Room 77 launches metasearch and emailing room requests to hotelsNewsBy Dennis Schaal | November 10, 2011Share This article was originally published on If you book a hotel on a revamped Room 77, the company now will email requests for specific rooms to the hotel based on your preferences.And, if the hotel doesn't respond to the room request, Room 77 pledges to manually intervene and contact the hotel by phone or otherwise on your behalf.If you are lucky, you will set out to the hotel with a specific room secured or your request at least noted in hotel records.And, if you are lobbying at the front desk for an oceanview room upon your arrival, at least you will be armed with some specific rooms on your wish list.In all circumstances, Room 77 says, you'll get an email from Room 77 some 48 hours before your hotel stay about the status of your room request.This new Room Concierge service is part of a reboot of sorts for Room 77, which launched about nine months ago with grand visions of running betas and convincing hotels to start fulfilling specific-room bookings in an automated fashion.Room 77 appears to have butted heads with a hotel industry with other priorities on their minds. But, the company remains committed to its self-assigned mission of being hotel-room search engine -- one which will heighten your chances of landing an attractive room."We think now we've solved it at scale without hotels having to build elaborate technology for specific room bookings," says Brad Gerstner, Room 77 founder and chairman.Room 77 also has changed how it handles bookings.Previously, you searched for hotels on Room 77 and linked off to Orbitz.com to book them.But, now Room 77 has turned into what might be described as a hotel metasearch engine with a twist of Kayak.Room 77 now searches major online travel agencies -- Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Hotels.com and Cheaptickets etc. -- and you can book hotels stays on those sites in classic travel-metasearch fashion.But, like Kayak, you can also choose to book the property on Room 77 itself, with various OTAs doing the fulfillment. Room 77 is not the merchant of record in these transactions.And, if you choose to book your three-, four- or five-star hotel on Room 77 instead of linking off to its OTA partners, then that's where the free Room Concierge service kicks in.Thus, if you want to book a stay at the Dormirdcine Cooltural Rooms in Madrid, you can book the hotel on Room 77, Expedia, Hotels.com or Booking.com, among others.The Room Concierge service comes into play if you book the stay on Room 77. You can select your room preferences, including -- Quiet, Views, Size, Easy Access or Connecting rooms.You can even request a specific room or possible rooms at the time of your Room 77 booking transaction.Room 77 doesn't offer its Room Views for the Dormirdcine Cooltural Rooms in Madrid, but where Room Views and further room details are available, such as for the Hotel Allegro in Chicago, you can research your room choices before you book and note them as you complete your booking.Room 77 aids your research by displaying the attributes of rooms -- a depiction of the view from the room, the floor number, the distance from the elevator, the bed type etc. -- in around 120,000 hotels in its database.And the company says it has figured out a way to plot the room characteristics of some hotels not in its database based on the brands, latitude, and longitude etc.If you didn't request a specific room on Room 77, the company says it uses its "proprietary RoomMatch technology to identify the best rooms for each traveler and then works directly with the hotel to try to score one on the traveler's behalf."When Room 77 is contacting the hotel via email, it may request a series of rooms, such as 212, 312 and 412, that hopefully jives with your preferences.Room 77 is not offering any guarantee that the hotel will comply with the request for a specific room.Gerstner says in tests hotels have responded to Room 77's requests about 50% of the time.But, that doesn't necessarily mean that the hotel granted to the request."You dramatically increase you odds of getting a room that before you otherwise might not have gotten," Gerstner says.Of course, what remains to be seen, as well, is how many travelers really care about the specific room they get -- and whether they care enough about the specific room to book their hotel stays through Room 77.With the redesign of its website, Room 77 has also quietly introduced a brand, amenities and attractions search within hotel search results.Thus, after retrieving hotel results in Waikiki, Honululu, you can search for "free breakfast" and you will see that the Embassy Suites Hotel - Waikiki Beach Walk offers complimentary breakfast, a complimentary manager's reception, complimentary toiletries and hair dryers, complimentary wireless Internet access and complimentary newspapers.