Hovelstay.com is the anti-luxury marketplace that offers unique and affordable places to stay around the world. With hovelstay, you can now stay in huts, school buses, loveseats, and igloos for under $99 a night.
The Glendale startup offering “inexpensive and interesting places to stay for traveling college students” has raised $1.2 million in Series A funding led by private investors in London and Dubai. Hovel hosts can list for free and pay a 3 percent fee on the booking rate. However, Hovelstay.com is charging property owners an introductory rate of 1 percent through Feb. 1, 2015.
Michael Bolger, CEO and Co-Founder of hovelstay.com explains, “we really wanted to be the anti-luxury vacation rental site. Two of us who had years in the vacation rental business were always floored at how serious a lot of these vacation rental sites took their properties, describing them as luxury when in fact they weren’t. So we decided on the approach of full disclosure – if it’s a dump, we would love to have it, and students are in on this kind of experience. It’s not just where you stay, its what happens when you stay there. The same experience as when you backpack through Europe during a summer break – you’re willing to sleep on a bale of hay inside of a barn in Germany to save money. That’s what we are selling. But, to be on the safe side, we do have some cool luxury listings, too.”
The vacation rental biz veteran launched Hovelstay earlier in 2014 with Michael Womack, another seasoned lodging industry pro ). Both suffer from an “acute nostalgia for the salad days of travel misery while still trying to pay for tuition,” or so Hovelstay’s About Us page says of them. Patrick Cunningham, a third guy “with a technical gift bordering on supreme genius” is also in on the new, crazy-quirky-but-just-might-work venture.