The Marriott is working to make your next hotel stay a little more mobile as it tests out a new iPhone app. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
If you need any more proof of just how mobile a society we have become, just step into any hotel lobby. The New York Marriott Downtown is a case in point.
"Used to be that we had to go find a house phone or we had to go find somebody. Now, we have our phones with us in our hands all the time," says Mark Collins, front office manager at the New York Marriott Downtown. "It makes it much more convenient for our guests."
New York Marriott Downtown is one of 13 Marriott properties operating as an "incubator" hotel, testing an iPhone app that lets guests directly text a specially trained member of the AYS, or At Your Service staff.
"We're basically the air control tower of the hotel. We deal with internal and external calls," says Eddie Garcia, an "At Your Service" agent. "This came in this morning: 'I need a hairdryer in my room and extra shampoo.'"
The Marriott Guest Services app is loaded with pre-programmed requests for housekeeping needs, such as extra towels, bath amenities or a wake-up call. There is also a function for wild card queries.
"We've had incidences where someone's been on the treadmill and they couldn't get their ear piece to work, and they text from their phone that 'I need some assistance up here,'" Collins says.
The rollout of Marriott's Guest Services app is part of a $30-million brand-wide transformation called Travel Brilliantly, a marketing campaign for a new generation of travelers.
"They play hard and they work hard," Collins says. "They've always got the phone in their hand, so we're trying to reach out to them and give them an opportunity to make connections with us."
The app responds to a confirmation number as early as a day before check-in, ensuring that guests can have the best stay right at their fingertips.