Blackstone, majority owner of Hilton, invested in 2007 just before the near market collapse of financial markets, watched it investment decline 70%. Not only did they hang in there long enough (just like Marriott shareholders - the best hedge against Marriott's pricing momentum) to have an extremely successful IPO, but they also re-invested as they went along, specifically in technology.
They are the first to have mobile check in throughout their system and it is apparently broader than Marriott's, allowing as you'll see in the article above, room selection. Now before everyone beats up Marriott for once again being a cautious 'follower' when it comes to pioneering innovation, I for one, as a tech troglodyte, applaud them from my selfish perspective. In the future, all the rest of you use your mobile devices, and I will walk up and check in with the sole remaining front desk clerk, who will no doubt be as helpful as "Jake, from State Farm" .
Before all readers drool over specific room check in, beware, this is starting to shape up just like airline seats. Soon we will be paying 'extra' for high floors, away from elevator (except those who want rooms close to elevator), away from ice machines, to go along with the current trend of views and size.
PS - tip of the hat to kharada46 for sharing the site earlier this month. That's what Insiders is all about, sharing info, stories, and techniques (because it certainly isn't about influencing the policies of the Tidal Wave known as Marriott).
Great site and interesting read. Being the tech monster I am I didn't even know I could check-in to a Hilton property on my phone, hmmmm and the beat goes on.
As for your walking up to the lone front desk person, it would most likely be "three in the morning" and you will find good ole "Jake, from State Farm" sitting there in his khaki's and red golf shirt. Don't be afraid if "she sounds hideous"!!!
Since I'm often putting Arne's clips on, I guess it's only fair (and I'm all about being fair ) to put on his pal Chris.
for those of you driving in your Fords and don't want to read (but you will be able to make reservations with Choice Hotels through your hands free system).
ps - she sounds hideous, "well she's a guy, so..."
erc You beat me to it! I was going to post this but you got here ahead of me. I remember last year receiving a marriott voice survey in which they spoke about the exact topic of being able to select your actual room by floor plan. Rest assured this is something Marriott is not only aware of but I am sure is working on. I agree however, it might turn out to not be that great in that you pay extra for what you want, but since it is inventory controlled and released strategically, I am sure you will still have front desk staff looking to get elites the best rooms possible.
See, that's the drawback of you being a productive member of society, less time for Insider shenanigans .
But you and the other 40s and under, all the way down to jm1991, are the eyes of this forum and us dinosaurs count on you folks to test out (Beta style, right vaboywnder - ha) all of these gizmos and let us know about it (we'll jump in while you move on to the next innovation - I've mastered my VCR, now onto Kindle).
Knowing how you and the Mrs. enjoyed the Baltimore Harborplace Renaissance, here's an old school low tech pass along. Check out Sunday September 14th - a great AAA rate of $94 (even Std. is only $99). Now I don't know if there's an CDC Anthrax Containment Convention going on or what, but that is the least expensive rate for this terrific property throughout the next eleven months. I'm sure if you used your charm telling them what a terrific time you and your wife had last visit (and you wouldn't even be making it up!) you'd land another great view, given their apparently low occupancy. Just an FYI.
Keep on keepin' on.
erc, you read my mind! Was going to post, but this week has been too busy! Glad you like One Mile at a Time. As I've said, it's my favorite travel blog. Great mix of general info, detailed trip reports, industry news, and humor!
Used the Hilton mobile app to check-in last week, worked like a champ and the ability to select your room is an incredibly wonderful thing. We picked a corner room that was huge with a nice view, come on Marriott step up to the plate in the IT Department!
And we didn't get any increase in room rate to have the ability to select the room.
I can see this being good and bad. This would be based on first come first serve as oppose to having the staff assign the rooms the day of arrival. What if you are a regular platinum elite and you count on the staff assigning the room you like but wait, oh no, someone already picked it through the mobile app. would the staff change the other persons room to please you or would they take the heat from a regular platinum member? What about people who dont usethe app?
Also dont know what the legal status of the feature is and might be patented by Hilton
The reason I don't do mobile check-in is that there's a better chance of an upgrade. We had a recent report of someone who was going to do mobile check-in for Grosvenor House/JW in London. At the 24 hour mark he was trying to decide whether to check in since it just showed a normal room at that point or to wait to see what happened at normal check-in. I told him to wait until he arrived. He did & he was upgraded to a suite.