Flash Sale and Private sale sites were all the rage in 2011-2012 and they hit the hotel industry just as thoroughly as all online retail outlets. SniqueAway was one of the sites launched, aimed at providing luxury hotels for cheap prices because they are behind a membership wall.
How SniqueAway Works
Hotels have agreements with their distribution partners, including major online travel agencies. Because of these agreements they are unable to publicly offer deep price discounts to one outlet or in sales that they don’t offer to everyone. This makes it difficult to generate buzz and urgency for users to book. Enter the private sale. Because the rates are not public (you have to enter an email address and ‘become a member’) they are able to offer some relatively deep discounts. In this manner, SniqueAway is able obtain very competitive rates for highly sought after hotel rooms.
Unique aspects of SniqueAway
SniqueAway is a product of Smarter Travel Media, which is a subsidiary of TripAdvisor. This means that they have deeply integrated TripAdvisor ratings into their system and only offer properties which meet a certain standard, at least a 4, out of 5, rating from TripAdvisor user reviews. This limits the properties that are eligible to be listed on SniqueAway.
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Discounts on SniqueAway
The discounts listed on SniqueAway are said to be up to 40% off the retail, or regular, price that you would normally pay for the same hotel room when booking directly or on an online travel agency’s website. These prices are all limited time sales (about one week) so the decision to book must be made quickly.
One additional aspect of Private Sale sites is that they are designed to be ‘exclusive’, hence why you must be a member. SniqueAway has integrated a refer-a-friend function so that if you refer a friend and they become a member and they book a hotel room your account is credited with $25 that you can use toward the purchase of a hotel room on SniqueAway.
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Another website that provides this type of travel discount is Groupon Getaways, who partners with Expedia and offers vacation packages in addition to hotel rooms.