Luxury Link, a booking site that promised low prices and VIP-level experiences at luxury and boutique hotels and resorts around the world, emailed customers today that it was ceasing operations immediately.

The company, which was backed by San Francisco Equity Partners, emailed clients that it was liquidating its assets in a procedure, General Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors, that is an alternative to bankruptcy.

One of the seeming problems is that the business model revolved around bartering with advertisers for free rooms in exchange for advertising on Luxury Link. Luxury Link would then auction off the rooms or sell them for set prices, and then guests would have to wait for a couple of days for reservation confirmations.

“It was a tired, old model that worked at the beginning of the Web but needed to evolve and nobody wanted to put a lot of money into the company,” says someone familiar with Luxury Link’s operations.

Based in Los Angeles, Luxury Link raised around $3 million in 2006, and another $625,000 in 2014, according to financial filings. The company tried to raise additional funding early in 2015 and apparently was unsuccessful.

The site is not refunding pre-paid bookings and suggested that customers contact their credit card companies to attempt a refund. Although its website is still up, it is not taking new bookings.

Luxury Link powered the travel product for the Gilt Groupe, which turned to the site after selling off its Jetsetter unit to TripAdvisor’s Smarter Travel Media. The news was first reported on Forbes Life.

Based in Los Angeles, Luxury Link raised around $3 million in 2006, and another $625,000 in 2014, according to financial filings.

Customers began posting complaints to the site’s Facebook page on May 19 and warning others away from doing business with them.

Yesterday Luxury Link sent emails to customers reading:

Dear Consumer:

Effective immediately, Luxury Link LLC aka Luxury Link Travel Group has ceased all operations and entered into a General Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (ABC), following which all of its assets will be sold. As a result, Luxury Link will not be able to honor the travel you have booked through it. We suggest you contact your credit card issuer for your options regarding any charges to your credit card. You may also want to contact the destination property directly to see what arrangement you can make with it. As Luxury Link is no longer operating, it will be unable to assist you in rearranging your travel plans or obtain a refund.

You will be receiving further news regarding the ABC in the next few weeks. Until then, no further information will be available.

Luxury Link Management

Photo Credit: Luxury Link's website. Luxury Link