Winston Club promises to match hotel guests based on their interests. (Photo: Thinkstock)
Strangers share rooms in hostels, and they do the same in homes with Airbnb. So why not book a hotel room with someone you don’t know to save on costs? At least, that’s the idea behind Winston Club, a hotel guest-matching service planning to launch next year.
The startup bills itself as a way for cost-conscious solo travelers to save money and share a hotel room with someone who shares their interests. The site promises to match prescreened prospective guests and complete the booking process for them.
Winston’s website says when it launches it will offer rooms at “12 premier hotels on the West Coast” in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and Las Vegas.
The site says it will prescreen guests in five ways. (Screenshot: Winston Club)
Regarding security, the company’s founder, Bryon Shannon, told Road Warrior Voices this: “All of our members must produce five forms of verification: phone number and professional e-mail at account setup, one verified social media account and credit card at booking, and one photo ID at check-in. Rather than staying with an anonymous stranger, you’re sharing a space with someone who has been screened and is accountable for their actions.”
To support his belief that people are willing to share a hotel room with a stranger, Shannon cited a survey saying that people familiar with the sharing economy are 34 percent more likely to trust a hotel than Airbnb.
The company says its main demographic right now is people aged 20 to 35 who are familiar with the sharing economy.