RoomKey is a hotel booking service backed and, at least partially, owned by Choice, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott and Wyndham. The idea behind the service is to try get consumers to book more directly with the hotels own websites over OTA’s like Expedia and Booking.com.
You don’t see adverts for RoomKey anywhere, but if you access any of these hotel websites, you are likely going to see a pop ups and pop unders for the website. I don’t mind seeing it once, but especially with Marriott’s website it keeps opening RoomKey pop unders every time I am trying to make a booking or search for the price.
Ad blocking services like AdBlock, which I use, are unable to prevent this site launching these annoying pop ups. I consulted a technologically savvy friend and here’s what you need to do for not having to encounter these RoomKey pop ups & pop unders ever again. (I have already done this and it works)
The solution is to edit the HOSTS file on your computer and prevent internet traffic going to RoomKey’s website. Editing the HOSTS file is bit technical. But you should be able to do it by following the instructions below.
Note that these instructions are for PC, but it should be fairly similar process for Mac.
Locating the HOSTS file
Here’s the location of the HOSTS file on my Windows 7 PC.
Opening Notepad and running it as an administrator
Then we have to locate the Notepad program that we will use to modify the HOSTS file. You can do this by searching for “Notepad”. Don’t double click the Notepad icon but right click it. We have to run this program as an administrator in order to be able to save the file. Windows will then asks you to grant a permission for the Notepad to modify your PC. You need to choose YES.
Opening HOSTS file on Notepad
You need to locate the HOSTS file in order to open it using the Notepad. Note that you need to choose the “All files”option to see the HOSTS.
Modifying the HOSTS file
Once you have granted the Notepad the administrator “powers” and located the HOSTS file, the next step is to modify the file by adding the following six lines:
Saving the file
Then you just need to save the file to the same folder. Just choose “save as”. If you receive the error message above that you don’t have the permission to save on this folder, you have not granted the administrator powers to the program.
I have nothing against this Roomkey.com initiative, but their pop ups and pop unders are becoming gradually more aggressive and annoying. It just makes you wonder, if it has not been that popular because these companies need to push the service so hard?
And I haven’t really never understood this concept at all. You go to Hyatt’s or Marriott’s website and they are trying to divert traffic to other booking service that they participate to? RoomKey doesn’t offer any deals beyond what hotels are offering on their own website. Why bother?