The Taj Mahal is visible from all the different guest bedrooms at Hotel Amar Vilas in Agra so it really doesn’t matter which room number they allot you at the time of booking. You get a picture perfect view from every room but, obviously, that won’t be the case with most other hotels of the world.
When you make an online reservation for a hotel, the travel website will almost always have some pictures of the hotel exteriors and that of certain rooms to help you get an idea of the actual property before you confirm the booking.
But you still miss out on certain points. For instance, some rooms may have a better view than others. Or some rooms may have a more convenient location inside the hotel than others and this is something you can only figure out once you are physically at the hotel.
Room 77, a promising web start-up that made its debut at LAUNCH the previous month, is trying to fit the missing pieces here. The service offers virtual views of hotel rooms, what would the scene be like if you were standing in the balcony of a room, to help you make better choices.
For instance, here you can compare the view outside two different rooms that are on the same floor of the hotel – you would obviously want to avoid #3013.
Using Room 77 is simple – it displays an interactive floor plan on the lower Google map and when you click any of the room numbers on that floor map, it generates a virtual view using data from Google Earth. You may also change floors and the external view will change accordingly.
It’s a pretty innovative service but their room database is currently limited to select luxury hotels in London and a dozen or so U.S. cities. Going forward, they also plan to have actual photographs of room interiors as submitted by guests who check into those rooms.