Find hotel deals with new booking site Guestmob

The Internet has brought us many ways to research and book hotels at prices much lower than the hotels’ published rate. Aggregate sites like Kayak and Orbitz give you the best available rate (BAR) without pre-payment on a specific hotel, while “opaque” sites like Priceline and Hotwire allow you to bid for a room below BAR but the actual property remains hidden until after you book and the purchase is non-refundable. Now a new booking site offers you hotel deals well below BAR while ensuring consumers flexibility and a standard of quality.

Guestmob differs from other hotel booking sites by combining high-tech algorithmic pricing and expertly curated properties hand-picked for their high user ratings. The site works by grouping hotels into collections of four to eight properties in a given category and neighborhood. You enter your travel dates and can immediately see a room rate of up to 50% below BAR for each hotel collection. The Thursday before you check in, the exact hotel is revealed but you are guaranteed one of the specific hotels in the collection. Best of all, unlike other opaque booking sites, you can cancel your reservation up to three days before check-in.Previously, some savvy travelers have tried to “game the system” with sites like Bidding for Travel, a forum that tries to guess winning bids and participating hotels on opaque sites by sharing successful bookings. Guestmob removes the need for this research by specifying hotels in each collection and immediately offering a deeply discounted price. While room upgrades, frequent guest points and other requests are still at the discretion of the hotel upon check-in, it’s still a great option for travelers with flexibility.

A Guestmob search for a hotel in Chicago on a weekend in mid-May yielded a price of $164 for a 3.5 star hotel on Magnificent Mile (such as a Courtyard or Embassy Suites), or $203 to bump up to a 4 star in the same area such as a W or Westin Hotel. The same properties ranged from $221 to $279 on other sites. Most Guestmob hotels are part of well-known chains such as Marriott or Starwood, or smaller chains like Kimpton and JDV.

Guestmob soft-launched last year in San Francisco and has now expanded to include New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Portland and Phoenix. The site is well connected to social media so you can get help, learn news or give feedback on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can also chat with them right on the site if you have questions.

Kimpton helps foster boutique hotel expansion in midwest with planned Cleveland entry

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is adding to its existing portfolio of 50+ hotels across with plans to expand into Cleveland, Ohio. The brand announced their plans to launch a 161-room hotel in the city’s historic downtown Schofield Building. The hotel will open in 2013.

“For us, it’s especially exciting to see the demand for the boutique concept in general spreading to more mainstream cities in the Midwest and other areas of the country outside the urban centers of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco,” said Kimpton CEO Michael Depatie.

The brand currently has one hotel each in the Midwestern cities of Minneapolis and Chicago.

The hotel will be part of a mixed-use development that will include 25 luxury apartments on the building’s top four floors and ground floor retail.

[Flickr via ifmuth]

Kimpton lets you buy a leg up on the competition with Gordon Ramsay MasterChef package at Palomar DC

So you think you can … cook? Kimpton is making it easier for those with a hunkering for reality TV fame to have their shot at tryouts with FOX’s MasterChef with Gordon Ramsay with an exclusive Friday night package.

Kimpton’s Palomar hotel in Dupont Circle is offering a limited amount of special “MasterChef” packages, which offers an overnight on Friday, November 11th and a VIP pass that allows them to skip to the front of the line at MasterChef Auditions at Trinity Washington University on Saturday, November 12 to give the best audition possible.

There are only five available and each package comes with only one VIP pass – so if you want to show off your skills, we’d suggest booking soon. The package starts at $339 for a deluxe room and can be booked with code MCHEF online.

Want inspiration? We’d suggest having dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Urbana, on Friday. It’s one of our all-time favorites, filled with Mediterranean-inspired and seasonally-influenced dishes (try the pork belly – it’s amazing). Don’t skip the house-made gelato for dessert, especially if the mint flavor is on the menu!

Santa Paws: Kimpton Hotels offer free holiday pet portraits

Here comes Santa Paws! Take your four-legged friend to your nearest Kimpton Hotel on Saturday, December 11 and Sunday, December 12, 2010 for a gratis holiday portrait session and refreshments. Human companions are invited to bring their cameras to host Kimpton hotels to snap pictures of their pets with Santa amid festive decor while furry friends enjoy treats and toys in the hotel’s living room-style lobby.

“Santa Paws is bringing holiday cheer to our two- and four-legged guests and neighbors,” said Niki Leondakis, Kimpton’s president and chief operating officer. “Pet patrons always receive special pampering at Kimpton, which is why we want to offer them this special way to celebrate the season.”

In addition to providing a fun afternoon activity for pets and their owners, Santa Paws is also helping host hotels partner with local animal rescue organizations around the country. These partnerships include the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals, Washington Humane Society, Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, Baltimore SPCA, Operation Kindness, Humane Society of Vero Beach and River County, PAWS Atlanta, Aspen Animal Shelter and Aspen Valley Horse Rescue, Ginger’s Pet Rescue, Oregon Humane Society and San Francisco SPCA.

Santa Paws will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in select hotel lobbies (see the full list below).

Participating hotels include: Alexis Hotel (Seattle, WA); Cypress Hotel (Cupertino, CA); EPIC Hotel (Miami, FL); Eventi Hotel (New York, NY); FireSky Resort & Spa (Scottsdale, AZ); Hotel Allegro (Chicago, IL); Hotel Marlowe (Cambridge, MA); Hotel Monaco (Alexandria, VA); Hotel Monaco (Baltimore, MD); Hotel Monaco (Washington, DC); Hotel Monaco (Denver, CO); Hotel Monaco (Portland, OR); Hotel Monaco (Salt Lake City, UT); Hotel Palomar (Atlanta, GA); Hotel Palomar (Dallas, TX); Hotel Palomar (Philadelphia, PA); Hotel Palomar (Westwood, CA); Hotel Solamar (San Diego, CA); Sir Francis Drake Hotel (San Francisco, CA); Sky Hotel (Aspen, CO); The Muse (New York, NY) and Vero Beach Hotel & Spa (Vero Beach, FL).

Owners will need to bring cameras to capture a photo of their pet in Santa’s lap. Best of all – this event is free!

Kimpton hotels rank top among gay, lesbian community

The LGBT community has honored Kimpton hotels as the most friendly hotel, according to a new survey. Of the more than 4,700 people surveyed by Community Marketing, 13% chose Kimpton as the hotel that does the best job of promoting itself to the gay and lesbian travel market. Starwood’s W chain came in second with 11%, trailed by Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott, according to USA Today. Kimpton and Starwood tied in 2009. In 2008, Starwood took top honors.

“Of all the hotel brands, (Kimpton is ) the most active in LGBT community,” Paisley told USA Today. “They have a website, they sponsor tons of events and they advertise in gay and lesbian media. W is very active and well respected, but they did fall behind.”

Headquartered in San Francisco, Kimpton has consistently been involved in fundraising and community awareness events for the gay and lesbian community. The hotel group also co-sponsors an event at one their hotels during San Francisco Pride, and spends quality advertising dollars in LGBT publications.

[via LezGetReal]