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You read that right: The travel booking site Kayak is opening a hotel

March 10, 2021
5 min read
You read that right: The travel booking site Kayak is opening a hotel
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Kayak, one of the biggest travel search engines around, is opening a hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, next month.

According to reporting by Travel Weekly, the internet-based travel agency is planting its flag in the physical world in conjunction with Life House, a hotel group with several properties in the United States and around the world.

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Kayak Miami Beach will feature 52 rooms in an art deco building dating back to 1934. It will feature a rooftop deck open to the public, a pool and a restaurant called Layla that will serve Mediterranean cuisine. Guests will also enjoy amenities like Le Labo toiletries, Marshall speakers and smart TVs in each room and bicycles, table games and more in the common areas.

Kayak envisions itself serving as a "one-stop-shop" for guests at boutique hotels so people can access new technologies without having to download a separate app each time they check-in to a new property.

Speaking with Travel Weekly, Kayak CEO Steve Hafner said its "app has already been downloaded by tens of millions of consumers. It's consistent. They know how it works. So, consumers will say, 'Gosh, I feel more comfortable choosing this independent hotel over a Marriott or Hilton because I know exactly what the check-in, checkout service experience is going to be like.'"

Kayak Miami Beach will serve as a hub to test these new offerings in the real world.

 

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Guests of the hotel can use the Kayak app not just as a digital room key and controller for certain in-room functions, but they will also be able to communicate with hotel staff, ask for upgrades and receive notifications for events related to their stay. And, in-lobby self-service kiosks will allow guests to complete check-in and peruse dining options.

Major hotel chains have been working over the years to add functionality to their mobile apps, including digital keys, automated check-in and checkout, food ordering, in-room TV remote control, communication between guests and staff, and more. And as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, travelers have begun to expect these features as standard practice -- especially at high-end properties.

Independent and boutique hotels may have similar functionality, but it's often delivered through their own mobile apps, creating a fractured experience for a guest who favors these types of properties over chain hotels.

So, while it remains to be seen whether Kayak's vision of "unifying" the guest experience at independent and boutique hotels will come to fruition, the change in consumer expectations brought on by the pandemic leads us to believe that Kayak's bet on creating consistency across hotels in its ecosystem just might pay off.

Hafner also told Travel Weekly that Kayak Miami Beach wouldn't be the only Kayak hotel. The company is actively looking at new markets -- and new types of properties -- for the brand's expansion. For now, though, rooms are available at Kayak Miami Beach from April 11, 2021, with nightly rates starting at around $230.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases