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Starwood Hotels goes mobile

SPG Mobile, powered by Usablenet, is a mobile site that lets Starwood Preferred Guest members find and book hotel reservations by destination or hotel directory, manage their reservation profile, contact customer care and read The Lobby blog.

“The main strategy for all our business travel clients — from American Airlines and Amtrak to all the big hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton — is to extend the value and service of their web sites to mobile web so that business travelers can take advantage and access these services anywhere, anytime,” said Nick Taylor, president of Usablenet, New York.

Starwood Preferred Guests can access the new mobile site via any Web-enabled mobile device by entering into the handset’s browser.

The mobile site is being rolled out to SPG members first and Starwood is looking into expanding the initiative to invite all guests staying at any brand hotel to book rooms from a mobile device.

Usablenet now powers mobile sites for all major hotel brands including Choice Hotels, Four Seasons, Hilton, Marriott and Omni Hotels.

For SPG Mobile, Usablenet Mobile detects the specific device that is being used and creates a optimized version of the site that will ensure successful use on that device.

The optimization includes offering the mobile  features identified by Starwood  as the primary services travelers want to access on the go, plus rendering the page in the right format (xhtml, WAP, iMODE for Japan) and size (including resizing images).

SPG users travel frequently and some of the best times to make plans and book reservations are while they are waiting for planes and other low productivity times.

The new mobile site provides access to SPG at all times for their customers.

Usablenet’s mobile Web platform, Usablenet Mobile, is a fully managed service that enables companies to translate all existing Web site functionality to a full-featured mobile interface.

Usablenet Mobile provides brands with a new channel to extend marketing, commerce and client service efforts to their customers’ mobile phones.

The service requires no IT resources on the client side, works on all Web-enabled mobile devices worldwide and can be implemented in six weeks.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 employees at its owned and managed properties.

Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with  brands such as St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W, Le Meridien and the recently announced Aloft and Element.

“A mobile strategy provides access to a company’s products, services and brand 24/7” Mr. Taylor said.

“Not only does mobile Web provide more self service options for clients with features such as making/changing reservations and mobile check-in for flights,” he said, “but it is also becoming a source of significant revenue for companies by giving their customers instant access anytime to book reservations and purchase upgrades, promotions and other special offers.”