Want to pre-order sparkling wine before you arrive at the W San Francisco? There’s an app for that. What if you want to request fresh linens at the Mandarin Oriental New York without making a phone call? There’s an app for that too. Many major hotel brands are now offering their own apps, but some are simply a booking platform while others aren’t much more than a high-tech brochure. Here are four that stand out against a sea of ordinary.
The W Hotels’ nascent app is definitely the most hip. You can find nearby hotels, book a room, order in-room dining, check out special offers and even send a message requesting anything else that you might need. The app also allows you to post info about the hotels on Facebook, Twitter or foursquare, and if you fancy yourself a deal hunter, you’ll be able to check out exclusive offers such as 20 percent off swag from the W Store. The “Insider” section of the app allows guests to request clean linens or new toiletries with the “i need” button, and if you’re planning, say, a romantic getaway, you can use the “treat yourself or someone else” button to order goodies like chocolate-covered strawberries. If you’re not quite sold on this app’s awesomeness, you’ll also be able to stream music hand-picked by the W’s global music director.
Mandarin Oriental Hotels
Mandarin Oriental has done a great job of producing an app that’s just as elegant as its properties, and given that it’s so simple to use, it’s definitely an app worthy of your precious iPhone memory. Showcasing thorough property details such as room information, services and amenities, and even an extensive image gallery, the MO Hotels app enables users to make real-time reservations, take advantage of special offers and schedule in-room dining or spa services. One of the most appealing aspects of this app is that it offers city guides, the “Cities by Mo” section, that allow guests to find nearby shopping, dining and attraction suggestions — it’s like having a concierge in your pocket.
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
Probably one of the most expansive apps on the market, the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts app is truly one that will blow you away. From its GPS locator and interactive map that shows all nearby hotels, to the convenience of one-click reservations, it seems that InterContinental really understands what a traveler wants from an app. Users are able to manage their Priority Club Rewards, InterContinental’s rewards program, as well as do all the basics like check out special offers or update existing reservations. There’s also a content-rich iPad app called the Concierge Insider Guides that boasts streamlined video capabilities and suggests daily itineraries so you can make the most out of the city you’re in. From start to finish, both of these apps are very well executed, and, more importantly, are fun to use.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
While it might not have all of the other bells and whistles that other apps have, the Four Seasons still managed to release an app that is convenient, visually pleasing and simple to use. What really stands out from this app is that you’re able to check out each hotel’s spa services and the corresponding prices. It’s easy to book a room directly from the app and if you’re uncertain as to which property to pick, there are two to three minute videos of each that provide a brief overview of the hotel’s offerings. As if it wasn’t already tempting enough to book a spur-of-the-moment hotel stay at the Four Seasons, now that temptation is always conveniently in your pocket.
(All apps are free on iTunes)Google+