Hotel booking software/methods - help/r'mendations

  [DELETED] 12:29 24 Sep 2003

I have a friend who runs a medium-sized hotel and would like to convert her manual method of registering bookings into a fully computerised method and they've asked me for any pointers.

I thought of a simple Excel spreadsheet as a temporary measure but does anyone know of a professional package or other method of doing it which will give better results?

The ideal would be a professional dedicated program for this purpose - they need it for monitoring bookings (who's in the room, what charges etc), reservations booked, possibly monitoring parking and maybe other things I can't think of.

Cheers for your help!

  Simsy 14:42 24 Sep 2003

but depending on what information is going to be collated, i.e. whether it refers to just the rooms, or to customers as well, they may need to be aware of the details of the data protection act.

I don't mean this to be scarmongering.. just pointing out something to consider.

Also, something else to consider... when I was at college a couple of years ago, though it wasn't a course I did, I was aware of others doing computing courses who had to develop something using Access. They were strongly encouraged to get a "real world" problem to develop. This sounds like just the sort of thing. Perhaps your friend could approach a local college and see if it's something someone there would like to get their teeth into?



  [DELETED] 14:48 24 Sep 2003

Spreadsheet's can be perfect for creating such applications. Off the shelf software can be very general and not suited to requirements.

Is your friend called Helen, if so, I guess you'll be wanting an online presense too.

  [DELETED] 15:00 24 Sep 2003

Yes, there are dedicated programs for this kind of use. They allow someone to make a booking from the website, choosing rooms/pricing and arrival/departure date.

They will also stop the hotel/guest-house from making a mistake in double booking a room. Hotels and guest-houses are now required by law to keep full information on all persons staying at their premises, even overnight stays.

We had a Hotel in Blackpool some years back and although we did not use PC's at the time, we did have to keep all this information by ledger. Information needed would be ID via a credit/Debit card, or from the guest booking by postal mail, providing a contact address.

The local hotel/Guest-house association where your friend lives will have details and recommendations on the programs. Also a phone call to their accountant may help as well, as many of these programs will be useful in keeping a record of income. I don't think they are too expensive, as most, even very small guest houses now use this method. Regards. j.

  [DELETED] 15:05 24 Sep 2003

click here is one to start you off. j.

  [DELETED] 15:10 24 Sep 2003

I have just had a look through the one in the link provided, and speaking from past personal experience, it seems ideal for your friends use. j.

  [DELETED] 15:08 06 Oct 2003

Many thanks for all your help - I'm just giving recommendations at the mo but will get in touch with the program makers of that link.

All the best

  [DELETED] 01:49 08 Oct 2003

I do a lot of business with hotels, some of them small and some of them very, very large.

While I won't deny that a good system can be developed on a bespoke basis by any good software engineer or development house, why go to those lengths so many good off-the-peg solutions are available ?

click here Free download from an up and coming software development firm. They give you the product, you get to use it and suggest improvements, kind of like an extended testing program, but it's an excellent program with a lot of very useful features for smaller hotels.

click here This one is very cheap and although it does quite a bit I think there are better products on the market, if not at this price.

click here Excellent and reasonably priced solutions for hotels of all sizes.

click here I really like this one, having seen it in action several times.

Other possible solutions can be found at the following links:

click here Quite nice and inexpensive.

click here

click here

click here

Prices go from the first link (free) up to several thousand dollars/pounds, depending on which product you go for and how demanding the needs of the user are. A hotelier client of mine was recently cold-called and offered the latest bells and whistles booking system for £3000 by a UK firm. They have 15 rooms. You do the maths.

I've done bespoke PHP/MySQL and ASP/Access systems for online bookings and you can link this into a database client-side to process and handle the information. I wouldn't worry too much about online bookings though, since a very real level of demand has to be present to warrant the setup and running costs.

The important consideration is the client-side database and its user interface. This is where Access, Lotus Approach and similar 'common or garden' database applications come into their own. Any good software engineer will specialise in several fields, excel in one or two and have a generally good familiarity with many platforms. The advantage to sticking with Access/Approach is that your client will almost certainly have one or the other already installed and ready to run, as will others, so once your system is developed it becomes largely re-usable for future clients.

But I'm getting ahead of the game a bit here.

Try the above links for some very good solutions at all price points. There are other packages out there but the above represent those that I am directly familiar with and am comfortable in pointing you toward.

Hope this helps a bit.



  [DELETED] 01:56 08 Oct 2003

I should also have mentioned that there is a book available for Dreamweaver MX where the focus is on creating a dynamic website using PHP/MySQL.

It takes you from beginner through to reasonably adept and the entire project you work on from the book is for a hotel booking system. It isn't terribly well rounded as an application: it is meant as a teaching/learning tool where you develop the application further, but it may help for you to know about it.

The book details are as follows:

Title: Dreamweaver MX: PHP Web Development

ISBN: 1904151116

Authors: Bruno Mairlot, Gareth Downes-Powell, Tim Green

Hope it helps.


  [DELETED] 02:08 08 Oct 2003

One final point I forgot to include (sorry, it's late and I'm starting to get a little tired).

That first link I posted to the free software solution is based on an Access database application, so the user(s) must have Microsoft Office 2000 or above installed.


  Forum Editor 06:57 08 Oct 2003

of one of the packages mentioned by Taran
click here as I've previously set it up for a couple of medium sized hotels in Australia (where the software was developed).

It's an excellent program, and would, I think, be ideal for your purpose.

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