Category Archives: Hotelmine Press Release

Hotelmine Now Offers “Direct Connect” Hotels In Paris

Hotel Sophie Germain and Hotel Etoile Trocadero become Hotelmine Hotel Partners

Hotelmine, the world’s largest “direct connect” hotel site, announced today that they have expanded their presence in Europe to include two new hotel partners, Hotel Sophie Germain Paris and Hotel Etoile Torcadero Paris.

“We are very excited to welcome both of these 3 star hotels to Hotelmine and anticipate that they will be well received in the marketplace,” stated Tom Costello, Partner and Co-Founder of Hotelmine.  “Hotel Sophie Germain and Hotel Etoile Torcadero offer great value and are ideally situated on the left bank in Paris with easy access to some of the most world-renowned landmarks such as fashionable Champs Elysees and the Eiffel Tower,” said Costello.

About Hotel Sophie Germain

The Hotel Sophie Germain is a 3 star hotel located in the 14th district of Paris and owes its charm to the sophisticated and classical decor, which vary from room to room, and to the attention paid to comfort facilities. Each of the 33 guest rooms at Hotel Sophie Germain features free WiFi, television, individual minibar, breakfast in room, individual safe box, and telephone.

Hotel Sophie Germain

12 rue Sophie Germain 75014 Paris

Phone +33 (0) 1 43 21 43 75

Fax +33 (0) 1 43 20 82 89

About Hotel Etoile Trocadero

Hotel Etoile Trocadero is a 3 star hotel located in the 16th district of Paris and is within walking distance of the Champs Elysées and the Eiffel Tower.  Each of the 23 guest rooms at Hotel Etoile Trocadero features a private bathroom, hairdryer, individual minibar, and satellite TV.  A continental breakfast is provided every morning and can be served in the guest rooms.

Hotel Etoile Trocadero

21 rue Saint-Didier 75016 Paris

Phone +33 (0) 1 45 53 01 82

Fax +33 (0) 1 45 53 59 56

About Hotelmine

Hotelmine, a Groups International brand, is the “new breed” of hotel sites that delivers customers who are ready to travel directly to your hotel.  When a customer sees something that suits his taste or budget he books direct by calling your hotel or through your hotel’s website booking engine.

Tom Costello is the CEO, Partner & Co-Founder of Groups International, a company that provides marketing, consultative services, and technology solutions to the group and leisure travel markets.  Connect with him on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook or contact him by email.

Check The Buzz About Hotelmine

There’s a lot happening since the recent launch of the website this past week.  Thanks to all of the hotels that are participating and we look forward to adding more hotels this week.

Tom Costello is the CEO, Partner & Co-Founder of Groups International, a company that provides marketing, consultative services, and technology solutions to the group and leisure travel markets.  Connect with him on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook or contact him by email.

Hotelmine Goes Live

Hotelmine has announced that it has officially moved into the soft launch stage at

Hotels can Click Here to register their hotel or to learn more about how Hotelmine works by clicking Here.

See where the worlds largest “Direct Connect” online leisure travel site can take you!

Hotelmine City Guide Contest

We have an idea that we want to get your feedback on so we can put the wheels in motion.  If you’re not inspired to contribute then maybe you can pass this along to a friend who might come up with a fresh perspective.

What we want to do is to have a Hotelmine Member who lives in a designated city, say Denver, volunteer to become our city guide in that city.  The city guide will share his/her insight about hotels, restaurants, nightlife, area attractions and other special events in their city that will help a fellow Member get a better handle on that city before he hits the road and travels there.

It’s not that we don’t trust sites like TripAdvisor but for right now we’d like to generate some Peer 2 Peer interaction between our Members.

The city guide must be a Hotelmine Member and live in one of the following cities; New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, Orlando, Anaheim, San Francisco, Chicago, San Antonio, San Diego, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Nashville, Seattle, Denver, Portland, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Miami.  After we get city guides in these cities we can expand this concept to include other cities of interest.

City guides don’t have to have a film crew or high-tech equipment to produce their own show. What’s most important is that they can generate unbiased and reliable information and are able to share that with their fellow Members on a consistent basis.

There will be some “production” guidelines that guides will follow so we’ll provide that soon.

We think it would be fun to have a prospective city guide send us a short video clip telling us what they know about their city and why they should be considered as a Hotelmine City Guide.   Videos can be sent to and we’ll post the clips on the Hotelmine channel on YouTube where Members can vote on who they want as their guide.

The Hotelmine City Guide contest officially begins on Monday, February 14th.


Tom & Chris


P.S. We forgot to mention that this is not a solicitation for employees and there is no pay associated with this deal so please note that you have been duly advised.

TLabs Showcase – Hotelmine

TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring US-based hotel distribution system Hotelmine.


Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?

Hotelmine, a Groups International brand, is based in Houston, Texas and is a startup “direct connect” distribution model for the online leisure travel market segment.

The company was founded by Tom Costello and Chris Wenz who have been involved in both the group and leisure travel market segments for more than 15 years and have designed and developed patent-pending technology solutions that serve both of the aforementioned markets.

CEO and Co-Founder Tom Costello is an accomplished entrepreneur whose career includes more than 25-years of experience in the hospitality, corporate travel, meetings, and special events industries and is a highly regarded authority in the field of online meetings and events solutions.

COO and Co-Founder Chris Wenz, a ten-year veteran of the hospitality industry, is no stranger to new business ventures and has designed, developed, and implemented online housing and event solutions that facilitate the procurement and management of guest rooms for both groups and individual leisure travelers.

What financial support did you have to launch the business?

The company is privately owned and operated.

What problem are you trying to solve?

The costs associated with the distributing a hotel’s inventory through an indirect third-party channel is the most expensive distribution channel to-date.

This indirect distribution model resulted in hotels paying abnormally high merchant commissions estimated at $5.4 billion in 2010 that went into the pockets of online travel agencies (OTAs) like Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, and in 2010.

As a direct connect distribution channel, Hotelmine can lower a hotel’s distribution and conversion cost by up to 80% as compared to the same transactional cost as charged by an OTA.

Hoteliers need a robust direct online strategy accompanied by adequate marketing funds to be able to:

  • Take advantage of the steady growth in the Internet channel.
  • Shift bookings from indirect (OTA) to direct (hotel website) online channels.

Describe the business, core products and services?

Hotelmine has developed a proprietary, patent-pending technology that combines the power of B2C with a robust peer-to-peer social media architecture that allows members to book direct with a hotel and to share their research, travel plans, and transactions with family and friends.

Hotelmine offers more than just a rate on a guest room and members can choose from a variety of options that include Deals of the Week, Hot Dates & Rates, Packages, and Last Minute Deals. We even provide our members with the tools to help them find the best rate on ten guest rooms or more.

What makes Hotelmine different is that we’re not a travel agent and we don’t have anything to sell. Unlike mega-OTAs and travel agents who charge a commission, booking fee or markup wholesale rates, we don’t.

When a member sees something that suits his taste or budget, he books directly with the hotel by calling the hotel or through the hotel’s website booking engine.

Who are your key customers and users at launch?

Our key customers will include full and limited-service hotels that are privately owned, franchised owned and corporate managed as well as hotel management firms.

A user is anyone who is searching for more than just a rate on a hotel room.

Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?

We talked with literally hundreds of hotel owners, hotel sales and marketing representatives, hotel management companies, end-users, and software development companies who are involved in our space.

The feedback and response has been overwhelming and continues to spur us on, with great anticipation, to the successful launch of the site.

What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?

We will introduce two different marketing packages that are specifically designed to meet a budget and marketing strategy of either a full or limited-service hotel.

The price point for either package is affordable and we offer our hotel partners a plan that would require a small percentage of the annual subscription rate and the balance spread out over quarterly invoiced payments.

SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?


  • Combined 35-years experience in group and leisure travel markets
  • Experience in development and implementation of technology solutions
  • Excellent existing relationships with hotels at both the corporate and local level
  • B2C platform combined with robust P2P architecture


  • API under development
  • A new business model for an industry that historically lags  two years behind


  • 40 percent of U.S. leisure/unmanaged business travel bookings booked online
  • Affordable low-cost entry for hotels
  • Search methods changing from search engine-based to social media-based
  • GDS channel is in steady decline
  • Cost of indirect booking eight times the cost of direct booking
  • Commission leakage in 2010 to third-party sites estimated at $5.4 billion


  • Educating consumers on the “direct connect” value proposition
  • Lack of strict rate parity
  • Economic instability combined with double-dip recession

Who advised you your idea isn’t going to be successful and why didn’t you listen to them?

A former VP suggested that there was no room for a direct channel distribution model in a crowed market dominated by Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline, and and hotels would not be interested in the service.

We did not listen to him because we receive our direction and inspiration from a much higher source.

What is your success metric 12 months from now?

  • Expand our hotel content to include Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean.
  • Continue the development of our mobile solution.
  • Launch a web-based application that will enable hotels to engage with prospective customers the minute they start to think about travel.