The Vista Rooms Booking App ‒ A Review

Andre Howson
Andre Howson

Staff Writer

Vista Rooms is a service that creates a network of standardised, branded accommodation. They are, in a sense, an aggregator of rooms without really being in the business of building their own hotels. Instead, they partner with guest houses, boutique hotels, and apartments and feature them on their site. The prime selling feature of Vista Rooms is that when they apply their branding to these places they partner with, they also make sure that each one offers a good, standard quality of service. They audit each location periodically to make sure that they stay up to standard, and they also help the hotels improve their service, giving them access to Vista Rooms’ preferred vendors.

There is a significant amount of budget travel happening in South Asia, and Vista Rooms is looking at cornering that market. They started out in India, but have opened for business in Sri Lanka this year, and feature over 200 properties around the island already.

Bookings can be made through their website, but they have developed an app as well, which should make things simpler. Through the app, you can choose from over 1,000 properties all over India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives. We took a look at the app see if it could be a sufficient aid to soothe our wanderlust.

The App

You can register an account on the app either using your email address, or your Facebook or Google profiles. That part was simple enough. But the next step involved getting an OTP (one time password) sent to the phone. That didn’t quite work, and we couldn’t proceed with registration. That issue lasted about a day, but the next time we tried, we got right through to the app without too much of an issue.

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You can search for rooms by location. The app didn’t automatically track our location for us, but there is a list of cities that’s easy enough to select from. You enter your expected dates and the app shows you available rooms, rates, and a picture of the room. You can sort the list by price. At the time we checked, we had prices ranging from nearly $300 to $43 which is a nice enough selection.

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Clicking on a room will show you more details, such as the facilities available, whether it has a swimming pool, a bar, or more importantly, free WiFi. There is also a scrolling gallery of images of the room and surroundings which took about 3 minutes to load, which was annoying. The app also shows you weather conditions for the area you are booking a room in. That part was good.

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The top right of the app has a button that opens up into a map of where the hotel or villa is. You also get a Google Maps link via SMS after booking a room, which makes finding the place easier.

You can view a price breakdown of the room or go straight to the booking screen. The app then gives you payment options, whether by credit card or paying directly at the hotel.

It’s the same process to book any room in India or the Maldives as well.

The app also has a selection of deals and offers (which didn’t work for us.)

Reservations can be cancelled and refunded if done 48 hours prior to check-in. They’ve also got check-in and check-out times that are more flexible than standard hotels, which is nice. There is a concierge service that helps travellers with cab bookings and ticket reservations. You can also call Vista Rooms support directly from the app (though it’s an Indian number).

Conclusion

The Vista Rooms concept and service is very useful. Too often, we’ve reserved rooms only to find out that it’s not nearly as nice as the pictures posted online. Vista Rooms makes sure that everything is of a good standard, with complimentary breakfasts, WiFi, clean sheets, clean washrooms, and toiletries, and cable TV. For those services alone, we’d applaud in travel-stained relief. The app itself is a great extension of these services, making finding and booking rooms really easy. If it worked consistently.

The app crashed on us twice, mixed up our locations, and didn’t filter deals properly. Despite these bugs, a curated list of budget hotels WITH great service and easily searchable on our smartphones is a concept we love. If the app gets an upgrade, we’d happily use it on our next road trip.

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