple sizes. 

Pricing starts at $1.50 per user, per month for up to 75 employees. When I Work offers a free version, as well as a free trial.

Learn more about When I Work, and read user reviews here.

Group 3@1x Created with Sketch.

None of these jump out at you?

Click here to browse our complete workforce management software Category Leaders list featuring 15 top-rated products and thousands of authentic user reviews.

Group 3@1x Created with Sketch.

Want more software for your hotel?

These three hotel software categories can form a solid foundation for your hotel operations, but if you want to look into other types of software as well, there are more options.

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software is more generalized, but if you’re dealing with a huge client base and need to keep up to date with contact information, you’ll likely want a more robust CRM solution than the database solutions offered by the software above.

  • Hotel channel management software is more specialized and can help your hotel optimize room occupancy, availability, and rates across distribution and customer channels.

Methodology

Category Leaders Methodology

Category Leaders rankings highlight top-ranked North American software products based on ratings from end-users in five key areas: ease of use, value for money, functionality, customer support, and likelihood to recommend.

To create each Category Leaders ranking, our research team may evaluate hundreds of products in any one category. Only the products with the highest scores become Category Leaders.

Data sources include approved user reviews, public data sources, and data from technology vendors. Please refer to the GetApp Community Guidelines for more information.

Inclusion methodology

The categories in this article were selected by identifying the categories with the highest volume of reviews from users in the hotel industry and at least 20 distinct products reviewed between September 2018 and September 2020.

From that shortlist, we highlighted the three categories with the most reviews. 

To be considered for this article, products must have at least 20 reviews and a 4.5 rating in the last two years, plus more than half of the features for hospitality property management, reservation and online booking, and workforce management as described below. The top three products for each category have the highest overall user rating based on reviews from users in the hotel industry.

Hospitality property management features: Front desk management, housekeeping management, and reservations management.

Reservation and online booking features: Online booking and payment processing

Workforce management features: An employee database, employee scheduling, labor forecasting, and time and attendance management.

Back to top