The company that owns The Standard hotel chain, known for its boutique properties on New York’s High Line and London’s King Cross, is seeking to break the dominance of online booking platforms with the launch of a recommendations-based app that it describes as “the first social travel agency”.

Amar Lalvani, Standard International’s chief executive, said the app - called Benny (from the phrase “friends with benefits”) - would allow people to recommend rooms to friends at the best rate, earning a commission, and wresting bookings away from the internet giants that increasingly dominate the hotels business.

He said that the venture was a reaction to the rise of OTAs, which because of their scale have eroded hoteliers’ profitability and prompted a wave of industry consolidation.

First look: Why The Standard is London’s hottest new hotel to know