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Gansevoort Hotel leverages mobile concierge for express checkout, poolside ordering

Gansevoort Hotel Group and Standard Hotels are among the brands cottoning on to the mobile concierge trend taking the hospitality industry by storm by integrating with service-on-demand application Alice to bring guests convenient features, including poolside ordering and express checkout.

Bespoke Hotels, Sixty Hotel Group, Shangri-La?s Hotel Jen and The Setai are other properties that have tapped the Alice platform to enable customers to request hotel services and amenities from their smartphones or tablets. As other major brands such as Hyatt and Marriott International also roll out similar functions this year, 2015 is poised to be a prime year for mobile service-on-demand and concierge platforms.

?Guests love that they can control their own stay like they are used to doing with restaurant tables on OpenTable, food ordering on Seamless Web and taxis on Uber,? said Alexander Shashou, co-founder and president of Alice, New York. ?The real time mobile connection is unprecedented and has been a big void in the hotel technology offering.

?Pool and Beach launch at The Setai hotel was incredible. Twenty five percent of the hotel checked in together all using the app at the pool and beach.?

Convenience for employees and guests
Mobile platforms are likely gaining traction due to the sheer convenience they offer hotel guests and employees. Hotels that have integrated with the Alice application allow their customers to discover and request amenities and services from their mobile devices, both before and after arrival at the property.

Customers can use the Express Checkout to avoid long lines, and receive spa deals and discounts within the app.

Swim enthusiasts can also leverage the Pool and Beach Ordering capability to request food and beverages to be brought directly to their chairs without having to wait for a menu or a server. The Setai Hotel claims to be the first hospitality property in the United States to offer guests the option of ordering via their mobile devices and having food and beverages brought straight to their beach or poolside chairs.

All requests begin on the consumer?s mobile device and end at a device in the hands of a staff member, ensuring quality fulfillment.

Rising popularity
Hotels? integration with these types of platforms points to their growing need to streamline their system solutions and be able to communicate effectively with consumers, regardless of their location.

Seattle?s Hyatt Regency Bellevue is also leveraging a two-way SMS system that is saving the hotel thousands of dollars a year and allowing guests to text the concierge for dining reservation requests, room amenity requests and more (see story).

Dolce Hotels and Resorts is another major brand offering customers booking functions, check-in features and ability to text with a concierge via a mobile platform (see story).

Ultimately, platforms such as Alice app will likely continue to reign supreme in 2015, due to the personalization and convenience they offer guests. The streamlined solutions they offer hotels also cannot be discounted.

?We already provide the platform for our concierges to promote any of the services they offer,? Mr. Shashou said. ?This is about the hotel being able to promote and help guests request any service they believe their guests are interested in.

?Our concierge can update any content overnight and can use our back end to manage all guests. When a guest books, why wait until you arrive to have your concierge prepare your stay,? he said.

?You will likely miss out all the good reservations. With ALICE, concierge can reach out to guests directly after booking to help them plan their trip. Then, when the guest finally arrives on property, their itinerary is all inside their MYSTAY on Alice!?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York