When searching for the most used WordPress hotel booking plugins dedicated to hotels and rental properties, you no doubt stumble upon two most recognizable solutions: MotoPress Hotel Booking and HBook. Both plugins have reached a broad public, have their fans and deserve to be called best in class.
HBook plugin has been around much longer – therefore, it stands to reason that it comes with a bigger number of downloads so far. WordPress Hotel Booking plugin by MotoPress is not the new kid on the block, but it’s more than a year younger than its competitor.
However, when it comes to features, both plugins appear robust and mature. Due to a wide range of functionality cogs and loads of similar options available, people find it confusing to choose the most suitable solution for their needs.
tl;dr: in broad strokes, the plugins are interchangeable for the vast majority of hotel and property rental website scenarios, but some particular features in one or the other plugin either work in a different way or are missing.
If you need more details, I’m going to compare these two most popular WordPress booking plugins for hotels, holiday homes, serviced apartments and similar units for rent. Taking into account the number of features available in both plugins, I’ll try to make the post visual and structured enough to help you easily grasp the main benefits and differences.
For the long-read holdouts, I put all major features into the comparison table at the end of the article.
Let’s get started.
MotoPress & HBook WordPress Hotel Booking Plugins Compared
Part 1. Overview
HBook WordPress Hotel booking plugin is perfectly suited for all types of lodgings: hotels, vacation rentals, bed and breakfast establishments and the like. It’s designed to work smoothly with any WordPress theme, so you shouldn’t worry about the integration. Technically, you can grab any multipurpose or very basic theme, HBook will take care of the rest (hotel rooms, bookings, payments, etc.).
Users of the plugin love it mainly for such features as design quality, code quality and customer support. Rarely, the customers report lacking customization flexibility and feature availability – but these my relate to only very specific needs.
MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin is all about serving the same purpose: to consolidate a comprehensive property management system, bookings system and a channel manager into one user-friendly platform based on your WordPress website. The plugin also works smoothly with all WordPress themes.
Many owners of hotels, vacation rentals, campgrounds, hostels, etc. use the plugin on their websites. Users give the plugin 5-star reviews for flexibility, feature availability, code quality and customer support.
Verdict: both plugins are equally suitable for all major types of rental units.
Part 2. Comparing the most prominent features
Checking details of the plugin thoroughly is the right strategy in defining the right solution for your brand needs.
However, there are always underlying features the plugin makes no sense without. Let’s compare them in the first place.
Adding accommodations is very easy: with either plugin you can add an unlimited number of properties. Basically, you firstly add accommodation types and then set the number of available accommodations of each type. If there are absolutely different villas, for example, each should be added as an individual accommodation type. However, there are different accommodation type settings in the plugins.
WordPress Hotel Booking by MotoPress allows you to add a room/property with the following details:
- Description & a featured image
- A photo gallery for each property
- Attributes (unlimited number of custom fields like location, sleeps, etc.)
- Categorized amenities, tags, categories, bed types
- Capacity (maximum number of adults, children, total room size)
- Services available for the chosen accommodation type.
Such a system allows you to add rentals quickly by simply selecting the available elements/parameters for chosen properties, plus, it’s very easy for your guests to compare the accommodations in the directory. Here is a frontend example (AlpenHouse theme):
HBook lets you add and manage properties in a bit different way. You are free to add:
- A property description.
- Set a featured image.
- Set normal, minimum and maximum occupancy.
- Add a description for the search results.
- Add a description displayed in the Accommodation list.
- Set a starting price.
- Add a linking room for this accommodation type (blocking particular rooms of the appropriate accommodation type).
- Current or custom post type to display an accommodation.
Here is how the directory may look:
Verdict: With either plugin you can create a beautiful and informative directory for unlimited rental properties. Apparently, MotoPress plugin helps you achieve a better structure with different categories for a room details, which is also a significant speed-up for admins who create a directory. HBook doesn’t provide this but unlike MotoPress, it supplies you with extra useful settings for tiered occupancy and an ability to block exact rooms by IDs of the appropriate accommodation type when the latter is booked.
2. Search availability and booking forms
WordPress Property Booking plugin by MotoPress is able to handle the rental unit search and a booking process in different ways:
- The search availability widget by default can contain four fields: adults, children, check-in and check-out date parameters. Additionally, you are free to add unlimited number of custom fields that will serve as extra sorting options for advanced search.
You can insert the form into any widget area of your theme and it will be laid out beautifully. If capacity doesn’t matter at all or you don’t want to use a “children” parameter for your rental unit, you can disable the appropriate fields and use only arrival and departure dates selector. You can either hide the fields or totally disable them so the system disregards unneeded parameters.
- You can set the maximum number of guests (adults and children) that can be selected by customers.
- You can designate the age of children (visible in the form).
- You can add any number of custom fields to the search availability form (e.g. location, price range, property type) and also list them as extra details in the property listing
- You can totally hide the search availability form and simply feature your listings.
- You can add any custom parameters to help guests sort the properties by the needed parameters.
- Though there are premade color schemes for the forms, the widgets mainly inherit the styles of your WordPress theme.
HBook plugin provides the same level of flexibility for adults, children, check-in and check-out date form fields:
- You can either display or hide “adults” and “children” fields.
- You are able to set maximum number of adults and children that can be selected by guests.
- You can state the age of children (edit a field title).
- You can hide field labels and display placeholders instead.
- You can hide the search form.
- You can customize the appearance of the form.
Verdict: both plugins provide the same customization freedom for the search availability form, but HBook wins an extra point for the placeholder feature and extra customization options for the forms appearance.
3. Pricing system & rates
This is a very important thing if you plan to rent out your accommodations with prepaid bookings. Pricing systems must consolidate a different number of rules for seasons, special rates, price variables based on different parameters, etc.
WordPress Property Booking system by MotoPressprovides a great level of customization for the accommodation pricing:
- Create seasons (any term with any label – winter, weekend, Christmas, etc.) that can come with different pricing.
- Create rates for individual accommodation types – non-refundable/ with breakfast, etc. and set different pricing points for them.
- Optionally create weekly, monthly or other customizable rates to designate different pricing points based on the length of stay so that automatic discount can be applied.
- Optionally create per-guest price variables (useful if the number of guests is different from the base capacity).
Pricing settings of HBook should be able to cover different pricing scenarios, too:
- Apply seasons with the base price per room.
- Set a price per adult or child above normal occupancy for individual rooms.
- Automatic discounts according to the length of stay.
Verdict:The pricing systems of both plugins are highly thought-out – you can set any number of different conditions based on different criteria: season, amenities, length of stay, number of guests different from normal occupancy and coupons. As for the user-friendliness, I found it a little bit easier to customize all prices in Rates menu in MotoPress plugin, where the base property price is also visible right away. In Hbook a base price is set via Accommodation screen while the price variables – via Rates, so you should do a little back-and-forth work. But that’s a kind of concern for picky people only.
4. Booking rules
Advanced rules imply that you can set different conditions for the variety of the search criteria. For example, you can block certain accommodations for a chosen period of time, set applicable check-in and check-out dates, etc.
With MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin you can configure the following booking rules:
- Available check-in and check-out dates for chosen accommodations and seasons.
- Min and max stay-in period for chosen accommodations and seasons.
- Accommodation blocking for maintenance and other purposes: you can select a specific period and set a restriction (not check-in, not check-out, not stay-in). You can also add your comments to remind yourself about the reason for blocking.
- Advanced booking rules: flexible discount coupons for loyal guests or promo campaigns – there are tons of settings you can apply to set the finest point for the coupon to meet the search criteria of your prospects.
Hbook plugin pretty much echoes the same approach. It offers the following rules:
- Possible check-in and check-out dates for chosen accommodations and seasons.
- Min and max stay-in length.
- Set chosen accommodations as unavailable (block selected properties for a needed period of time and optionally add your comments).
- Advanced booking rules: special rate rules with advanced booking conditions, customizable discount coupons (percentage or fixed amount), extra booking rules.
Verdict: The systems are quite the same though HBook offers several extra “compulsory” and “special rate” rules that can impose extra conditions on the base rules. One more extra feature available in MotoPress and missing in Hbook is a facility to set a usage limit for coupons. Overall, both plugins provide an advanced system of booking rules to help you set different booking conditions.
5. Payment options for online bookings
Before listing the payment gateways available, let’s see what booking confirmation modes are available in each plugin.
With Hotel Booking you can manage booking submissions using optional methods:
- Confirmation by a website admin manually (via email, without payment) allowing customers to pay after arrival or using a wire transfer.
- Confirmation by a guest (a confirmation link is sent to a valid email address of a prospect) – doesn’t require admin’s control.
- Automatic confirmation upon payment: enable payments via a preferable payment method: PayPal, 2Checkout, Braintree, Stripe or Beanstream/Bambora. You can use them all at once. If there is any region-specific payment gateway you need to enable, you may buy a custom WooCommerce Payments extension for Hotel Booking.
Prepaid booking can be either full or deposit (flat price or percentage). Any currency can be used.
HBook allows to handle bookings via any of the following options:
- Payments after arrival (prospects simply leave a booking request).
- Credit card details request (available in Stripe only).
- Deposit payment (percentage, fixed or one-night price) via PayPal or Stripe.
- Full payment via PayPal or Stripe.
- 4 paid extensions for more gateways.
- Additionally, you can enable security bond pricing to hold a sum of money during the length of stay to cover the cost of possible damages.
Verdict: So far, in this category MotoPress WordPress Accommodation booking plugin is the winner since it provides a broader spectrum of popular and region-specific payment gateways for free that can be implemented without coding. At the moment, HBook offers only PayPal and Stripe options for online payments for free. It’s also worth mentioning that unlike MotoPress, Hbook provides extra options such as bond pricing and one-night deposit payment type.
6. Channel manager
Luckily, WordPress is scalable and mature enough to consolidate lots of systems in one plugin, including the channel manager for online travel agencies like Airbnb. This is a great way to avoid overbooking while having your listing on the external platforms apart from your own website.
Compared plugins integrate this connection thanks to iCalendars synchronization – that is, you should exchange your availability calendars with those generated on OTAs.
A minimum possible frequency of automatic calendars sync is 1 hour in both plugins. The setup and sync processes are very similar so let’s not focus on them.
Hotel Booking plugin iCal settings:
Hbook iCal settings provides a bit more default settings, but the sync process is the same:
Verdict: Dead heat.
7. Packages and services
Hbook and MotoPress Hotel Booking plugins both allow you to create services with their pricing and allow guests add them into the reservation.
MotoPress Hotel Booking provides a toolkit to add unlimited services with their own settings:
- Price (can be free).
- Once or daily charge.
- Per accommodation or per person charge.
- An option to tie only chosen services to specific accommodations (when setting up an accommodation).
- Set image and description for a service (to automatically create a list of services on the website).
HBook is pretty neat at this aspect, too. You can add different types of services and set the price for them:
- Per accommodation<
- Per person
- Per person/per day
- Per accommodation/per day
- Quantity/per day.
Verdict: Compared plugins are on equal footing in terms of offering bookable extras. However, each has their distinctive extra feature. MotoPress Hotel Booking went an extra mile providing an option to set an image and description for each service. It’s a helpful feature if you want to enable guests to read about the service before adding to it to the cart (you can use Services shortcode to generate a list of services on the website).
With HBook, your guests will see only a list of services and their prices on the checkout page. But unlike MotoPress, HBook allows to set adult and child prices separately for services.
Moreover, with MotoPress, you can display different available services for particular accommodations selectively, whereas HBook will output the entire list of added services for all accommodations on the checkout.
8. Taxes and fees
If you need to include mandatory taxes and fees into accommodation charges, both plugins provide settings for that.
MotoPress Hotel Booking allows to add taxes and fees from one screen:
- Add a needed number of fees per guest/per day or per accommodation/per day (set individual prices for adults and children) for all or individual accommodations. Set the days limit for a fee (zero if it’s a one-time charge)
- Set accommodation taxes per guest/per day, per accommodation/per day, per accommodation (%) for all or individual accommodations.
- Add a service tax with its percentage – set its amount and days limit (zero if it’s a one-time fixed price)
- Add a fee tax with the percentage and days limit.
All of these charges can be previewed in a price breakdown table on the checkout page, as well as the website admin can see them in the details of each order on the backend:
Hbook plugin comes with a bit different yet flexible system of taxes and fees. All of them are called fees so for taxes you should simply create your own labels:
- You can add fees of different types: per accommodation, per person, per person/per day, per accommodation/per day, per accommodation/percentage and global (fixed or percentage). Any of the types except for fixed can be tied to chosen rooms.
Verdict:You can easily include taxes and fees into the final accommodation charges with any of the plugins. Additionally, with Hotel Booking by MotoPress you can preview a price breakdown with all individual charges for each reservation on the admin’s side.
9. Checkout page and the booking form for guests
Compared plugins provide a great user experience for your prospects making a booking process quick and secure.
With MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin you can quite quickly set the fields guests must fill to submit a booking request (or pay online). In addition to the fields you choose, you can set the time a user is given to fill the forms.
HBook plugin lets you select fields you want to be displayed on the checkout page (e.g. display accommodation thumbnail, display price, etc.). Also, the plugin gives you more control over each form field letting you mark minor fields as required/not required, add custom fields and change the position of the fields with drag and drop:
Verdict: Customer details forms provided by both plugins are very comprehensive, though with MotoPress you are provided with a rather standard form that can be set up in several clicks while HBook give more freedom over customizing every field. Which way is better depends on how complex checkout form you need and how quickly you want it to be set up.
10. Handling bookings
If booking is enabled, either guests can book properties or the website admin can add reservations manually from the backend (when a booking is made over the phone, for example) – this applies to both plugins.
MotoPress Hotel Booking sets you up with several useful menus:
- All bookings where you can see the list of bookings with their statuses and payments paid/to pay; you can optionally open each booking to see details, logs (like the source of booking), edit customer details and even add a payment manually (after guest’s arrival, for example). You can also manually update the status of the booking/payment.
- Payment history for a quick access to the payments (easy to preview and edit).
- Calendar of bookings.
With Hbook, you can preview, add and edit all bookings from one screen “Reservations”:
- Here you can view all bookings in a calendar mode and also the entire list of submitted or manually added bookings. You may edit them, change a payment status (like paid/not fully paid/unpaid), edit billing data of your clients, export bookings into .csv format for reporting, etc.
- There is also “Customers menu” to view and edit details of all customers.
Verdict: Compared plugins give you full control over processing bookings, each offering a different way to view and edit them. Also, MotoPress plugin provides more information about each booking so you can view logs and instantly understand the source of the booking, view complete info about all charges (including taxes and fees) whereas HBook displays only a total price + ordered services. However, HBook is doing a better job at bookings export offering it as an out-of-the-box feature while MotoPress WordPress accommodation booking plugin can currently do the export with default WordPress functionality only.
MotoPress Hotel Booking offers 10 shortcodes to set preferable parameters for:
- Search availability form
- Availability calendar for individual properties
- Sortable availability search results
- List of accommodation types
- List of services
- Single accommodation type listing
- Checkout form
- Booking form
- List of accommodation rates
- Booking confirmation.
Hbook comes with four main fully customizable shortcodes:
- Booking form
- Accommodations list
- Availability calendar
VerdictThe plugins offer a great range of shortcodes to set up the booking system the way you want or simply display properties with their availability calendars, without an option to book a unit. What makes HBook better at this aspect is the ability to customize the appearance of some widgets and forms. What makes MotoPress plugin better is a bigger number of different shortcodes that can automatically generate pages for services and other needs.
Part 3. MotoPress Hotel Booking vs Hbook Comparison table
Let’s also illustrate all described features + minor ones in a comparison table so you can pick up the main differences quicker of these popular WordPress Hotel booking plugins.
|Feature||MotoPress Hotel Booking||Hbook|
|Unlimited number of rentals or hotel bookable by the room||+||+|
|Customizable search availability form||+||+|
|Categorized amenities, bed types, tags, etc. (WordPress taxonomy)||+||–|
|Photo gallery of a property||Out of the box||Via standard WP post|
|Unlimited custom fields as advanced search options||+||–|
|Works with any WP theme||+||+|
|Search form appearance customization||Plain (up to your WP theme styles + 16 color scheme styles)||Advanced (customizable colors, width, length, buttons, position, etc.)|
|Rates & Seasons||+||+|
|Automatic discounts for extended stay||+||+|
|Availability calendars for individual properties||+||+|
|Personalized coupon codes (percentage and monetary)||+||+|
|Add reservations manually from the backend||+||+|
|Advanced booking rules||+||+|
|Ease of booking for guests||Intuitive||Intuitive|
|Built-in payment gateways (free)||PayPal, 2Checkout, Braintree, Stripe, Beanstream/Bambora||PayPal, Stripe|
|More gateways accessible without coding||Any via WooCommerce paid add-on||4 paid add-ons|
|Full & deposit payments||+||+|
|Percentage and monetary deposit payments||+||+|
|Payments after arrival||+||+|
|Automatic iCal sync||+||+|
|Selling extras (services and packages)||+||+|
|Handling bookings||guest/admin submission||guest/admin submission|
|Update booking status manually||+||+|
|Booking multiple accommodations by one guest||+||–|
|Export reservations||Using standard WP functionality||Out of the box|
|Automatic email notifications||+||+|
|Customizable styles of email templates (colors, etc.)||+||–|
|Automatic emails from admin page||–||+|
|Checkout form for guests||Standard||Rather flexible|
|Property recommendation based on the number of guests (for multiple properties booked by one guest)||+||–|
|Booking cancellation settings||+||+|
|User friendliness||Highly intuitive||Highly intuitive|
|Shortcodes flexibility||Focus on functionality||Focus on functionality and appearance|
|Translations||Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Swedish, Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Chinese, Dutch, French, Arabic and German||French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch + Portuguese for frontend|
|Compatibility with WPML (for multilingual websites)||Certified (tested by WPML team)||+|
|Plugin text customization and translation||PO/MO files||Via admin WP dashboard + PO/MO files|
|Documentation||Fully documented||Fully documented|
|Pricing||$49 for one website (covers 1 year* of support)||$50 for one website (covers 6 months of support)|
|Premium WP themes packed with the booking plugin for free||7 unique themes for hotels and vacation rentals||So far 1 fully supported hotel theme|
|Customer support||Live chat, forum, email, docs||Email, docs, knowledgebase|
|Free backend demo||+||–|
|GDPR compliance checkbox||+||+|
|Installation & getting started||Easy||Easy|
|Hotel Booking Details||HBook Details|
*if purchased via MotoPress website
Part 4. MotoPress Hotel Booking or HBook?
As I stated at the beginning, there are lots of things in common in the plugins in question, so let’s stop only on the most essential differences:
HBook is better at:
- more appearance customization of forms and widgets
- easier default plugin texts customization via WP dashboard
- more conditions for booking rules
- sending booking emails from admin
- bond pricing and one-night deposit payment type
- more default settings for iCal sync
- admin menus categorization.
MotoPress is better at:
- payment gateways availability: more default ones + WooCommerce add-on (it also lets you set up a secure online store in addition to reservations)
- selecting and booking multiple accommodations within the same transaction and with a single invoice
- accommodation description via categorized amenities, tags, bed types, etc.
- unlimited custom fields for advanced property search
- customizable appearance of email templates<
- more professional translations available by default
- WP themes for different lodging needs with the plugin included for free
- categorized amenities and the ability to display only chosen services as available for individual rooms
- support thanks to live chat advantage
- ability to display different available services for different rooms
- pre-purchase test-run thanks to afree backend trial
To go even further, let’s envision different scenarios:
- You need a hotel brochure website with online bookings disabled: both plugins are perfectly suitable for creating a beautiful appearance of your listing.
- You need a ready-made WordPress Hotel theme with the booking plugin included:Ciestra by MotoPress or Adomus by HotelWP will give you an easy start.
- You’ve already chosen a WP theme and need to integrate a WP booking plugin: both plugins are suitable, but HBook provides more options to customize the appearance of its content
- You need to build a vacation rental WordPress website with online bookings (optionally synced to OTAs like Airbnb): both plugins are suitable, though MotoPress provides several ready-made professional rental property designs with the booking plugin included.
- You need a rental property WP theme with one or several region-specific payment gateways apart from PayPal and/or Stripe: MotoPress sounds like a better choice since it allows you to connect them without coding skills.
Both HBook and MotoPress WordPress Hotel Booking plugins have many features to offer – they are deeply flexible and user-friendly. Both face little to no competition in the area of WordPress solutions for property management and hotels because they are sharpened for specific needs.
Though both plugins offer lots of tiered settings, neither leaves you with a hodge-podge structure. Rarely glancing at the documentation, you can quite quickly figure out how to set up the system of any of the plugins and build a hotel or vacation rental website yourself.
Remember that no software review or comparison can be called ultimate because any missing feature can appear tomorrow. However, we’ll try to update this post regularly to provide you with relevant information.
So, did I manage to help you make up your mind? Which WordPress property reservation plugin is the most suitable for your brand needs?