How Direct bookings work

What the Direct booking experience looks like for a guest and a host

Andrew Schorr avatar
Written by Andrew Schorr
Updated over a week ago

Here's an overview of what a Direct booking looks like:

Guests select available dates

Guest select an available check-in and check-out date via

  • Your Hospitable site - you can create a Hospitable website in a matter of minutes using any of our ten site templates, and even use a custom domain or sub-domain.

  • Your self-hosted site - if you have a non-Hospitable site, you can embed Hospitable's booking and search widgets on your site, or link to Hospitable pages within your own site.

  • A host-generated custom quote - From your Hospitable calendar you can temporarily block dates, set a custom price, and send a payment link to a guest to confirm a booking.

The guest will also set the total number of adults, children, and infants in their party. Pet count is not available yet.

Calculating the price

Once a check-in and check-out day are selected, Hospitable calculates the price of the booking:

  1. Nightly rate

    1. We add the rate for each night and then multiple it by your Direct markup rate, if applicable

      1. For Direct Basic, consider setting a 3% markup for Direct to recover the payment processing fees charged by Stripe.

      2. For Premium, Hospitable does not deduct any fees from your payout, so normally a 0% markup is what you want.

    2. If you set a resort, management, or community fee in the Fees section of your Property details page, we add these to your nightly rate. The markup rate is not applied to your fees.

  2. Promo codes, if applicable, allow the guest to deduct a fixed amount or percentage of the nightly rate according to any optional restrictions you add

  3. Cleaning fee including a Linens fee, if applicable. These values come from the Fees section of your Property details page as well.

  4. Taxes
    On your site property page we will initially show Total before taxes as the guest generates quotes. If they advance to the next screen to start the booking flow we will add taxes to the quote.

    1. Direct Basic: add any taxes you need to collect on either the Taxes section in Preferences or the Taxes section in Property details < Pricing.

    2. Direct Premium: we calculate all applicable sales and lodging tax for you. Guests will see estimated taxes initially until the final Review & Confirm screen. The difference between the estimated and final taxes is usually a few cents.

  5. Guest service fee (Direct Premium only) is 6% of the nightly rate including cleaning fee + $10

Submitting a booking request

If the guest proceeds with the booking, they will move through the following additional screens:

  1. Guest details - name, email, and phone for the primary guest

  2. Billing address

  3. Payment details - card number, expiration date, and CVC. We currently accept Visa and Mastercard.

  4. Review & Confirm - review check-in and check-out times, acceptance of Terms & Conditions, cancellation policy, and guest verification requirement.

  5. Credit card authorization - when the guest submits their request, we authorize (not charge) their payment method to confirm it is valid for the total amount of the booking. Hospitable emails the guest a copy of their booking request details and a reference ID.

⚠️ Some guests may get a notification from their bank when their payment method is authorized. This does NOT mean they were charged.

Accept or reject the booking request

If the credit card is successfully authorized in the previous step, we will notify you that you have a new booking request.

⏱️ Hosts have 24 hours to accept a booking request before it expires.

  • Direct Basic reservations: you can immediately accept or reject the booking request

  • Direct Premium reservations: the guest will need to complete the guest vetting steps before you can accept the booking.

When you accept a booking request, Hospitable will capture the payment from the guest and email the guest to let them know their booking is confirmed. You can enable instant book so that booking requests are accepted automatically. For Direct Premium hosts, only requests with a low risk (green) guest vetting result will be automatically accepted.

Guest vetting

For Direct Premium reservations, all guests will need to complete an Autohost guest vetting portal after they submit their booking request and we successfully authorize their payment method. Guests will need to:

  • Accept the conditions of our damage protection policy

  • Confirm their contact details, address, and date of birth

  • Upload a valid government ID (driver license, passport, or similar)

  • Describe the nature of of their visit (business or pleasure, parties, etc.)

Autohost will analyze their information and various metadata and provide feedback in the Inbox. Hospitable will only block the booking if there if the guest is on a banned list or if fraud risk is detected. We will notify you when the guest has completed the guest portal so you know you are able to accept the booking. See: Direct Premium guest verification

Managing an accepted reservation

After a booking is accepted, you can alter or cancel the booking as well as send or request money. Currently Guests cannot initiate a cancellation or alteration from their end. They will need to contact you to request assistance.

Setup a cancellation policy to govern how much of a guest's booking is refundable.


For Direct Premium reservations, your nightly rate, your additional fees, and all pass-through taxes will be paid out via ACH transfer to your account 24 hours after check-in or when the payment settles, whichever comes later.

Direct Basic reservations will settle to your Stripe account a few days after the booking is accepted. Note that with Basic, you should manage your funds to cover any cancellations, refunds, or chargebacks.

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