I first heard of Roomorama when I attended a backpacker event in Manila organized by the amazing duo of Lois and Chichi of We Are Sole Sisters. The concept was very interesting. People from all over the world rent out their properties via Roomorama to people who are looking for an alternative to hotel accommodation when they travel. I talked to the Roomorama rep present in the event and was offered to try it out for free.
At this point, do you really need to know why I signed up? Okay. If it wasn't for free, I can honestly say that I will still try it out. Here are six reasons why:
1. Easy to use website
I signed up on Roomorama.com (which in itself is free, by the way) and found the website very easy to use. No need to read up or anything like that. The design is easy to navigate and you instinctively know where to go and which button to click on. Process was simple, too. Inquire to confirm availability of the property and then book. In my case, the owner of the property answered within 24 hours and in no time, I had booked a one-night stay in a decent-looking property in New Delhi: The Estate.
2. Safe and secure community
The property we booked, it turns out, was a quite posh B&B. It was in a gated community in an area of Delhi that's far from all its hustle and bustle. It was way out of the city center and frankly, after our sleep-deprived, rickety-bus and dust-filled adventure in Dharamsala and Amritsar, it was just the peace and quiet we needed. I literally forgot I was in crazy busy Delhi. And that's good.
3. Complimentary tea and coffee
I'm a backpacker and it's really natural for me to "gravitate" towards free stuff, to put it nicely. That's makes me sound like a horrible person but I really don't care. And if you've had real Indian tea (be it plain milk or deep and flavorful Masala), you'd have cups of it whenever it's offered. Believe me.
4. Clean and very very decent rooms
As I mentioned earlier, The Estate was quite a posh B&B in New Delhi. In fact, I noticed that the other guests were of the Indian business class types or the pensioned European holiday makers in Asia. And this sort usually has high demands for accommodation. The Estate, I have to say, lives up. It has very decent and clean beds, a study table, and a modern bathroom. You couldn't really ask for anything better.
5. Service that goes the extra mile
This is perhaps the most important part, I think, of any business that caters to the travel industry. Customer service, if neglected, could negate all the good things you have going for you. The Estate in New Delhi is clearly aware of this fact.
It was already late at night when I realized that the Wi-Fi (which is also free) suddenly stopped working. I went to the reception and it seemed like most of the people have left. Only the kitchen staff was there. Unfortunately, there was a language barrier between the kitchen staff and I. So I was not sure I was able to communicate the problem clearly. I went back to the room, having resigned to the fact that I will have to wait til morning to get this fixed. Suddenly, my phone rang. It was the hotel manager telling me that an Internet USB dongle is now on the way to my room. And within a few minutes, I found myself happily surfing again. Now that is service that goes the extra mile.
6. Best free breakfast in town
Since this was a B&B, breakfast is, of course, included. It was adequate and hearty. A bowl of cereals, slices of fresh fruits, breads and milk tea. Just what we needed right before we battle it out once again on India's transportation system as we make our way to Taj Mahal. But more on that later.
Because of Roomorama, I was able to experience a property I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Granted, the property I chose was a bit out of my backpacker price range but the website does have listings for all types of traveler budgets. And if the service I experienced in The Estate in New Delhi was indicative of the level of service the properties listed in Roomorama have, then Roomorama may just have everything going for it.
Has anyone tried using Roomorama? What did you think of it? Which property in which city did you stay in? How was the experience?
*Full disclosure: Our one-night stay at The Estate in New Delhi was sponsored by Roomorama. However, all opinions are entirely my own.