A hotel discount may warm your heart, knowing you've beaten the system. Now a new hotel booking website aims to warm your soul, too, by linking discounted rates and charitable donations.
Kind Traveler (kindtraveler.com) began in early August with 21 mostly boutique and style-focused hotels in 11 locations in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. Users who make a minimum $10 a night donation to a charity through the website will get prices that are 10 to 25 percent off published rates.
"Kind Traveler's mission is to transform travellers into a force that benefits local and global communities, the environment and animals," said Jessica Blotter, the chief executive and a founder of the site.
Hotels select local charities they support, but Kind Traveler users can also earmark their donations to go to a dozen global charity partners including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and WildAid.
Kind Traveler vets its partner hotels based on wellness features like having a spa or a juice bar; sustainability measures such as beekeeping and composting; and community impact including shopping at the local farmers' market or showcasing local art. Hotels on offer include the 1 Hotel South Beach in Miami Beach, Florida, Virgin Hotels Chicago and the Benjamin in New York.
The founders say that rates at the site are essentially comparable to those at online travel agencies like Orbitz and Expedia.