Marriott Hotels has rolled out its mobile app for hotel check-in and check out for its Reward Members in India across brands that is Courtyard by Marriott, Marriott and JW Marriott, except at its Fairfield properties. We reviewed the mobile app using it to check-in and check out at the Marriott Whitefield Bengaluru, the property which one of the five hotels in Asia for pilot testing of the app.
Downloading the app on your iPhone or Android devices is simple and fast. Though I am a BlackBerry girl and the app is not available on BlackBerry device. But that doesn’t matter because my species is anyway nearing extinction. So I used the app on a borrowed iPhone.
Marriott Reward members can use the app to check their upcoming reservations, see the details of the room and the app even lists the places of tourist interest near the hotel. Even before I left for Bengaluru I checked the hotel features on the app, went through the spa menu in detail and even decided which treatment I will be going for once I am at the hotel.
But the highlight of the Marriott’s mobile app is the ‘Check In ‘and ‘Check Out’ option that it gives. So one can check in 12 hours prior using the app. The check-in tab pops up when you click on your upcoming reservation. I checked-in once I reached the Bangalore Airport and when I reached the hotel the room key was ready at the mobile check-in counter. So the estimated time I spent at the front desk was 30 seconds. Ditto for check out. I had an early morning flight so it was quite convenient for me to check out using the mobile app right from luxury of my room. When you don’t want to take a chance getting late for the red eye flight, the mobile app comes handy just like the web check-in for an airline.
The mobile app is targetted at the tech savvy Gen Y and also at business travellers who have to head out quickly for their meetings and therefore don’t want to waste time standing at the check-in counters. Though I have my doubts that leisure travellers, families and those averse to technology will use it. In India the challenge is also connectivity as internet connections on phone are slow, wi-fi is only limited to hotels and offices and even 3G is not as fast as abroad. While travelling if you are on the road and the network is not that great one would have to resort to the check-in at reception. But for business travellers it works well.
It’s great how hotels on one hand are looking at giving more personalised experiences and at the same time moving fast with technology. The General Manager at the Marriott Hotel, Whitefield, Bengaluru Nicholas Dumbell tells us that this is just the beginning of how mobile technology is being used to enhance customer experience. Going forward the hospitality group is planning to do things like linking your LinkedIn profile with the app helping you connect with your batchmates (from school or university) in case they too are checked in the same hotel! Yes its gonna get that cool!
The Marriott app can be downlaoded on iPhone and Android devices. The check-in option is not available on the iPad, even though the app can be downloaded.
(Disclaimer: The travel and stay at Marriott Whitefiled, Bengaluru was sponsored by the hotel )
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