Hilton Hotels is taking a page out of the airline playbook, giving users more control over the experience through their smartphone. The hotel chain has recently introduced a way for users to choose their room on their smartphone, and promises to roll out smartphone-powered door keys to the majority of their hotels by 2016.
Using the new Hilton HHonors app (yes, that name needs work) or the Hilton website, users will be able to choose their room the day before they check in. They’ll be able to see photos of the room, as well as floor plans from available inventory.
“When we decided to invest in this mobile strategy, we didn’t want to do 100 different things in a few hotels here and there,” said Geraldine Calpin SVP and Global Head of Digital at Hilton Worldwide. “We wanted to tackle a few big things and make sure they were available everywhere. That starts with Choose Your Room.”
Hilton will provide the new Choose Your Room feature, as well as mobile check-out, at almost all of its global properties. That’s over 4,000 hotels offering the ability to choose your room by the end of this year.
“When we looked at the airline industry, we saw how much people love to choose their seats, so we applied that to the hotel,” said Calpin. “In our own internal research, 84 percent of people said they would choose their room if given the option.”
Users will also be able to choose various upgrades for their room and request specific amenities to be ready when they arrive. Plus, use of the Hilton online platform allows for Uber-style checkout, sending your receipt direct to your email.
The ability to choose your room and check out via mobile is nice, but it’s only a first step. The real shift begins when Hilton, and other major hotel chains, are able to offer an entirely mobile experience. After a long flight, waiting in line to check in to your hotel can be a real pain.
Eventually, however, Hilton hopes that guests will be able to book their room, choose their room, check-in and check-out entirely from their device.
“We’ve been working for years on the technology, and now we have a solution, but we have to work on the deployment of that technology which will take some time,” said Calpin.
Still, Hilton is taking big steps towards integrating our digital lives into the travel experience the same way airlines have.
The Hilton HHonors app is available across Android, iOS and Windows Phone.