Virtual rooms

We are introducing Virtual rooms. They allow defining rooms (units) which are made up of other rooms (units). We call these other rooms Component rooms. With the virtual rooms you can sell the same resources in different ways, diversify your products to better meet customer demand and increase your sales. The logic behind the virtual rooms will take care of all aspects of your availability. They have been designed to be used as regular rooms (units) in all modules of the system: Bookings, Rates (including occupancy adaptable rates), Event blocks, Web reservation system, Digital guest portal, Channel manager, Housekeeping, Reports, and so on.

Some examples of virtual rooms

  • Family rooms made up of two connected double rooms, which can be sold both as two separate double rooms and together, as one family room.
  • Hostel private rooms with four beds, which can be sold both as separate beds and as a room.
  • Two-floor villa, which can be sold as two separate floors or as a whole villa.
  • Quadruple apartment made up of adouble apartment and a double room, which can be sold together as well as separately.

How Virtual rooms work

  • When you define the virtual room types and rooms, they get their own capacity. It increases the capacity of the property like regular rooms would.
  • When a Virtual room type is booked, the system automatically (indirectly) books the respective number of rooms of the Component type. The Occupancy forecast shows the component room types, which are booked indirectly, in the total number of Bookings. They are also shown separately in the row called “From Virtual Room”, i.e. these are bookings resulting from a booked virtual type.
  • When a Component room type is booked separately, the occupancy only shows that if the availability of the component type is lower than what is needed for the virtual rooms. For example:
    • You have 6 DBL and 2 FAM rooms. Each FAM is made up of 2 DBL.
    • If you sell one DBL, the FAM availability will not change, because for the 2 FAM you need at least 4 DBL.
    • If you sell 3 or more DBL, the FAM availability will be reduced.
    • The reduction of the availability of virtual rooms (FAM) resulting from the sales of component ones (DBL) is shown in the row called “Constraint” in the Availability forecast.
  • When specific virtual rooms are booked, their component rooms are indirectly booked, too. These indirectly booked component rooms are shown in the Occupancy forecast, like the bookings of virtual room types, and in the Room calendar, where the indirect bookings are cross-hatched.
  • When specific component rooms are booked, the virtual room they make up is booked indirectly as well. The indirect bookings of virtual rooms are shown in section “Used as component” in the Occupancy forecast, and cross-hatched in the Room calendar.
  • When a virtual room is stopped for sale (OOS), its components are still available.
  • When a component room is stopped for sale (OOS), the virtual one that uses it is stopped as well.
Booking and OOS of Virtual and Component rooms.
  • Virtual room type blocks are reflected in two places in the Occupancy forecast: in section “Blocked” of the virtual type and in section “Blocked” of the component type, where they are marked as “From Virtual Room”.
  • Component room type blocks can be seen in section “Blocked” of the component room type and - if the available component rooms left are fewer than what are needed for the virtual ones, in section “Constraint” of the virtual type.

Set up

Virtual room types

Use the virtual room types if you have units made up of other units. First add the standard room types through the 'Add' button, then the virtual ones through the 'Add Virtual Room' button. Examples:

  • 2 connecting DBL rooms can be sold separately or as a FAM (family) room. DBL is a standard room type, FAM is a virtual one.
  • 4 beds in a single room can be sold separately or as a Private room. BED is a standard unit type, PRIVATE is a virtual one.
  • 2 floors of a villa can be sold separately or together, as a villa. The FLOOR is a standard unit type, VILLA is a virtual one.
  • Go to Settings - Room Type - Add Virtual Room
  • Enter a name for the virtual room type
  • Add a line for each room that makes up the virtual room type. Examples:
    • If a family room is made up of two DBL rooms, add two lines and select DBL for each of them.
    • If a private room is made up of four beds, add four lines and select BED for each of them.
    • If a four-bed apartment is made up of one DBL room and one two-bedded apartment (APP2), add two lines - one for DBL and one for APP2.
  • A virtual room type cannot be made of another virtual room. Only standard room types can be used as components.

Virtual rooms

When the virtual types are defined,

  • Go to Settings - Room - Add Virtual Room. Select the virtual type of your new virtual room.
  • Fill the fields as for a regular room.
  • In section “Components” select the component room for each row. The number of rows is defined in the virtual type settings.
    • One standard room can be used as part of only one virtual room. For example: if 101 (standard DBL room) is used as part of a virtual FAM room, 101 can't be used for any other virtual room.
    • Be careful! The components of a virtual room are defined only once, when it is created. After it has been saved, it cannot be changed. If you find an error in the room type or in its components, you can delete the virtual room or – if deleting is not allowed, remove the room from bookings.

Some side effects of using virtual rooms

  • The increased hotel capacity resulting from the added virtual rooms will change the occupancy ratio (%) and the RevPar.
  • The increased number of booked rooms will change the ADR and the % ratio of the occupancy.
  • Selling the same resources twice, once as virtual and again as components, may lead to increased risk of overbooking with OTAs.
If you like the improvements, we'll appreciate it if you take a minute to leave a short review here.

Events and Meeting Rooms

Events: Offers and Templates.
Event: Calendar button.
Meeting Room Calendar: Associated Event.
  • Events: Offers and Templates. A new functionality allowing drawing and tracking event offers to clients. For optimal flexibility we have avoided any fixed structure. The offers look like a Word document, allowing you to input and format their contents to your needs. Saving an offer as a template will let you use it again. Offers for different events can be different and content can be added or changed freely. They can be emailed to clients. Each emailed offer is stored as a sort of 'event history' and can be accessed later for reference.
    • To draw an offer, open the Event and click Add in section Offers. Select a new blank offer or a template you have created earlier.
    • Subject – enter the name of the offer. The field is used as the subject for the email sent to the client.
    • Description for staff – the information in this field is for house use only and is not included in the email to the client.
    • Enter contact details or at least an email address. A special button lets you copy the contact details of the Company.
    • In section Content edit (if you are using a template) or enter the details of your offer. Use the rich text editor to format the text and any tables.
    • Save the offer.
    • To save the offer as a template and reuse it, click button "Create Template". Enter a name for the template and edit the contents if necessary.
    • To save the existing offer and send a new, edited version of it, use button “Copy”.
    • Email the offer with button 'Send'. The Event screen offers an archive of all sent emails and lets you view them.
  • New screen: “Info invoice”. We have added a new Event printout intended for your clients. It gives them information about the bookings of meeting room, the catering, and the charges for them. It also includes a grand total section to communicate the worth of the event clearly. To preview or print the new screen, select 'Preview' in the upper right corner of the Event screen.
  • A new detailed Function Sheet for each booking and/or catering event. The sheet is intended for house use by staff and includes the details needed for preparing the booking or the catering event. It can be printed for each individual booking/catering (Event – Booking/Catering list – the printer button) or for a list of them (booking search – option 'Details'. See below).
  • New search screen for meeting room bookings and catering events. You can search by Period, Company, Event, Booking status, and booked Meeting rooms. Additionally, the results can be displayed in summary or in detail. Selecting option 'Details' gives you a list of all bookings and catering events for the day or just for a specific event, as well as the details needed for the preparation of each room. To open the new screen, go to Event – Search Meeting Room Bookings.
  • Call up the Meeting Room calendar from the event. A new button in the Event opens the Meeting Room calendar. When it is used:
    • All new bookings created in the calendar will be automatically associated with the Event. This gives you a shortcut for checking the availability of meeting rooms and quickly book them for the specific Event.
    • The bookings associated with the Event stand out in a brighter colour. If you have a lot of bookings, you can easily identify those linked to a certain event.
    • The associated event is shown in the upper left part of the calendar.
If you like the improvements, we'll appreciate it if you take a minute to leave a short review here.

WRS

  • "Ask for guests on first screen" setting. This new setting has been designed to meet the needs of Hostels, where clients book Beds as well as Rooms. The problem with such mixed types of sales is that guests often can't decide what they should enter for adults and children in the first screen of the WRS. Even if you are not running a hostel, you may still want to try this setting, as it may lead to better conversion of WRS bookings.
    • What does the new setting do? If you select 'No' for "Ask for guests on first screen", the first screen of the WRS will not require number of guests (adults and/or children). As a result, the products on the second page will not be filtered by number of guests and clients will seeall your products. If the product they select allows more than 1 guest (e.g. a room), they will be prompted to fill in a number of adults and/or children. If it allows 1 guest only, the product will be added to their basket without further prompts. Whether a product allows 1 or more guests depends on the max_adults / max_children restriction of the rate.
    • Where is the setting? Find it in menu 'WEB' – 'Settings – Web Reservation System'. To preserve the current functioning of the system, the setting is enabled by default. If necessary, change it and save.
  • New setting:"Hide the 'Free Rooms Left' label". As its name suggests, the setting hides the red label indicating the number of free rooms left, which appears on the second WRS page for each product with availability lower than 5. The default option is 'No', i.e. the label is shown.
  • New payment interface: "Adyen - Easy Encryption". The new interface allows credit card payments in the WRS and in the Self service portal without redirecting clients to external pages like Adyen Hosted Payment Page does. Instead, clients remain in the hotel website where they complete their payment. Apart from being more convenient, this option is said to increase the conversion ratio as well.
  • The parameters set on the first page do not change after switching the language. This way deep links and integrations with extra filters still work properly.
If you like the improvements, we'll appreciate it if you take a minute to leave a short review here.

Bookings

  • Charge split. There is a new screen designed specially for quick splitting of charges when guests staying in the same room wish to split the bill.
    • Click Split Charges in the Rate and Folios section of the booking screen.
    • Add more folios through the 'Add Folio' button. For clarity, enter the guest name in the folio name field.
    • Split: Select the charges you need to split between the parties. Click 'Split the selected charges'. Select the folios where these charges will be paid. The charges will be split equally and transferred to the folios.
    • Transfer: Select one or more charges. Click 'Move the selected ones here' in the destination folio.
    • Select 'Open' to access the folio and issue an invoice or pay the folio.
Select charges
Select parties
The result
  • Transfer room charges to Company/Event. There is a new option in the booking designed to make the management of group bookings and folios easier. If you select "Transfer room charges to Company/Event" from the new booking screen, all charges will be transferred to the company/event folio automatically. Changes in the stay or the rate of the booking will change/add/delete charges there, too. If the company/event has no open folios, a new folio will be created. Please note that this function affects newly created charges only. It will not transfer charges created previously in the booking folio.
If you like the improvements, we'll appreciate it if you take a minute to leave a short review here.

Reports

  • New report: Deposit Ledger. The new report gives information about deposit folios for a selected period. It includes each deposit folio, its start balance (unused deposit at the start of the period), Payments (received in the selected period), used amounts (in the period), End balance (unused deposit amount at the end of the selected period).
  • Bednights Report can now be run with a breakdown of data by days, weeks and months as well, beside the existing summary option.
  • Housekeeping report: added booking arrival and departure times.
If you like the improvements, we'll appreciate it if you take a minute to leave a short review here.

Security and Users

  • Network security. Added two new functions for better system and data protection: Trusted Networks and Blacklist Networks.
    • Blacklist Networks. Use this function for instant unconditional denial of access to your subscription from a certain IP address or network. The restriction affects all accounts in the subscription. Use the function with extreme caution to avoid restricting your own access. If this happens, the subscription owner can disable the “Blacklist Networks” rules through link 'I have lost my password' in the login screen.
      To change the network blacklist, go to "Settings" - "Network Security". Add IP addresses or networks in CIDR format (please consult your network administrator). Select “Enable” to activate the function.
    • Trusted Networks. This function allows dividing users in two groups: users who can access the system from anywhere and users who can only access the system from a specified list of IP addresses and networks, e.g. your hotel network. By default each new user is authorized to use Trusted Networks only.
      • In the user editing screen for “Network” select “Unrestricted” to allow access from anywhere, or “Trusted only” to allow access from IP addresses and networks listed as Trusted Networks only.
      • Go to 'Settings' - 'Network Security'. Enter the Trusted Networks list. Use CIDR format for the IP addresses and networks (please, consult your network administrator). Click 'Enable' to activate the function.
  • User groups. These have been added for easier user management. They let you edit the rights of more than one user at the same time instead of having to do it user by user. Here is how:
    • Create a Group from 'Settings' – 'User groups'. For example, user group “Reception”, “Housekeeping”, “Marketing”, and so on.
    • Select the rights of the group. Please note that the User group affects just the rights, not the access to accounts.
    • From the user editing screen select the group to which the it belongs. The user then has the rights granted to the group. This is indicated with a special icon.
    • Changes in the group automatically affect all users in it.
    • Important! User rights granted to a user directly override those granted to the group it belongs to. For example, if user “Smith” has been given right “Settings:Update”, it will have that right whether the user group “Smith” belongs to has it or not.
  • Access to subscription Serial Number. The serial number required for registering new devices/computers in the system is now only accessible to users with access right "Users: Create and Edit". The serial number itself can still be found in the same place, in the navigation, under the help menu icon - “"What is my serial number?".
  • Access log. There is a new report giving information about who, when and from where has accessed the system. It also includes data about failed login attempts and the logouts. The information in the report starts from the date of this update, 21 June 2016. Find the report in section 'PCI DSS' in 'Other' - 'Report' - 'Access Log'
  • Log out from all devices. When you log out of the system, you automatically log out from all devices.
If you like the improvements, we'll appreciate it if you take a minute to leave a short review here.

CRS - Occupancy Forecast

The CRS now has a new screen offering summary occupancy forecast for all properties. It shows the available rooms day by day for a selected period. It also provides flexible filter options: location, property or room type by part of its name. Beside the free rooms, it also shows your descriptions, pictures or other information regarding each room type.

If you like the improvements, we'll appreciate it if you take a minute to leave a short review here.

Profiles

  • Level. A new field added to the profiles. It can be used in customer loyalty programmes. Information about the level of each profile can be seen when you select the profile in the booking or in the new profile search.
  • Advanced Search and Export. A new option for profile search and export. You can find the profiles which have booked at one or more properties in a selected period of time and export them in a .csv file. The new field, Level, is also added as a filter. This new search and export can be used to create mailing lists for your mailing campaigns.
If you like the improvements, we'll appreciate it if you take a minute to leave a short review here.

Self Service

  • The “Check your bill” option, which allows checking and paying hotel bills, can now be hidden with a special setting.
  • When the first registration card is filled, the system automatically suggest the details entered for the booking.
  • The first page of the digital guest portal now shows the number of adults and children in the booking. This way any errors made while booking through the WRS or an OTA will be noticed sooner.
  • Guests now see the number of their assigned room only in two cases: when option “Select room” is allowed and when the WRS allows booking room numbers.
If you like the improvements, we'll appreciate it if you take a minute to leave a short review here.

Other Improvements

  • Folios - Payment Term Days. A new field added to the folios. It indicates the date by which the folio must be paid. The date is calculated using the information in field 'Payment term – days', which specifies how many days after closing it, the folio must be paid. In other words, it defines the allowed payment delay after the date of the invoice. Field 'Payment term – days' can be set in three levels:
    • 'Tax Settings' - 'Payment term – days': this is the default value and it affects all folios, except those which have explicitly been set differently.
    • Company - 'Payment term – days': this is the default value for the invoices of the specific company. It overrides the setting above.
    • Folio - 'Payment term - days' : this is the default setting for the specific folio and it overrides the two other settings above.
  • Report Accounts Receivable has been modified to take into account the newly added Payment Term Date field. If you do not specify filter "Minimum delay days", you will see all outstanding invoices, including those that are not overdue, as their “Delay days' field is blank. To see just the overdue invoices, enter a number in filter, e.g. zero (0).
  • Image Library. Now you can upload Pictures for general purposes. They can be used in Guest emails, in custom booking confirmations, in Folios and Registration cards, in Event offers, and in the staff descriptions of room types and rates in the CRS. To upload a picture, go to 'Settings' - 'Logos / Image Library' - 'Add Image'. You can copy the URL of each uploaded picture with button 'Get Image URL'. The screen that opens gives you both the URL and the HTML code for the picture itself.
  • Credit cards. A new setting defining whether the credit card CSV code is required and displayed. If your credit card POS terminal does not require CSV, you must not collect or store CSV information. The setting can be found in Settings - Credit Card - CSV required.
  • Time zone for the API. A new setting allows selecting time zone for the API, UTC or the account local time zone. Find it in Settings - API users - 'API time zone'. However, the setting is available to existing accounts only. All new accounts will use the account time zone.
  • Added history for the changes of currency exchange rates. For each currency there is a button 'History'.
  • Booking import from csv:
    • Added option for automatic creating of company. This way you don't need to create a company to import bookings.
    • You can no longer import checked out bookings.
If you like the improvements, we'll appreciate it if you take a minute to leave a short review here.

Fixes

  • Guest Ledger: the balance did not take into account the correction folios.
  • Rate Control Report: the company was not displayed.
  • Edit booking: the company/event field and buttons sometimes were too large and hid other elements on the screen.
  • The Control Event report did not work in some cases.
  • WRS: the system returned an error when you select online payment with no deposit defined.
  • ParityRate/YieldPlanet: added a second check for new bookings to solve the issue of booking that were not imported.
  • ParityRate: field 'Active from' changed on saving the channel settings.

POS

  • The bills are now printed with identical items grouped in summary rows.
  • Fixed a bug which deactivated the buttons in the closing screen after signing the bill and selecting a room.