Many hostel owners are avid travelers and backpackers who’ve been around the world seeking adventure on a shoestring budget. In this regard, Daniel Beaumont and his long-time friend Sam Cooper are no different. What sets them apart from other hostel owners is their unique vision and fervent dedication to building hostels with a greater purpose.
After staying at one of their first hostels in Australia, Daniel and Sam became fascinated with the hostel experience and the diverse community found there, but they felt something was missing. So, starting in 2013, they went on a journey volunteering and staying at over 400 hostels around the world in order to discover for themselves what makes a place great. All the while the duo shaped their brand, created a community around their idea, and picked up a few new team members, including an investor.
All of their research, hard work, and countless trials and errors (including running a beta version of a hostel out of their apartment) lead them to open their property, Podstel Bucharest, in November 2016. What they discovered was that hostels are the perfect hub for fostering a community and becoming a place where locals and travelers alike could gather to grow and experience a positive change. They do this by hosting local events, workshops, and seminars, including vegan family meals, yoga, meditation, presentations, self-development classes, philosophy discussions, board game nights, musical performances, and more.
Daniel and Sam’s approach to the hostel experience has not only made Podstel Bucharest extremely popular among travelers, in January 2018 the property was also awarded Best Hostel in Romania by Hostelworld. Today, they have 15 team members and have opened a second location, called Podstel Umbrella, with plans to expand even further.
One of the main reasons Daniel and Sam switched to Cloudbeds was so they could run more complex reports and data analysis on their business. “We used to have to do a lot to create monthly reports with our previous PMS,” says Daniel, “but Cloudbeds functionality means that we can generate reports for all aspects of our business in a matter of several clicks without having to manipulate and work on large amounts of data.” Of all the reports they run, Daniel says the financial report is one of their favorites for getting a snapshot view of their business, as well as the Reservations by Country report for helping them understand their guest demographics for marketing efforts.
In keeping with Cloudbeds’ brand promise of “More Reservations. Happier Guests,” Daniel notes that since using the PMS, Podstel has “increased direct bookings by about 10% because of an improved direct booking engine.” He goes on to rejoice over the fact that “Since taking on Cloudbeds, our ratings on Hostelworld are at an all-time high of 9.7, and I would probably put that down to having more time to focus on giving the guests a good experience rather than chasing up administration issues with a PMS or Channel Manager.” The added bonus to this has been happier staff and managers too!
Another aspect of Cloudbeds that Daniel loves is the “professional, trustworthy and genuinely caring” customer service team. At first he thought it was going to be difficult to retrieve past bookings from their old PMS. However, he found that the support team was always on hand when he had a question. “We’ve switched over two hostels to cloudbeds now, and dealt with a different support advisor each time, which has now confirmed that their amazing customer service is apparent throughout the company,” says Daniel. He was also very impressed that the implementation coaches were not only proactive, but also provided help via video chat.
When asked why he switched to Cloudbeds, Daniel had a list of features and qualities he loves about the PMS, including: the intuitive system makes staff training easy, the simple-but-modern booking engine drives more direct bookings, complex reports and data analysis are ready at your fingertips, and less errors in overbookings equals happier managers and guests. “Finally, being able to control our hostel (property management and channel manager) from one portal, rather than switching between many was a big reason we switched,” Daniel concludes.
Daniel and Sam’s vision of building a hostel with a strong community and positive impact for locals and travelers alike has not only come true, but has also brought them tremendous success. With Cloudbeds as a PMS, the Podstel team has been able to grow their business, get more direct bookings, and increase their guest satisfaction.