Are you looking for the answer to “what is the best online hotel management software”? We invite you to read this Cloudbeds review and see why we deem it the top choice for any accommodation owner.
In this review we will go into detail about all of the main features of Cloudbeds.
We’ve personally used Cloudbeds and know it well. We think it’s an outstanding resource for any property owner and management team, and we want to share with you our own experience of Cloudbeds in a concise, easy to grasp way. So, forget complicated explanations!
It’s time to reduce human errors and get everything in sync with Cloudbeds.
Cloudbeds is the fastest growing hospitality management software suite in the world, trusted by more than 20,000 hotels, hostels, inns, and alternative accommodations worldwide. The Cloudbeds suite includes a powerful PMS, a leading Channel Manager, and a conversion-driven Booking Engine.
Basically, Cloudbeds is an all-in-one property management suite, built to help hoteliers grow revenue and save time.
Instead of managing different aspects of your business separately, Cloudbeds offers the chance to collate it all under one roof and allow the software to do the hard work for you.
“Cloudbeds makes advanced hospitality software for independent properties that manages guests and reservations, distributes room availability, sells inventory, and collects payments.”
Sounds good, right?
This video offers a little introduction in viewing form.
2. Cloudbeds Suite Explained
We get it; it can all start to get a bit confusing when you see all of these different features such as a PMS, channel manager, booking engine etc. So, before that happens we want to point out one very important thing…
The Cloudbeds Suite combines all of these incredible tools into one simple package that’s super easy to learn and use.
“…One platform designed to help hoteliers build revenue, save time and increase guest satisfaction.”
Simply put, within the one Cloudbeds hospitality management suite, you have access to and contol over:
Property Management System
Revenue Management (PIE)
Finance & Payments
With Cloudbeds, you’re given access to one login and one platform that’s continuously in sync.
And! It’s all done via the Cloudbeds website so you don’t even need to download and install anything. Easy peasy.
Without further ado, let’s jump in and take a closer look at all of the features included and what each of them is used for.
2.1 Property Management System (PMS)
Let’s keep it simple by referring to this feature as PMS.
As the name suggests, the PMS primary function is to help you manage reservations with ease.
Within Cloudbeds PMS there are many functions that can be utilised to get a quick overview of bookings on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. There’s access to guest details, plus quick click solutions to changing bed/room prices and manually changing availability.
Whatever changes you make within the PMS, rest assured that it will automatically sync up with all linked channels.
This short video offers a good overview of what we’re about to delve into in this review.
2.2 Channel Manager
Alongside your own website, no doubt you use other channels to advertise your availability. Or perhaps this is something you’d like to start doing and would like the help of a management software. This is where Cloudbeds comes in!
Basically, you get to manage your rooms and rates in one place even though they may be distributed across several channels.
Awesome: Your availability and rates are always in sync in real-time. This means that when a room is booked either on your website or an online travel agency, the Cloudbeds channel manager automatically updates everything for you.
Other perks include:
One click price changes
Avoid overbooking thanks to clever syncing
Easy customisation of how you want to sell rooms
One flat fee with ZERO added commissions
Reach more travellers & increase visibility
2.3 Booking Engine
The booking engine feature is super useful for turning your website into your top-performing booking channel. What’s great is that Cloudbeds do not add commission to any bookings made through the booking engine.
Basically, get more direct and commission free bookings via your website using the Cloudbeds booking engine. It’s a no brainer.
Here are just some of the benefits of using the Cloudbeds booking engine:
Use dozens of payment processors (PayPal, Stripe, PayU etc)
Mobile friendly booking
Supports multiple languages & currencies
Personalised booking system to match your brand
Google Analytics tracking compatible
And of course, any bookings made via your website booking engine will automatically sync up with your Cloudbeds PMS in real time. Similarly, any changes to prices or availability made in the PMS will automatically update the booking engine on your website.
That’s a huge time saver for everyone.
2.4 Revenue Management (PIE)
Also known as a Pricing Intelligence Engine, this tool helps you to effortlessly gather market data in real time so you can make better pricing decisions.
Put simply, this handy little feature helps you to compare rates with your competitors so you can make informed and wise decisions on how you sell your inventory. Pretty cool, huh?
You can set alerts for when competitors change their pricing, for example.
The all-in-one insights dashboard really helps you save time by providing a simple overview of the crucial information you want and need.
Good to know: In case you’re new to PIE, there is substantial help, information and videos in the demo which explains PIE in much more detail.
This is a very clever addition to Cloudbeds, we feel.
Cloudbeds marketplace allows you to discover and seamlessly connect to your favourite 3rd party apps, tools and services.
There are many partners in the list that help with all different aspects of your business. Any of the 3rd party software you integrate into your Cloudbeds account is sure to support the effortless running of your business even more.
To give you an example, some of the partners include Quickbooks (accounting), CheKin (pre-check-in), Breezeway (housekeeping), Facebook Pixel (analytics) and GuestHub (guest communications).
2.6 Finance & Payments
Of course, every property owner wants to rest assured that their online payments are secure and instant, right? Well, Cloudbeds has covered all bases here so that you can spend less time manually processing credit card payments.
Instead, connect with your favourite payment processor and receive payment the moment a guest makes a booking. Simple.
Here is an overview of the payment processors Cloudbeds have teamed up with:
PayPal (standard & pro)
No matter what time of day, you can simply access your Cloudbeds dashboard and track your guests payments and reservations.
We love the flexibility to choose the processor you’ve had experience with and trust.
3. Cloudbeds Demo
One of the biggest pros to Cloudbeds is that it’s possible to request access to a 21 day demo of the software.
You will have full access to all of the features mentioned in this guide, enabling you to get a feel for how everything works. What’s more, there are some handy little ‘how to’ videos and step-by-step guidelines of how the main tools work.
We really enjoyed that the demo has been set up with alias bookings, prices etc to bring the whole thing to life.
This way, you can go through and click and edit everything without a worry that you might mess something up. This is one of the best ways of learning, in our opinion!
It’s highly recommended that you first request a demo with one of the hospitality consultants who will walk you through everything and see if it’s a good fit for your business before you make a purchase.
Whilst Cloudbeds largely advertise their suite as a hotel management system, it is certainly not limited to use only by hotels.
They clearly have a broad user base, including thousands of Hostels, B&Bs and Inns, Groups and Vacation Rentals.
Of course, we are huge lovers of hostels (is that obvious?!), so we have included Cloudbeds on our platform because we have huge faith that it is an ideal system to be used in any number of hostel types. In fact, we used it ourselves whilst physically working in a hostel!
We think they’re pretty clever little tools that help with overall communication between staff and of keeping track of aspects of running a business that can often be overlooked or sidelined.
On the right corner of the tab section at the top of the page is a little button that represents Cash Drawer.
Again, this is yet another space where you can keep all of the runnings of your property in one place. It’s an optional place to log your cash flow if you’d rather not have this sort of information lying around the office.
A number of different drawers can be created. So for example, you could create a drawer named “walk-ins” and log any incoming and outgoing cash transactions that relates to that.
Next to the Cash Drawer icon is Housekeeping.
Here you can add the names of housekeepers and assign them to rooms that need cleaning.
It’s actually really neat how this has been included and saves a lot on paper work or relying on your memory to remember which rooms have or haven’t been turned over!
For streamline learning of Cloudbeds PMS there are many training videos that are accessible via Cloudbeds University.
Not only that, but through the University you can learn how to increase your bookings, optimise your Cloudbeds system and complete hundreds of courses to aid in elevating your property.
It’s also a great way to train new employees fast and efficiently so that your own time is freed up.
Good to know: All Cloudbeds customers now have unlimited access to Cloudbeds University. That’s just one more reason to sign up!
6. Pros & Cons of Cloudbeds
Want to hear some cool reasons why thousands of properties turn to Cloudbeds for their property management needs?
To name a few reasons…
4-6 work hours saved per week on average
24/7/265 support with agents all over the world
20% increase in reservations on average
200 million room nights booked
32% increase in positive reviews
Overall, we are highly impressed by the usability of the PMS. For us, it didn’t take long to grasp the ins and out of how the basics work, and whenever we got stuck, we could quickly access the training videos or reach out to a consultant to ask more in-depth questions.
Once again, we found the demo to be of huge help in exploring what the system is capable of without worrying that important data would be lost or messed up.
What about the cons?
In general there are some common disadvantages that are mentioned in the community of Cloudbeds users. We think it’s important to be transparent and to include these here.
In regards to our own experience, our disappointments lie around the fact that prices are not listed on the website and that customer service is largely online which often causes a delay in problem solution.
Others cons include:
No assigned Cloudbeds staff member to individual property
Issues with ease of mobile usability
FAQs about Cloudbeds
What do I need to install Cloudbeds?
Other than a solid internet connection and up-to-date web browser, nothing! As the software operates as a cloud-based system, there is no installation. Simply log in to your account via the website and manage away!
Does Cloudbeds system handle both private rooms and shared dorms?
Absolutely. It was built for hotels and hostels, supporting all rooms types: dorms, shared rooms, private rooms and more. The system can also handle split bookings.
What languages does Cloudbeds work in?
The Cloudbeds PMS system works in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Whereas the booking engine is available in 16 different languages.
In short, we’re super impressed with what Cloudbeds has to offer, and we’re sure you will be, too.
Cloudbeds has thought long and hard about what every property needs, wants and expects from a management system… and they go above and beyond to deliver!
The added bonus of endless resources including ‘how to’ videos and access to the Cloudbeds University is invaluable.
Left with any questions about Cloudbeds? Or perhaps you’d like to add your own insights from using the software?
Drop us an email or leave a comment below so that it benefits the entire community. We always reply personally and really appreciate your input.