When Krishna Shah, 22, a former student of Mumbai University, went to Nainital with his friends, he was left tearing his hair out while looking for accommodation. “The hotels there were either too expensive or outside city limits. We ultimately went over our budget and found a place in the city,” he says.
But now, there is some good news for Shah and other budget travellers. The next time you travel to Nainital or other cities around the country, you are unlikely to face the same problem. A new website, Roomwale, that went online on October 4, is set to change the way we travel, for free.
The brainchild of IIM-C graduate Tanuj Mendiratta (26) and Oxford grad Himanshu Chadha (26), Roomwale, similar to Hostel World, a popular site for accomodation in the west, caters specifically to the budget traveller, listing rooms available at local bed and breakfast spaces, guesthouses, homestays and one and two star hotels. That’s not all. It also mentions beds available at dorms and studio apartments that can be hired.
The website currently covers eight cities including Mumbai, Nainital, Gurgaon and Jaipur among others. Says Mendiratta, “We realised that there isn’t an online platform for the smaller places to register on or one that budget travellers can turn to.” The website has already seen 10,000 visitors till date.
Mendiratta adds that the focus is on quality and giving the traveller confidence that he will not be duped. Each place listed comes with photos of the space available for hire. The founders also personally visit each place to review it and make sure that it matches their quality standards. He says, “If the place isn’t checked by us, we state so on the website. We believe in the saying, ‘What you see is what you get’.”
Presently, there are 500 properties registered on Roomwale. “We’ve approached most of them to register with us. Others too can register by just logging on to the site,” says Mendiratta, who plans to cover 50 cities with his enterprise. Mumbaikars too seem enthused with the idea. “Getting a decent room for Rs. 650 in the city is unheard of. This should be of use to people who have guests and need to find a safe, decent and reasonably priced place for them,” says Karishma Karnik, a housewife from Dadar.
How it Works
Properties in various cities list rooms available with site
Customers can choose stay on the basis of cost, area or type of accommodation (dormitory, room, studio etc)
Those interested can fill form online to confirm booking
Pay cash upon visiting the property