Gone are those days when hoteliers had to spend a thick wad of cash to raise their brand. Though they still have to spend money to expand their business, things have become quite easy these days or rather automated!
Yes, automation is the key to growth for any business and the same is true for hospitality sector. Be it updating your hotel information on the spreadsheet or promoting your business, the software does everything flawlessly in a matter of seconds.
What is Hotel Management Software?
Hotel management software provides essential features to streamline activities like online booking, room availability tracking and feedback. Every thriving hotel can leverage the power of technology and enhance their brand reputation.
It is a must-have tool for hoteliers to streamline administrative tasks at their property and increase the number of bookings. Along with managing day-to-day operations, the free & open source hotel management software and their premium versions also assist in delivering an outstanding guest experience.
Types of Hotel Management Software
If you have just started a business with a limited budget, free & open-source best hotel management software is the best alternative for you! Such software is free to use, which means you do not have to spend a single penny to buy this software. Everyone is freely licensed to use the software for their benefits.
The solution is open to modification; thus, it can be customized to your business needs. The source code of the software is openly shared and therefore the code can be modified to improve the functionalities specific to business needs.
Furthermore, there are different types of hotel management software, depending on whether its hosted on internal servers or on a third-party server. You can opt for either free or open source hotel management software, or their premium packages.
Suggested Read: Advantages of Restaurant Management System
Features of Online Hotel Management System
Hotel management software helps scale up your business by automating all critical functions and letting the staff focus more on serving your guests. To scale up your hotel business, look for these essential features in your hotel management software:
- Front desk Management
The front desk management feature makes it easy for the guests to check in and check out conveniently. Also, the software provides a quick insight into the room availability, and guests don’t have to wait for the check-in. All details related to hotel facilities can be accessed instantly with free & open source hotel management software along with the premium ones.
- Payment Gateway
With the help of hotel management software, people can accept payment directly via debit/ credit cards. Also, payment can be received through third-party platforms and updated in their financial database.
With hotel management software, you can keep a tab of any room cleaning request and ensure timely service. Also, rooms can per prepared in advance as per the booking schedule. With an organized housekeeping schedule, the staff can spend more time of ensuring hygiene and sanitation.
- OTA Integration
Integration with third party booking platforms and online travel agencies is critical to the profitability of any hotel business. At the same time, hotel managers need to track bookings from different platforms and ensure that there is no overlap. Free and open source hotel management software helps monitor OTAs and keep bookings from different platforms organized.
- Rate Management
Hotel management software gives you the freedom to revise rates of your hotel rooms, depending upon the market trends and competitors’ pricing strategy. You can change your rates automatically and ensure higher profitability. Accordingly, prices can be set according to the demand.
- Direct Bookings
All bookings directly through your hotel website can be tracked with hotel management software. The software makes it easy to book directly without any commission involved. With social media integration, the software also facilitates bookings through your social media pages.
- Inventory Management
Hotel inventory management involves both, yield and revenue management. Automation technologies, such as free & open source hotel management software helps in managing demand and generating maximum returns. It helps with better management of hotel property, resulting in higher profits.
The 7 Best Free & Open Source Hotel Management Software
- Abacre Hotel Management System
- KWHotel Free
- OTA Hotel Management
- RoomKey PMS
Free hotel management system has the features to help you manage a hotel, big or small, as well as, similar properties like resorts, B&Bs, homestays, etc. They can help you perform key tasks smoothly such as automated check-ins, report generation, guest management, group bookings, etc. They come with unique capabilities to help your hotel perform at maximum efficiency.
Abacre Hotel Management System
Abacre is a web based free hotel management software that facilitates everything from managing guest reservation to guest check-in/check-outs, generating invoices & tax reports. It is compatible with multiple versions of Windows-XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7, 8, & 10.
- This system supports multi-currencies and taxes.
- It supports payment acceptance in cash, credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, AmEx) and cheque.
- Reports can be generated on various basis to draw a complete picture of hotel operations.
- It helps in improving the quality of guest handling by standardizing the hotel management process.
HotelDruid works well for all size of properties, from B&Bs to large hotel chains. It is a cloud-based free hotel management software that can be accessed from PC, smartphone, and tablets. It is a user-friendly software supporting multiple languages. English, Spanish and Italian languages are inbuilt into it & you can always add more dialects using the language module.
- It automatically assigns rooms while maximizing the room availability.
- You can add extra cost and special offers to the base rates flexibly.
- It facilitates Point of Sale for restaurants and bar along with inventory management.
- Comparative statistics can be done considering occupancy and revenue.
The free version of hotel management software KWHotel is available in three modes namely, KWHotel Desktop, KWHotel Web, and KWHotel Mobile. KWHotel Free is suitable for a single workstation and can be run on Windows-based computer. It is best suited for small properties including yacht and surfboard rentals. If you wish to upgrade the functions of the product, you always have the option to choose from their paid versions.
The ‘calendar’ module gives you access to room booking information on daily/weekly/monthly basis and other reservation details.
- Manage complete guest details and reservation history at one place.
- Set up regular reminders regarding guest arrival, check-out time and payment due.
- Effectively manage rooms, organize them in groups, edit their rates as per requirement.
NOBEDS is a free hotel property management software that can be operated on Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. It is a cloud-based system that lets you manage hotel business operations using various devices. You can also choose to use it on the web and not download the application version.
- You can access the system anytime to check vacancies, payment status, etc.
- You can easily customize invoices, add logos & edit text in it.
- The intuitive dashboard gives you a quick view of the property and alerts you about new reservation or tasks.
- You can generate charts and reports in a single click.
OTA Hotel Management
OTA free hotel management software is an open source software released by e-novate. The proposed software has been designed for small and medium size hotels. In addition, it is a multilingual software currently supporting English, Vietnamese, Korean, with more languages on its way.
- It provides you with real-time online booking engine.
- You can create, edit and delete guest profile.
- It facilitates room rate management.
This is an open source hotel reservation and booking system, which helps manage both online and offline booking. Some of its other useful features are room allocation, payment processing, room allocations, and more.
Further, by using this free & open source hotel management system, you can reduce the dependence on manual efforts and optimize administrative tasks in your hotel.
- Allows partial payment booking
- Helps manage booking even when you’re online
- Supports all major payment gateways
- Helps add new refund rules & edit them.
It’s a free hotel booking engine, which can be easily integrated on your website. Using this software, you can manage bookings and update reservations quickly. Further, this software is mobile friendly and its features can be accessed easily from anywhere with the free hotel management app.
This free & open source hotel management software further allows Google Analytics integration and is TripConnect certified. Moreover, with the help of this software, you can redirect listings from TripAdvisor to your website.
- Faster reservation with a quick view of guest information
- Guestfolio helps engage and upsell guests
- Helps identify duplicate records
10 Best Hotel Management Software Systems in 2022
- eZee FrontDesk
- Frontdesk Anywhere
- Hotelogix PMS
- OPERA PMS
- MMI HOT inn
Finding the right software for your hotel is crucial, as one wrong choice can lead to the loss of time and money. We’ve done the legwork for you and mentioned the 10 best hotel management software for small hotels and big hotel chains. Now, nothing can prevent you from providing an outstanding guest experience.
eZee FrontDesk hotel PMS is an ideal solution to manage regular processes within your setup. Using this software, you can meet your operational requirements with ease and serve a greater number of guests with higher efficiency. As per the company, 220K plus rooms are currently being managed by eZee FrontDesk across 160 countries.
- Intuitive interface
- Guest and company profile management
- Also allows group bookings & check-out
- Flexible rate management
- Reservation with minimum inputs
- Need more comprehensive reports for accounts departments
- Non-technical staff might face problems sometimes.
Frontdesk Anywhere is a cloud-based hotel management software, which provides many useful features to manage your hotel property and its daily functions. Moreover, using this software, you can deliver an enhanced guest experience right from the check-in to onsite activities and check-out.
With advanced integrations across social media platforms and an extensive guest data, you can run targeted marketing campaigns.
- Collects personalized details of guests & travel agents
- Online bookings are updated automatically on the availability calendar
- Also, customizes operational checklists and reports
- Creates customizable payment rules for corporate bookings.
- Reports may seem complicated to the new staff
- Locating guest reservation with their contact details is not easy.
Hotelogix PMS cloud-based hotel management software provides unique capabilities to manage operations on the go. You can manage critical operations and fulfil your guests’ expectations with utmost efficiency. Moreover, its dashboard is quite user-friendly and allows managing multiple POS outlets through a single screen. Owing to its responsive design and secure payment gateways, you are quite likely to get more direct bookings.
- Keeps data secure on higher security cloud server
- Advanced integration capabilities to ensure uninterrupted daily operations
- The Channel Manager portal to update rates and inventory on OTAs quickly
- Compare business in the books with forecast and budget.
- Isn’t much useful in getting forecasts related to future bookings, occupancy rate, etc.
- Reports need to be more customizable.
Irrespective of your hotel property size, OPERA PMS is a great tool to manage its different operations with ease. It ensures higher productivity and profitability with fast and efficient access to guest details and expectations. Different functions, such as accounting, sales, reservations, feedback management, etc. can be configured towards higher profitability with this software.
- Promotes group rooms control and contract administration
- Messaging and locator services ensures better communication with guests
- Allows creating flexible, detailed packages for guests
- Also, provides a clear financial picture of your entire operation.
- The software is slightly expensive for small-sized hotel properties. It’s most suited for hotels with at least 200 rooms.
DJUBO is your go-to solution for managing your hotel property. It will bring in the unmatched efficiency to your hotel operations. From front desk management to point of sale, DJUBO is the key to a pleasant hotel management experience. It also allows tracking hotel performance in real-time, and take corrective actions. All your hotel operations come down to a single interface that is quite user-friendly.
- Guest arrival SMS notifications to staff
- Generates invoice database
- Allocate unallocated room bookings
- KOT (Kitchen Order Ticket) management
- Auto-sync payments to room folios.
- People have often raised concerns about their support system, and bugs in the taxation system.
Cloudbeds serves the operational needs of hotels of all sizes, be it vacation rentals, B&Bs, midsized or large hotels. Key features of Cloudbeds hotel management software are customer relationship management (CRM), point of sale, reservation, front desk management, and a lot more.
Moreover, OTA integration with online booking engines and social media platforms ensures that you convert more walk-in customers. At the same time, visitors on your website can make reservation, cancel it or reschedule as per their convenience.
- An intuitive calendar to manage reservations
- Helps sync rates and availability across multiple channels
- Helps track competitors, and get insights & analytics
- Assists with better pricing and distribution decisions.
- It doesn’t have a mobile app, so you will have to operate through its site even on the go.
It’s an exhaustive property management software for hotels to manage their in-house online hotel booking system and third-party channel platforms efficiently. In addition, it also ensures hassle-free integration with any travel agency to ensure more bookings and higher revenue. Moreover, it also makes tasks related to marketing and global distribution easier.
- It’s mobile optimized
- Helps migrate all the booking history of guests
- Provides unlimited staff training
- It’s Tapechart is easy to use
- Its mobile app’s interface can be improved further.
Looking for ways to cut down your hotel infrastructure cost without compromising on the quality of your data? Hotello can help you do the same by migrating every hotel process on the cloud. In addition, it also allows integration with all popular online reservation systems to ensure hassle-free bookings.
Further, by using its unique insights and reporting system, you can take concrete steps to boost your business growth.
- Helps increase occupancy rates with two ways bookings engine
- Simplifies hotel management with budgeting, groups and allotments
- Maximizes hotels’ profitability with smart yield management measures
- Ensures guest profile management in terms of preferences, special requests, booking history, etc.
- Reporting features can be customized further, and then it will be a great solution for thriving hotel chains.
MMI HOT inn
MMT software is a user-friendly hotel management system that makes processes like CRM, food and beverage costing and rate management much easier. This versatile hotel management software further assists with banquet management, laundry management, and HR and payroll management.
It also provides data backup facility, which makes it a safe option for those hotels which value customer privacy.
- Date wise, banquet wise vacant & occupied status
- General ledger profit/cost centres
- Date wise single line stock summary report
- Printing and mailing of room/monthly guest bills to companies
- Housekeeper to front desk communications.
It sometimes gets slow. Otherwise, it’s quite useful to use.
Hotel managers can streamline their hotel processes from anywhere with KWHotel cloud-based software. Incidences of kitchen stock shortage can impact your brand reputation. However, you can manage this function seamlessly with KWHotel. Thus, your guests will get their food orders on time and as per their convenience.
Further, the time is not spent on managing OTA manually. The staff can focus more on delivering outstanding customer experience.
- Synced with OTAs like Booking.com, Expedia, YieldPlanet, etc.
- Mobile-friendly KWHotel booking engine
- Camping management with graphic representation
- Also, allows automated text messaging with SMS API integration
- Provides door access control.
- Loading the database is time consuming sometimes.
Top 5 Hotel Management Software for Windows & Mac
- eZee FrontDesk
- Hotelogix PMS
- MMI HOT inn
As we have already discussed about the best free & open source software and the top 10 hotel management system in 2023, it’s time to offer more customized solutions. Here, you can find the best hotel management software for Windows & Mac, to fulfil your configuration need.
In fact, you can also opt for their free & open source hotel management software versions to automate your processes cost-effectively.
A modern hotel management solution, which can run smoothly even when it’s offline. It’s easy check-in and check-out feature along with the state-of-the-art technology makes it ideal for any expanding hotel chain. Its 2-click guest reservation is what makes it a smart hotel management solution.
Hotelogix helps you manage hotel operations and enhance the overall performance. It provides fact-based insightful decision, to enhance guest experience. Your brand reputation is likely to increase with optimized property management. It further helps in getting positive feedback, as you can assign tasks to your housekeeping staff on time and ensure that the rooms are always clean.
It’s a 360-degree hotel management system, which helps manage sales functions, room inventory efficiently. Online channel management and reservation management is possible with its single user-friendly interface. At the same time, it serves the business need of hoteliers with improved analytics, front-office coordination and customizable web templates.
Your hotel property has the potential of much higher profitability, which you can analyse with innRoad free & open source hotel management software. It also provides availability calendar and booking engine to manage all guest requests. To make things easier, the software migrates all guest history, and make them secure and compliant.
MMI HOT inn
The free and open source hotel management software serves multiple purposes along with hotel management. Using this software, you can manage different activities of a banquet halls and conference rooms with ease. It also supports processes related to HR and payroll management.
Challenges Faced by Hotel Industry
You have already started a hotel business. Now, the real challenge is to juggle multiple tasks and ensure that every process is tuned towards offering higher value to the guests. Here, we’ve listed some of the common challenges faced by the people in hospitality sector, and ways to overcome them.
- Changing Customer Expectations
People working in the hospitality sector are facing constant challenges in terms of the changing customer behaviour. If hotel staff offers something new to the guests on their first visit, it becomes a norm for them. And, customers expect something new every time.
Also, different people have different expectations from their hotel stay. However, hotel staff can take cue from different social media platforms to know who is offering what and what is liked the most by guests at other hotels. Free & open source hotel management software can assist in understanding customer demands effectively.
- Skill Shortage & Staff Turnover
Employees in the hotel sector often have to deal with long and irregular working hours. Many of them are not able to cope with the increasing competition and customer expectations, resulting in higher staff turnover. At the same time, hoteliers are dealing with the scarcity of skilled staff. Those who hold expertise in devising different strategies to meet guests’ expectations.
So, to ensure that employees learn and grow, hotel managers must devise ways to manage their stress. After all, losing a valuable staff because of burnout is not a positive sign. Manage their work schedule in a way that they can focus on work more.
- Fluctuating Demands
While peak seasons bring in more business, lean seasons often make it difficult for hoteliers to sustain. At the same time, the demand for staff and resources varies. Moreover, it depends largely on how they manage this issue of seasonality and rotate their staff.
- Why a hotel must buy a hotel management software?
In the hotel business, customer satisfaction depends on the quality of service. And the quality of service at any hotel can be increased considerably with hotel management software. The software makes room management, housekeeping, payment processing and online bookings much easier and hassle-free.
- Which type of hotel management software is best suited for your hotel?
Depending upon your business requirement, you can choose between on-premise and cloud-based hotel management software. With on-premise software, you will have to store all data on the internal server and there isn’t any dependency on the internet access.
However, cloud-based hotel management software stores data on the cloud, making it accessible from anywhere. Also, you won’t have to maintain any hardware or server on-premise to use this software.
There’s a few free & open source hotel management software, which serves the customer management and growth needs of small hotels efficiently.
- How it helps improve employee efficiency?
With the help of hotel management software, you don’t have to update your bookings manually. Other tasks, such as, housekeeping, rate management and inventory management can also be streamlined with this software.
- How secure is the guest’s information on hotel management software?
Data safety is a prime concern in the time when cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated. However, the best hotel management software provides multi-layered security layer to protect all the visitors’ information and useful insights secured. Also, the software does not allow an unauthorized person to gain access to the data.
- If I have to expand my hotel, do I need a new hotel management software?
Any flexible cloud-based hotel management software will let you expand your hotel chain seamlessly. You can upgrade the plan of your existing hotel software to enjoy its features across your multiple hotel locations. You don’t need to invest in a new hotel management software every time.
- Will my hotel staff need extensive training to start using hotel management software?
Not really! Most hotel management software vendors provide online demos and tutorial videos, helping users pick up and start using different features quickly. Cloud-based hotel accounting software vendors often provide 24 X 7 support to ensure that your staff is using the features uninterruptedly.
- How hotel management software help boost sales and marketing efforts?
The channel management feature of hotel software helps users track booking from third-party platforms. Also, room rates across different booking platforms can be managed with its OTA integration feature. Direct bookings through website and social media platforms become much easy with hotel management software.
- Which third-party integrations are supported by hotel management software?
Hotel management software can be easily integrated with accounting solutions, payment gateways, channel management solutions, and any other tools which you are using currently to manage your hotel processes.
- Does it support direct bookings along with OTA management?
By integrating with web booking engines, hotel management software facilitates direct bookings. The software further assists in updating rates and tracking bookings based on regions and the types of customers.
- Software upgrades are often a hassle. Does a hotelier have to bear this charge in the future?
Cloud-based hotel software ensures free upgrades at regular intervals. You need to pay the annual maintenance charge to enjoy uninterrupted service.
The paid version, obviously, offers additional functions. However, if you have limited resources, then free and open source hotel management software can prove to be your saviour.
Free & open source hotel management software comes with gamut of features and benefits to scale up any hotel business. Now that you have decided to invest in the hotel management software, we hope our top 10 list serves your purpose.
If you need more features to manage your hotel business effectively than provided in the free version, check out the paid options.