Startup Review: ‘Quartered’ Helps People Book Hotel Rooms at Hourly Rates

7 months ago 170

Quartered is a startup that focuses on providing hospitality services to people. It was founded by Duby Ezegbu, Samuel Haidome and Uti Okoh. The startup’s main product is a web platform that connects people to hotels and allows them book by the hour. It was launched in November, 2019.

Overview

Tochi is a middle-class Nigerian who likes going on mini-tours to other states. Booking a hotel room for the whole day does not help him effectively manage funds because he will only require the room when he wants to sleep.

Seeing as most hotels and guest houses only accept lodging requests for whole days, it becomes difficult for someone like Tochi to pay for exactly what he would use. Thus, whenever he goes on road trips, he is constantly on the lookout for a place where he can pay by the hour.

Tochi is one of many Nigerians who want hotel services that are more flexible than what is offered traditionally and Quartered’s solution offers the perfect way out.

What Quartered does

The startup forges partnerships with hotels in different places and allows people to check out the hotels, book rooms that suit them and pay for them from its web app. It currently does not have a mobile app for users. You can access its site here.

To make a booking, you have to specify the location where you want the hotel to be, as well as the number of hours that you intend to spend and the exact time you want to check in to the hotel.

Quartered's hotel booking pageQuartered’s hotel booking page

As its name suggests, the rooms can be booked for a quarter of a day, but you can also book for 8 hours, 12 hours and 24 hours; all of which are in multiples of 4.

After specifying the details of your booking, Quartered carries out a search from its available rooms and finds one that matches your requirements if it exists in its database.

The startup makes it easy to choose what type of hotel you want and the price range you want it to be in. The types of hotels range from luxury to upper-upscale, upscale, midscale and economy hotels. It also offers serviced apartments among its list of lodgings.

Pricing and booking conditions

I searched for a room in Lagos where I could spend 4 hours and check-in by 1pm. There were 8 options and the lowest price for each room was N8,000. Whichever hotel you select further gives you the different standards of rooms available and it is from here that you make your final selction.

Search result on Quartered for hotels in Lagos that can be booked for 4 hoursSearch result on Quartered for hotels in Lagos that can be booked for 4 hours

For each booking, Quartered charges a 5% service fee which means that if the hotel rate is N8,000, you will pay N400 extra as service charge. The payment is upfront and there is no refund or option of cancelling once payment has been made.

Quartered vs alternatives

Although there are tech startups in the hospitality sector, not many offer pay per hour booking services. An alternative to Quartered in this space is Hotels Per hour, another startup that connects people to hotels that can be booked for three hours or more.

Compared to Quartered, Hotels per Hour, however, delivers poor user experience and the layout is tacky at best. It only has links to hotels in Lagos whereas Quartered connects people to hotels in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. This is also a downside because it has a reach of 3 states out of the 36 in the country which may seem quite few.

Another con is that the service is structured in such a way that you cannot book 24 hours ahead.

Tochi, mentioned earlier, can not include Quartered in his planning ahead of time when he wants to go on road trips and has to hope that a room is available the day he searches on Quartered. Of course, this is also because the hotels want to keep their rooms open for regular business as well as the hourly bookings.

Based on the 5% charge attached to room bookings, the wide array of hotel types that can be found through Quartered as well as the easy-to-use format of its web app, the startup’s services make sense for people who need short-term access to hotels.

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