A huge 74% of travellers say they would use mobile apps for hotels.
The technology-era has created many opportunities for hotels to strengthen their guest experience by giving people exactly what they want. Guests are looking for personalisation and convenience in their travelling experiences and mobile services can go a long way in satisfying that demand.
In this post, we are going to dive into a list of the best hotel engagement apps for mobile.
Benefits of a mobile app for hotels
When it comes to hospitality you can’t beat impeccable customer service. Whether it’s a friendly warm smile from the front desk or the concierge team acknowledging you with a simple ‘good day’ as you walk by. These small but consistent interactions elevate the experience of a hotel, making each guest feel special.
While at the same time, customers are looking for more from hotel services.
Hotels making a shift towards the evolution of mobile apps are opening their doors to a wide pool of new clientele who are specifically searching for hotels with technological services. This has become even more urgent in the post covid-19 environment as guests will demand the same level of service but delivered in safer more remote ways.
Here are the benefits a mobile app can bring to hotels:
1. Meet the demand for self-service check-in
Many travellers are now looking for hotels with mobile check-in. This is where hotels replace keycards with a mobile app they can download to their smartphone and use that as a key to access their hotel room.
This provides major benefits to both the hotel guest and the hotel themselves. Hotels will see a reduction in ques all trying to check-in and check-out at peak times. Plus, guests have the convenience of being able to directly access their room after a busy day of travelling, instead of queuing and filling out the required paperwork to get a room key.
2. Have direct communication with your guest any time, any place.
A mobile app allows hotels to have a direct line of communication with their guests. This means that guests can contact and get responses from hotel personnel easily, increasing the effectiveness of hotel services, and overall satisfaction with the hotel experience.
Hotels can improve the experience also by sending restaurant, golf or spa booking reminders, a welcome text, local area information and even access to the room. In many ways, an app can make the guest experience more personal.
3. Opportunity to inform and up-sell hotel services
Hotels can increase their revenue by upselling hotel services through the app.
Got last minute spa cancellations? Send out a note to the app for all hotel guests to see. Offer last-minute discounts to fill empty booking spaces to gain back any lost revenue.
4. Gain a competitive edge
There are so few hotels that have mobile app services, that you will have a major competitive edge in your location.
By including additional local tourist information within your app, travellers will appreciate the convenience and availability of accessing this information without needing to even look up from their phone.
It may seem to hotels that using in-app communication and services is distancing themselves from providing a personalized guest experience, but in actual fact the app allows hotels to be with their guests throughout the lifecycle of their stay. Vastly improving the intimacy of the guest/hotel relationship.
5. Meet the demands of rising mobile commerce
A huge 76% of travellers state their mobile is their number one travel accessory. Travellers use their mobiles to find local attractions, restaurants, GPS and transport information. It is clear that travellers are used to using their smartphone when travelling and would comfortably extend this mobile use to their hotel stays and services.
Introducing mobile apps for hotels
Building and creating a hotel mobile app in-house is expensive and time-consuming, but it’s not as difficult as it may seem. There are many hotel mobile apps out there that can easily integrate with your hotel’s vision and brand. Let’s take a look at the best platforms on the market.
Criton is a leading guest engagement mobile platform allowing you total control over your hotel app.
- List services and add-ons for direct bookings through the app
- Personal in-app branding
- Push Notifications
- In-app messaging
- Loyalty programme
- Digital Key to avoid front desk check-in
- Location based-push notifications
- Local recommendations on places to visit
- Restaurant menus
- Opening Hours
- Spa Treatments and other hotel services
- Link to social media for guest sharing experiences
- Guest Feedback tool
- Order in app room services
Best for customization:
Customer reviews from the hospitality industry all favour Criton for the customizability factor. Hoteliers have full freedom to change and create their own content with no limitations.
The team at Criton seem to be a huge selling point also. A great app to use if you’re looking for a supportive network.
2. Benbria Loop
Benbria Loop is an advanced guest feedback platform allowing you to track your hotel performance at all locations. While the system is primarily based on hotels installing a guest engagement touchpoint, there is a mobile app feature for continuous guest engagement before, during and after their stay. While maintaining communication between guests and hotel staff.
The app also comes with a task routing feature to staff, allowing the correct escalation to the needed departments and staff. All engagement is tracked for in-depth reporting and analysing for long term strategizing.
- Real-time guest engagement feedback tool
- SMS text engagement with guests
- Guest Feedback tool
- Social Media integration
- In-house communication and job allocation between staff
- Reporting and analytics tool
Best for guest feedback:
Hotels wanting to receive in-depth guest feedback across all departments and locations within their hotel.
InHotelApp is an app generated for hotels who want to equip their guests with useful information during their stay.
- Holds all information in the app- so it doesn’t need to be connected to any wifi to access information
- Mobile booking
- Link to social media
- GPS find hotel button
- Store all hotel information including services, swimming pools and restaurants
- Allows discounts and offers for future stays
- Area Travel guide, so you can upload all of the local information useful for tourists in a map form or a content or image page, this includes sightseeing, restaurants and even local useful phone numbers (taxis, airport, police, first aid, etc).
Best for local tourist information:
If you’re looking for an app that doesn’t want to replace face-to- face interaction but want to enhance the guests stay with local information then this is the app for you.
If you’re looking for a simplistic digital key then look no further than OpenKey. OpenKey is solely focussed on door lock systems, specialising in digital security. They have a tiered payment system starting from just $3 (per door) per month.
- Easy integration with your current locking system.
- They also sell hardware so you can buy the whole package if you’re looking for a totally new door locking system.
- Three-tiered pricing system to find the option that best suits your hotel.
Best for a digital key:
However, there are no other features on this hotel mobile app, while it’s not suited to hoteliers looking for the whole package of in-app benefits, this may suit those who are looking just to upgrade their digital key process.
M-Hospitality has created a mobile app for hotels that allow guests to communicate directly with the hotel.
- Mobile check-in / check out
- Making mobile hotel bookings including restaurants, spa golf and other activities.
- In-room orders
- Maintenance and housekeeping communication
- Guest feedback tool
- Staff in-house task manager for responding in real-time to guest requests and monitor operations.
Best for staff task manager:
If you’re looking for an app that connects guests as well as managing real-time guest services then this is the app you’re looking for. With the staff task manager, team members can be allocated operational roles and meet the demands of guests all through the app. Allowing managers to have better control over their staff remotely and improving in guest response time.
Alfie is a hotel mobile app designed to meet guests demands prior to arrival. The creators of Alfie began with servicing an in-room tablet where guests could make reservations and requests from- which turned out to be highly successful! But equipping each room with a tablet was a high cost so made no returns. Instead, they decided to work around a ‘bring-your-own-device’ model, which worked out perfectly as pretty much all guests have their own smartphone device.
- Low subscription cost
- Multilingual chat
- Personalisation for individual hotels
- Guest feedback tool
Best for hotels with international guests:
One of the most prized features of the Alfie app is the multilingual feature. Non-native guests can look at restaurant menus, spa brochures and communicate with staff in their native tongue through the app.
Another all-in-one hotel app from mobile check-in to in-app booking and reservations. But INTELITY is all about contactless and touchless customer service. Removing as many staff-to-guest interactions as possible.
- White label design
- Contactless Mobile Check-In
- Mobile Key
- Contactless Service Requests
- Push Notifications & One-Way Messaging
- Mobile Dining Ordering & Touchless Delivery
- Booking & Reservations
Best for hotels who want to minimise staff to guest interaction:
If you want to update guest information without knocking on doors or calling rooms, eliminate face-to-face check-in, and deliver in-room services at the touch of a button then this app is for you.
This app is great for not only communicating with guests but also your team. Track and manage each department’s performance and make data-driven decisions for hotel operations.
– Track incidents and hotel activities from a dashboard
- Web-based app for service request needs
- Schedule preventive maintenance program
- Manage MOD and Shift Pass On report digitally
- Track your packages and lost & found items
- Access your Nuvola dashboard from any smartphone or tablet
- Set up your automatic alerts and scalability notifications
- Schedule VIP greeting calls
- Digital room-key
Best for hotels who want data-driven results:
The most prominent feature of this app is the data collection. Over time see which departments are responding and functioning well, to make key operational decisions. Great for in-house communication between staff and managers.
However, you look at it, the introduction of mobile technology can work symbiotically with good old-fashioned personal interaction, to bring about a higher standard of hospitality experience.
Any hotel looking to get ahead of the market and adopt mobile guest experiences is onto a clear win. The hotel of the future is no longer a fantasy, it’s here ready for you to adopt. Your customers are ready, don’t make them wait too long.