SmartHOTEL Channel Manager: Positives, Negatives, and More

Anuj Punjani
2 min read
May 29, 2024

Welcome to Brance's expert blog series, where we explore the world of hotel channel managers. Today, we're spotlighting SmartHOTEL, a channel manager on the radar of many hoteliers. But how does SmartHOTEL meet the needs of modern hospitality businesses?

With outstanding positive feedback in ease of use (93%), customer support (98%), price (100%), and revenue management (100%), SmartHOTEL demonstrates its commitment to providing a user-friendly, supportive, and cost-effective solution for hotels.

Of course, there are areas for improvement too. Operation management stands out for this in particular, but overall, the tool offers a way to provide positive growth and get your hotel operations in order without any hiccups.

Our Channel Manager Review Parameters You Can Trust

As part of our review policy, we’d like to state that our reviews were created using AI analysis. Then, we parsed the whole review for any inaccuracies before editing it for clarity and crispness.

Moreover, we’ve picked specific parameters, like ‘revenue management,’ for example, that we believe best demonstrate the performance of a channel manager. We then judged based on the channel manager's performance against these parameters.

Here are all the parameters we have picked:

Parameter | Positive | Negative | Ok

--- | --- | --- | ---

Ease of Use | 93% | 5% | 2%

Technical Reliability | 57% | 11% | 32%

Customer Support | 98% | 0% | 2%

Price | 100% | 0% | 0%

Operations Management | 33% | 67% | 0%

Integration | 60% | 20% | 20%

Revenue Management | 100% | 0% | 0%

Marketing Visibility | 0% | 100% | 0%

Reporting Analytics | 0% | 100% | 0%

So that’s a quick rundown of our selected parameters. Now that this is clear let’s jump into the complete factor-by-factor review.  

1. Ease of Use

| Positive | Negative | Ok  |

|----------|----------|-----|

| 93%  | 5%       | 2%  |

Positives:

SmartHOTEL excels in ease of use, boasting a remarkable 93% positive score. Users rave about its user-friendly interface, which significantly simplifies operations and training. 

The automated system streamlines digital booking management, offering a clear overview of reservations and room availability. 

Its seamless integration with reservation and revenue systems, coupled with minimal annual assistance required for price updates, underscores its efficiency. 

Another handy feature is the two-way interface, which ensures efficient updates and PMS transfers, making the extranet easy to learn and use. 

Negatives:

The SmartHOTEL channel manager has detractors. 

5% of negative reviews, along with 2% of OK ones, make this evident. A small fraction of users encountered issues with saving passwords for login and suggested that the extranet could be more user-friendly. 

These minor inconveniences, however, do not significantly detract from the overall positive user experience.

2. Technical Reliability

| Positive | Negative | Ok  |

|----------|----------|-----|

| 57%  | 11%      | 32% |

Positives: 

SmartHOTEL's technical reliability receives a positive score of 57%. 

Its automated email notifications for every booking and error-free global distribution of availability and prices are highly praised. The excellent integration with Opera Cloud PMS and fast, reliable support responses contribute to its reliability. 

Similarly, users appreciate the correct linking between various booking sites and the quick, constant system updates.

Negatives:

However, a negative score of 11% raises notable concerns too. 

For one, connection issues with Expedia and the Suite 8 connection have caused operational hiccups. 

Similarly, occasional bugs affecting minimum stay requirements for specific categories also pose challenges, indicating areas for improvement.

3. Customer Support 

| Positive | Negative | Ok  |

|----------|----------|-----|

| 98%  | 0%       | 2%  |

Positives:

The customer support of SmartHOTEL is exceptional, with a near-perfect score of 98%. 

The support team is consistently described as quick and efficient, with friendly and professional staff. Their responsiveness to queries via phone and email, proactive tips, and custom request handling are commendable. 

The availability of customer service outside regular office hours adds to the flexibility and accessibility of support.

Negatives: 

There are virtually no negative comments about customer support, reflecting the high level of satisfaction among users.

4. Price

| Positive | Negative | Ok  |

|----------|----------|-----|

| 100% | 0%       | 0%  |

Positives: 

SmartHOTEL's pricing is unanimously praised, with a 100% positive score. Users consider the value for money excellent, highlighting the product's appeal and cost-effectiveness.

Negatives: 

There are no negative comments regarding the price, indicating universal approval of the pricing structure.

5. Operations Management

| Positive | Negative | Ok  |

|----------|----------|-----|

| 33%  | 67%      | 0%  |

Positives: 

On the operations management front, SmartHOTEL has room for improvement, with a positive score of 33%. Automatic room availability updates and prompt operation execution across the platform are noted advantages. 

Automated credit card charging also minimizes manual billing tasks, enhancing efficiency.

Negatives: 

The negative score of 67% highlights significant issues. Inefficiencies in opening/closing rates for multiple days simultaneously, system failures in recognizing the number of children, and inflexible settings affecting reservation customization are significant concerns. 

The lack of credit card and daily rate connectivity for all room types with HRS necessitates manual work, indicating a need for more self-service adjustments and an enhanced PMS interface. 

6. Integration 

| Positive | Negative | Ok  |

|----------|----------|-----|

| 60%  | 20%      | 20% |

Positives: 

SmartHOTEL scores well in integration, with a 60% positive score. Its support for a wide range of travel agents and booking channels, along with seamless integration with reservation and revenue systems, is highly valued. 

The continuous addition of new sales channels and OTA partners has led to an increase in direct bookings.

Negatives: 

However, there are notable integration issues, with a 20% unfavorable score. System malfunctions when connecting with Expedia and integration problems with Suite 8 are problematic. 

The extranet's lack of sufficient self-service settings and the booking module's limited customizability are areas for improvement.

7. Revenue Management

| Positive | Negative | Ok  |

|----------|----------|-----|

| 100% | 0%       | 0%  |

Positives: 

Revenue management is a standout feature for SmartHOTEL, as shown by its 100% positive score. 

Easy price adjustment, increased visibility on occupancy rates, and generation of more direct bookings are key factors in boosting profitability. 

In other words, if revenue management is your priority, SmartHOTEL is what you should go for.     

Negatives: 

It gets a 0% negative score. A collection of reviews shows no negative comments about revenue management, indicating its seamless service and performance here.

8. Marketing Visibility

| Positive | Negative | Ok  |

|----------|----------|-----|

| 0%   | 100% | 0%  |

Positives:

As shown by all the collective reviews online, the tool gets a 0% positive score.

In other words, the SmartHOTEL channel manager has a whole mountain to move as far as marketing visibility is concerned.

Negatives: 

Marketing visibility is one of SmartHOTEL's worst features. 

The channel manager’s lack of features, insufficient market knowledge for end users, and the absence of an in-house hotel booking engine are critical issues for many users. It's no wonder, then, that it gets a 100% negative score.   

9. Reporting Analytics

| Positive | Negative | Ok  |

|----------|----------|-----|

| 0%   | 100% | 0%  |

Positives:

Again, there’s nothing positive about SmartHOTEL online, either. It gets precisely 0% positive reviews about it anywhere—so not much positive can be said about it.

Negatives: 

Reporting and analytics are another area where SmartHOTEL faces challenges, with a 100% negative score. 

The requirement for manual booking of payments into PMS, the need for improved reporting and analytics features, and the absence of a central view for the entire hotel chain are significant drawbacks. 

These issues affect payment processing efficiency, data analysis, and decision-making, indicating a need for enhancements in reporting capabilities.

Should You Be Using SmartHOTEL’s Channel Manager?

And that brings our SmartHOTEL review to a close. So should you get it for your team? It completely depends on what you want. If you’re out in the market looking for marketing visibility and reporting analytics, we’d recommend you steer clear of this one. It scores a complete 100% negative for both; moreover, we also couldn’t find any positive reviews about it on the internet.

There are good features, of course. Ease of use and customer support are well known—both score more than 90%—for their excellent performance. If you still can’t decide, a free demo is always available.

Anuj Punjani

Anuj Punjani co-founded Brance and leads its engineering team. He studied at NSIT and the University of Michigan before working at Apple for about four years, where he worked on products like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

He's an avid trekker and enjoys playing lawn tennis and cricket in his free time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is First Response Time important in inside sales?

First Response Time holds a great importance in inside sales because it influences customer satisfaction. Ultra-fast responses improve the chances of potential leads getting converted into paying and loyal customers.

What are the consequences of a delayed first response in inside sales?

A delay in First response time can result in missed opportunities, customer frustration, and a negative impact on conversion rates. Potential leads may lose interest or shift to competitors when experience a delay in response time.

What role does technology play in reducing first response time?

Technology plays a vital role in reducing first response time through automation. AI-driven chatbots streamline the communication process and enables faster interactions.

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