Faced with increasing demand for hotel rooms that could accommodate families — and competition from short-term apartment rental sites such as Airbnb — the head of Spain-based Room Mate Hotels started brainstorming this summer.
The result of Enrique Sarasola’s musings: BeMate.com, a service that offers accommodation at apartments or houses with some of the amenities found in a hotel.
“Why fight it?” Sarasola said during an interview this week in Miami Beach. “This is the future; the sharing economy is here to stay.”
The site highlights properties located near Room Mate or partner hotels, including the Room Mate Waldorf Towers at 860 Ocean Dr. in Miami Beach. Room Mate Hotels has a portfolio of nearly 20 hotels, mostly in Europe, with more on the way, and Sarasola said BeMate will open its technology to independent hotels that want to participate.
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A team from BeMate.com verifies that photos of a home or apartment are accurate and checks that local zoning laws are being followed. Guests who book through the site can opt for hotel services such as housekeeping, concierge, luggage storage, key pickup and help with any issues that pop up. The company gets a percentage of the revenue with each booking.
So far, the site includes 2,500 properties in 10 cities, including Miami Beach; plans call for more than 200 cities to be included by the end of 2015.