Top Hotel Management Software in 2021 [+Free Guide]

By Jordan Hollander

Last updated January 10, 2022

5 min read


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Are you overwhelmed looking for a new hotel management software solution?

You’re not alone.

Perhaps you’re ready to find a new property management system and need trusted information about which vendors are potential fits based on integrations, feature functionality and unbiased client reviews or even a great all-in-one hotel management software.

Maybe you know that your hotel is missing opportunities but don’t even know which hotel software categories you’re missing in your stack let alone the best vendors that serve each of those categories.  Wherever your hospitality career takes you, software will be critical to your success - but finding the right tools doesn't need to be complex.

Each year Hotel Tech Report leverages our global community to answer these questions for hoteliers like you so that we can save you time and help you make better technology decisions.  

This year Hotel Tech Report's community spent 600+ hours reviewing hotel management software to help you find the best solutions for your property.

This guide will save you time researching hotel management software for your business.

 

What's inside this hotel management software guide?

1. Popular categories of hotel software

2. Top rated hotel software (by category)

3. Hotel software ranking methodology

 

 

Many online lists online wrongfully group hotel software into a single category but the reality is that the hospitality industry has unique challenges that require multiple point solutions to tackle different problems.  Here at Hotel Tech Report we use 37 different software systems to run our business and the hotel industry is no different.  The typical hotel uses at least 10 different hospitality software systems to operate.  The good news is that today's SaaS model has enabled these solutions to be ultra affordable and developments in design have made them extremely user-friendly for front office staff and beyond.

  • Property Management System: property management software is the core operating system of any hotel management business.  It’s the place that houses inventory management capabilities and powers all of the other systems you use.  The PMS is what your front desk agents use every day to streamline check-in.  Smaller properties sometimes opt for what is called a hotel management system or lightweight hotel PMS.  This is an all-in-one management solution with integrated hotel property management system, channel manager and booking engine capabilities.

  • Hotel Website/Digital Marketing: Many small hotels still choose to rely solely on OTAs and travel agent partners for bookings.  This is a huge and costly mistake.  Your direct channel is most profitable because each booking is commission-free and hotels without a dedicated website lose trust in the eyes of guests.  At minimum, create a website that acts as your hotel’s digital brochure for prospects to learn about the property.  If you really want to win in direct you’ll need an agency partner who can really drive direct bookings for your business.

  • Booking Engine: An online booking engine is the equivalent of the hotel industry’s “shopping cart”.  Shockingly, many smaller hotel websites even today require guests to inquire for bookings.  These hotels are missing massive opportunities and rarely succeed.  A booking engine makes live inventory from your Property Management System (PMS) available for online booking via your website via credit card (or other payment method) across all devices like smartphone, tablet and desktop.

  • Reputation Management Software: Reputation is everything in today’s world.  50 years ago travelers only relied on travel agents and brands to select hotels.  Today, guests look to places like TripAdvisor, Google and OTAs to see what guests like them are saying.  Online reputation software enables you to establish and maintain a presence on these third parties to make sure your hotel is getting found.  This software also help monitor guest satisfaction and improve operations.

  • Channel Manager: You want to list inventory on as many relevant channels as possible but don’t want to spend all day changing rates and managing availability.  Automate these connections and ensure that once you’re found on third parties, that your property is bookable with effective channel management.  Channel managers also facilitate hotel reservations on third party channels in real time to prevent overbookings.  Whether you run a guest house, vacation rental or five star boutique resort, this functionality is absolutely critical for yoru business.

  • Central Reservation System: The central reservation software is the connective layer between the PMS and all other distribution interfaces.  A CRS ultimately manages rates across channels like a channel manager, booking engine and GDS (global distribution systems).

  • Commercial Wi-Fi: Unless your property is positioned as an “off the grid” type of experience, good luck getting guests to come back without WiFi.

  • Rate Shopping Tool: How you price your hotel should change as market conditions evolve.  Getting signals from the local competition can help inform your strategy.  A rate management and intelligence tool will scrape third party websites and give you pricing intelligence in real time that you can act on to win more guests.

  • Revenue Management Software: Gone are the days of seasonal flat pricing.  Well, at least the hotels who still price like this will soon be gone.  Price too high and your guests book with the competition, price too low and you’re losing revenue.  RMS tools use machine learning to help you price rooms without the guesswork.

  • Staff Collaboration Software: For tiny properties a simple Slack channel or Trello board might do.  But even small properties can have complex operations when it comes to servicing guest requests, maintaining a property and managing workflows between shifts.  Specialized hotel operations software is highly recommended for almost any hotel size.

  • Point of Sale: Point of sale systems enable your hotel to capture revenue from on site outlets like restaurants, bars and spas.

  • Hotel CRM: For hotel chains large enough for a dedicated loyalty program a CRM powers guest profiles and rewards.  Smaller groups and independent hotels who typically don't benefit from a dedicated loyalty program leverage rich guest profiles to run marketing automation and promotions.

 

The Best Hotel Software Products of 2020 (According to the Data)

 

Best Guest Experience Software

  • Best Guest Room Tablets: SuitePad (2020 Winner), Crave (Finalist), Volo (Finalist)

  • Best Guest Mobile App: ALICE  (2020 Winner), INTELITY (Finalist)

  • Best Guest Messaging: Whistle (2020 Winner), Bookboost (Finalist, Best in Europe)

  • Best Guest Room Entertainment Product: Monscierge Apple TV (2020 Winner)

  • Best Voice Activated Tech Product: Volara (2020 Winner)

  • Best Mobile Key & Keyless Entry Solution: ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions (2020 Winner)

Best Hotel Operations Tech

  • Best Property Management System: Mews Systems (2020 Winner), Clock (Finalist)

  • Best Staff Collaboration Software: hotelkit (2020 Winner), ALICE (Finalist, Best in North America), HelloShift (Finalist)

  • Best Labor Management Tool: Hotel Effectiveness (2020 Winner)

  • Best Housekeeping Software: hotelkit (2020 Winner), ALICE (Finalist), Quore (Finalist)

  • Best All-in-1 HMS: RoomRaccoon (2020 Winner), Cloudbeds (Finalist)

  • Best Fraud Prevention Tool: Canary Technologies (2020 Winner)

  • Best Facilities Management Software: hotelkit (2020 Winner), ALICE (Finalist), Quore (Finalist)

  • Best Concierge Software: ALICE (2020 Winner)

  • Best Accounting & Finance: MyDigitalOffice (2020 Winner), M3 (Finalist)

  • Best Lobby Tech: Monscierge Connect Signage (2020 Winner)

  • Best F&B Point-of-Sale Solution: ImpulsePoint by Impulsify (2020 Winner)

Best Revenue Management Tech

  • Best Revenue Management System: IDeaS  (2020 Winner), Atomize (Finalist)

  • Best Central Reservations System: Pegasus (2020 Winner)

  • Best Channel Manager: SiteMinder (2020 Winner), Cloudbeds (Finalist), D-EDGE (Finalist)

  • Best Rate Shop & Market Intelligence: OTA Insight (2020 Winner) 

  • Best Business Intelligence Tool: HotelIQ (2020 Winner), Duetto (Finalist)

  • Best Meetings & Events Intelligence: Get Into More (2020 Winner), Duetto (Finalist), IDeaS (Finalist) 

Best Hotel Marketing Software & Services

  • Best Email Marketing & CRM Software: Revinate (2020 Winner), Experience Hotel (Finalist), ForSight CRM (Finalist)

  • Best Upsell Software: Oaky (2020 Winner) 

  • Best Booking Engine Bookassist (2020 Winner), Net Affinity (Finalist), Pegasus (Finalist)

  • Best Digital Marketing Agency Bookassist (2020 Winner), Screen Pilot (Finalist), Net Affinity (Finalist)

  • Best Metasearch Management Software: Bookassist (2020 Winner), Koddi (Finalist, Best in North America)

  • Best Website Builder/CMS: Bookassist (2020 Winner)

  • Best Direct Booking Tool: Triptease (2020 Winner), LaaSie.ai (Finalist)

  • Best Reputation Management Software: GuestRevu (2020 Winner), Revinate (Finalist), TrustYou (Finalist)

  • Best Guest Surveys: GuestRevu (2020 Winner), TrustYou (Finalist), Revinate (Finalist)

  • Best Website Live Chat: Asksuite (2020 Winner), HelloShift (Finalist, Best in North America)

 

How are the Best Hotel Software Vendors Selected?

The HotelTechAwards (produced by Hotel Tech Report) announced the year's top rated hotel software companies and tech products based on thousands of hotelier ratings and other key data-points.

During the HotelTechAwards hoteliers from the world's leading hotel companies across 100+ countries review the top tech products used at their hotels to increase operating efficiency, drive revenue and improve the guest experience. This data is used to identify the best hotel tech products and organizations.

The competition spans core areas of hotel software & technology: marketing, revenue, operations and guest experience. 2020 Voting included participation from major hotel groups including: Four Seasons, Hilton, Marriott, Accor Hotels, Hyatt, Intercontinental, Rosewood and thousands of independents.

"Each month Hotel Tech Report helps more than 40,000 hoteliers research and vet technology partners for their properties.  Winning a HotelTechAward is the highest achievement in the industry because it’s based on real data. Winners have truly earned their showcase with our rapidly growing community.  Hoteliers trust this award when making purchase decisions because scoring is transparent and participation is ubiquitous amongst the most reputable vendors in the industry," says Jordan Hollander, CEO of Hotel Tech Report.

"We created the HotelTechAwards as a democratized way to help our fellow hoteliers quickly determine best of breed vendors based on data they can trust.  Our process is simple, transparent, and unbiased--judging is based on time tested ranking factors, publicly available data and crowdsourced insights from verified hoteliers who have hands on experience with each product.”

The HotelTechAwards are often referred to as "the Grammys of Hotel Tech" and winners were selected from more than 100 of the top technology products around the world. The HotelTechAwards are the industry's only data driven awards platform with winners determined not by a handful of judges or popularity votes but by a global community comprised from thousands of verified hotel technology users across more than 120 countries.

 

Time Tested HotelTechAwards Scoring Methodology