Choose Your Own Room

Development of the first “Choose your own room” platform, a pioneering concept, placing Thistle at the forefront of increasing choice for travellers.

Improving direct bookings and delivering a better guest experience

Thistle Hotels, run by glh, is a UK-based hotel company with a portfolio of 8 Central London hotels and the Thistle Poole in Dorset. The portfolio of luxury hotels offers guests a home away from home with a focus on delivering exceptional customer service.


With the desire to innovate, own customer relationships and maximise brand loyalty, Thistle were seeking a trusted partner to develop a new digital platform which would offer guests a more personalised room booking process.
Filter Digital worked in close partnership with the team at glh Hotels to develop the concept of allowing customers the opportunity to choose exactly which hotel room they would like to stay in.


The concept took months of planning with extensive consultation both with industry experts and the employees running the hotels day-to-day. A number of scenarios were also worked through, tackling questions such as room refurbishments, lack of choice, room changes and cancellations.
On completion of the planning work the team at Filter created a prototype that met the needs of all the stakeholders and also worked from a digital perspective, with the key concept of taking guests through a room booking journey.

User Journey

Guests whose requirements meet each hotel’s criteria are provided with the opportunity to choose their own room within the hotel. Guests receive an email two weeks before their stay with a secure link to a branded microsite where they can discover the rooms available for booking.
The stand-alone microsite, which sits outside the post booking process, hosts the hotel floorplans, descriptions, pictures and virtual tours of each room available. Once the guests have selected the room of their choice they receive conformation via email. In the back-end, the hotel is notified of the guests; choice and their systems are updated internally.


Laravel was used to develop a back-end admin system with a front-end developed in JavaScript. The two systems were decoupled with all content delivered via a REST API. All communications were delivered through Mailgun.
In addition, Matterport camera technology was used to capture 360 degree images of the rooms.
After extensive systems testing and design updates, the platform was launched across the full portfolio of Thistle hotels.


We’re incredibly pleased that since its initial launch we have processed tens of thousands of bookings through the platform with no issues.
From a survey carried out of over 11,000 responses, the platform received a high satisfaction score with 98% of users saying they would use it again. As a result of the success of the platform, utilising the prototype, we have since built out similar process for a further 15 glh hotels.

Hilton Hotels have since developed their own choose your own room functionality as part of their Hilton Honours scheme

“Filter are proud to have pioneered and developed the new concept for glh Hotels, placing Thistle as the first major hotel brand in the world to deliver this service. We have since gone on to develop our own plug and play platform called “Hotel Room Chooser”, supporting other hotels to manage direct bookings and deliver a better guest experience.”

Oliver Morrison

Filter Digital, CEO