Skift Take

Hotels are starting to cater to guests who are more accustomed to ordering services on apps than in person. The complete hotel experience from check-in to check-out is on track to become more high-tech in coming years.

Guests arriving at certain boutique hotels in the U.S. will soon be able to order room service, book a spa, or reserve a table all with a few taps.

A new app ALICE aims to improve guests’ experiences while streamlining hotels’ operations to make staffs’ responses quicker. Guests at these properties will be prompted by check-in staff or email to download the app.

Hotels guests only need to download the app once and then log onto each properties’ page using their room number.

Click through the slideshow above to see how guests can use the app. 

The startup currently has 10 hotel partners including The Atlantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, The Setai in Miami, and The Hutton in Nashville.

On the backend, concierge staff can alert guests that they have received, processed, and then completed the request. The system keeps track of how long it takes each employee to respond and managers can adjust the system so they are notified if staff don’t respond in a set amount of minutes.

The app’s launch is part of a larger hospitality trend in which guests rely more on mobile tools than human interaction.

“Hotels are realizing that having a mobile offering for their guests is quickly becoming a necessity, much like wifi was 5 years ago,” says Justin Effron, co-founder of ALICE.

“Mobile means more than just booking and information, it is a remote control for your entire hotel stay.”

Guests can request services from anywhere on or off the properties, which means hungry travelers can order room service while still in transit from the airport.

The startup launched its iOS app this month and expects to release an Android version in February.

Guests Go Mobile

ALICE isn’t alone in making the concierge mobile. We wrote about a similar app Neon earlier this year and other services including iRiS and ICE are are creating mobile platforms for brands like Conrad Hotels and Best Western.

Hotels are trying to improve on-site technology for guests in others ways too.

Earlier this week Starwood announced that it would start allowing guests to unlock rooms with a smartphone app at select properties.

Other large hotel groups like Hyatt are introducing check-in kiosks or arming staff with iPads for guests that prefer to skip the traditional desk check-in.

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Tags: apps, room service

Photo credit: The homepage for Alice, an app that lets hotel guests use their mobile phone to connect with concierges. Alice

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