Juicy Hotels FAQ
What is JuicyHotels.com?
JuicyHotels.com is a hotel search engine with over 500 unique amenities, activities, hotel categories, travel magazine lists, hard to find details like WiFi details, Pet Policy, Concierge Lounge details and more. All hotels on JuicyHotels.com have been handpicked by me personally based on research and experience.
Who is JuicyHotels.com?
JuicyHotels.com is owned by Juicy Travels, Inc. I'm the editor of JuicyHotels.com and CEO of Juicy Travels, Inc. You can read more about me here.
Do you handle reservations?
Nope. We believe the hotels themselves should control the booking process. We think it's a better experience for everyone to deal directly with hotels.
Where are you based?
San Francisco. But our hotels are worldwide. I do tend to focus some of my attention on the West Coast since I'm based here but happily cover the world.
How do you decide whether to include a property or not?
Well as you can imagine this is a tricky question. I read travel magazines, Trip Advisor reviews, scour my own former experience as a Travel Agent and current experience as a Travel Journalist, talk to people I trust and decide whether or not a property is "Juicy" enough. Let's face it, every property has its challenges, its good points and its bad points. I'm not Trip Advisor and don't want to be. My goal is to select and promote properties who excel in enough of the important ways that I'm not wasting a user's time and potentially steering them towards a bad experience by suggesting it. Say a hotel is smack on a perfect beach (very Juicy feature) but I read on Trip Advisor or elsewhere that the service really sucked, or the rooms were tired and dated, or the food was horrid. I don't care how great that beach is, that property isn't Juicy. Now, if a hotel has an amazing rooftop pool or some other Juicy stand out feature, and a mixed bag in other ways...that's when it gets tricky and I make my best bet. It's a wildly subjective process on my part. That's the reality. I much prefer to stay at a property myself to experience it and promote it. I travel personally to hotels as often as humanly possible to experience what's Juicy about them and share the experience.
What do you consider "Juicy"?
The obvious and the not so obvious perhaps. Great service, a special location, features with some wow factor, better than average dining options. Things like outdoor showers, awesome views, style that doesn't end up being form over function kind of style, sweet pool cabanas and the like...all Juicy. But sometimes Juicy is something like a really good value in a hard to find good value place, where the other criteria is at least at an acceptable standard and the traveler can make their own educated decision about whether it's Juicy enough for their stay. Something has to be really Juicy though, but the Juicy factor isn't always the blingy, wow factor kind. As I said, it's wildly subjective but you just know Juicy when something is Juicy, right? Even if all of the other points aren't satisfied, a few really Juicy aspects may be enough to meet the Juicy smell test.
Weren't you a booking engine before? What happened?
Well to be honest the booking engine model never felt great. We didn't control the booking process, our hotel booking partner did, which meant the quality of the customer's experience was totally out of our hands. No disrespect to them, but we all want to control our customer's experience. Which is exactly what I kept hearing from hotels, that the online booking engines rob the hotel of control over their customer's experience. So it made sense to step back and totally re-think this thing, which is what I did. What emerged as the clear choice was to be a special hotel search engine for hand picked, awesome hotels and deliver you, the user, to hotels.
Were you BlueHippoTravel.com before?
Yep. But a few things happened all at once which required another stepping back and regrouping. There was a financial company that came along with mostly the same name which was mired in scandal. Not so good for company branding. Then we changed booking partners in an effort to improve our customer's experience when we handed them off to the booking company, which required a massive recoding of the site. So, we re-branded as JuicyHotels.com which I like a lot better anyway, so as most things do, it all turned out better in the end. We had a lot of wonderful support though as BlueHippoTravel.com so I hope to maintain those users.
What is your business model?
It's a very straightforward concept. it's free to hotels to be on the site and to manage their data. They can pay for a link to their website and a reservations email link to make it easier for users to get to their site and to inquire about rates and availability. They can also pay to promote special deals and can buy banner advertising. Hotels can't buy their way onto the site, they are only here if I chose them. Once they are amont the elite group of Juicy Hotels represented on the site, they can pay to make it easier for you to reach them and to some extent can pay for better visibility.