We’re going to expand here on what is a hotel guest app as there are variations on how they work.
With many of the large hotel chains offering a digital solution to their customers, many hoteliers are looking to give their venue the ‘Hilton Experience’ offering the best hotel apps.
But what is a hotel app? What are the traditional types? What kind of features do they offer? And how do the newcomers such as Hotefy, HotelFriend, and RoomOrders compare?
In our helpful article, we’ll walk you through the basics. And give your guests a room service app to increase revenue at your hotel.
Let’s start with the brief answer first so you can get started before we look at hotel apps in a little more detail.
A traditional hotel app such as Marriott or Hilton offers digital solutions for guests like check-in and room service. To use some services guests need to be club members. With hotel apps like Hotefy, guests can check-in, out, order room service. They can also access other digital services across all hotels.
Ok so with the short answer in mind, so you can understand a little more easily the benefits and types of hotel apps, let’s start by finding out what a traditional hotel app is.
So before we start to look at what newcomers can offer the world of digital hotel apps, let’s start by finding out how apps from the larger hotel chain work.
Marriott hotel re-launched a mobile app in Feb 2017 which at the time of writing is expanded to all 328 Marriott Hotels.
It gives guests a digital solution to checking in and was created in part, to reach its ever-increasing number of mobile guests.
Within the hotel app relaunch, Marriott added in a Mobile Key, rolling out to more than 500 hotels globally.
The brand declared that it is the broadest type of mobile application of its type in the USA and Canada.
Guests can check in using a free app that’s available on Google Play and the Apple store.
Guests can check in after 4 pm the day before their reservation, or up to two hours after the arrival. Once arriving at the hotel their pre-programmed key card will be available at the check-in desk.
As an additional benefit, the app will also notify guests automatically when their room is ready.
For guests to have this digital check-in feature, they must be a member of the Marriott Rewards program.
The Hilton Honors app gets travelers a digital way to search and book over 5300 hotels across their hotels and promoted brands.
This traditional hotel app also gives guests the option to check in and check out, and also request room upgrades. The Hilton Honors app provides customers the ability to contact hotel staff and also a door unlocking digital offering.
Similar to the Marriott app, The Hilton Honors hotel app works in conjunction with their rewards program.
Using the Honors app means that hotel customers can earn credits towards stays at a choice of over 5,000 hotels across the world.
These credits are in the form of a points system, where guests can collect points. Currently, each point is worth around 0.5 cents.
An upgrade to Hilton’s hotel app, the ‘Connected Room’ program means guests can access a variety of features. These include media streaming services, room temperature controls, and also a tv remote.
To access the digital check-in and check-out, travelers need to log in from 6 am the day before their stay to start the digital check-in process using the app.
Ok, so with an overview of this two of the biggest traditional hotel apps from two of the largest global hotel chains, let’s find out if there are any downsides.
One of the first and most obvious downsides of using traditional large chain hotel apps is the fact guests are tied into one hotel.
So in short, the Marriott or Hilton hotels app is only as useful as the next room you book with that particular chain.
With many savvy travelers taking advantage of hotel offers and with voucher codes and other types of low-cost incentives, brand loyalty is something that can be costly for some travelers.
Both the Hilton and Marriott apps offer rewards for customers who use their hotel chain regularly. The Hilton offers free breakfast for those who have built up their points.
But although points make prizes, your guests will find themselves tied into a particular chain. Along with the ‘first world’ problem of a growing number of apps clogging up mobile devices.
Another downside is the points are fairly low in value. You would need to spend a considerable number of nights in one particular hotel chain in order to see any credit benefits.
In general, people are reluctant to download apps that won’t deliver much utility. Especially a specific traditional hotel app that a traveler might use just once.
The guest technology sector of the hotel industry is fast-growing and innovative, with new startup companies and forward-thinking products popping up frequently.
“One of the first and most obvious downsides of using traditional large chain hotel apps is the fact guests are tied into one hotel.”
So are there any other digital hotel solutions that not only increase room service but also give your hotel the Hilton Honors Experience?
So how do web apps now offer these types of features not simply within one hotel chain, but to all hotels?
Read on to discover more…
HotelFriend uses a subscription model pricing structure, starting at $74, and offers a free trial
Monthly subscription $50 for the first hotel unit, and $50 for subsequent hotels. All costs are subject to a 1% transaction fee.
Pricing starts at $119 per month with no transaction fees, and you can use the free version to get you started!
So we hope this article has given you some background on traditional hotel apps. How offering digital room ordering for your hotel can take your revenue and guest experience to the next level.
By using Hotefy as your mobile hotel concierge solution you will be able to increase guest revenue.
Check out our demo to find out how you can give your guests direct order access to room service, tours, and all your hotel services.