The free online service gives future guests a 360° virtual tour and displays photographs of the actual bedroom they will be staying in. Currently available at Thistle Euston only, it is expected to be rolled out nationally.
David Grosfils, chief operating officer at Thistle Hotels, said: “We know Brits hate to complain, so concerns about causing a fuss if we don’t like the room we’re allocated really can spoil a stay for many.
“Guests often opt to stay in the same bedroom if they’ve stayed with us before, so we’re simply putting them in control by inviting guests who book direct on thistle.com to use the ‘Choose Your Own Room’ service. Our ambition is that all Thistle hotels across the UK will have the CYOR service and we are working on rolling this out now.”
The new addition came from a survey of 2,000 adults conducted at the end of October, which showed that 48 per cent of Brits have requested to change their room before, and that 88 per cent would like to choose their own room if they could.
Four in ten respondents also said they feel ‘anxious’ about their hotel room before they arrive, and one in five couples admitted that poor choice has spoilt their first night away by creating a row.
The idea of letting guests choose their room is not new, and hotels started following the example set by airlines a while ago – but either for rewards customers only, or for a fee.
For example, Hilton started offering the service to its HHonors customers a few years ago, and went mobile with the service last summer, allowing guests to visualise floor plans and pick their room number.
At the time, Geraldine Calpin, senior vice president and global head of digital at Hilton Worldwide, said: "In a recent study, 84 percent of business travellers surveyed said they wanted the ability to choose their own room. We are giving our guests the ability to do just that by enabling them to select not just their room type, but the exact location in the hotel, all the way down to their room number."