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Conrad Hotels sets new mobile concierge standards with curated itineraries

Hilton Worldwide’s Conrad Hotels and Resorts brand is dipping into enhanced guest personalization via a new mobile-optimized microsite, accessible through its concierge application, that enables travelers to book rooms and select curated itineraries according to interests or amount of available hours.

Conrad Hotels and Resorts is undertaking a cultural shift in hospitality, thanks to the burgeoning amount of consumers opting to book accommodations and activities through their mobile devices. The Stay Inspired experience will go beyond the standard booking process to allow guests to select nearby activities in one, three and five-hour increments, a move that will likely resonate well with consumers with busy schedules.

“This is a very smart move for Conrad Hotels and Resorts,” said Gautam Lulla, president of Travel Tripper, New York. “Travelers are looking for a more curated and personalized experience.

“StayInspired is giving Conrad Hotels an upper hand by offering travelers more tailored options and showing that it truly understands what its customers are looking for,” he said. “It won’t see an immediate surge, but could see a slow, steady growth of bookings.

“By integrating a mobile aspect, it is reaching a wider demographic and increasing chances of more reservations.”

A destination storyteller
Consumers already using the Conrad Concierge mobile app, which allows for quick bookings and room reservations, may visit the site directly through it. This enhancement to the purchasing process may fuel more sales for Conrad Hotels, especially if guests deciding on an accommodation spot see the personalized itineraries feature.

If they are waffling about which brand to purchase a room from, the ability to plan out a schedule pertaining to exact interests could be the swaying factor in Conrad Hotels’ favor.

Conrad Hotels aims to cater to its customers’ desire to merge pleasure, work and life into a singular travel experience. Guests may visit the mobile-optimized site to select their destination city, upon which they can book a stay at a branded property.

They may also click on one of the featured cities on the site’s homepage to explore various itineraries, separated in one, three and five-hour increments, so that consumers can choose the activity plan best-suited to their schedules.

For example, individuals planning to visit New York can sift through activity suggestions such as visiting a one-off boutique in the Meatpacking District for three hours, spending an hour at the September 11 Memorial Museum and gallery-hopping in Chelsea over a five-hour period.

At any point while scrolling though the curated itineraries, consumers are able to book a room in a nearby location.

Each of the one, three and five-hour recommendations is designed to provide an inspired view into showcasing art, dining, shopping, culture, family and adventure for the specified destination.

“Hotel brands crave loyal customers but, to encourage loyalty, you have to give something in return,” said Ryan Williams, vice president of travel at Millward Brown Digital, Seattle. “The StayInspired itineraries, curated by trusted travel authority, Nilou Motamed, present travelers with exciting and appropriate ideas on what to do in any of Conrad’s locations.

“The concept marries the mobile and desktop experiences and makes the app far more useful to consumers beyond just a research and booking tool. With StayInspired, the Conrad Concierge app might become a traveler’s mobile companion – and, if the mobile experience compliments a positive Conrad hotel stay, it could help acquire another loyal customer.”

Mobile users may also save and share their chosen itineraries with friends and family as well as receive customized content, including maps, photos and videos.

Concierges will be available on premises with tablet devices to confirm booked activities and guide guests through their personalized stays.

Providing unique experiences
Conrad Hotels recognizes that guests seek to spend their spare time exploring local gems may not be mainstream enough to be found in a guidebook. Consumers who want to add an extra zest to their travel experiences may be persuaded to book a room at a Conrad Hotels property for this reason, particularly if they are intrigued by one of the itinerary lists.

Guests that do participate in one of the suggested activities are encouraged to share their findings on social media via the #StayInspired hashtag.

Conrad Hotels’ parent brand, Hilton Worldwide, has also been engaging in a serious push toward mobile-enabled bookings as of late.

Hilton recently ushered in a partnership with ridesharing service Uber by enabling guests to set ride reminders, request vehicles to and from nearby locations as well as explore local scenes via a digital guide powered by Uber within the HHonors loyalty application (see story).

“For years, brands have claimed content is king but many have struggled to build Web sites or apps that really cater to inspiration,” Mr. Williams said. “Conrad went all-in on this strategy, hiring a director of inspiration who traveled to each Conrad location.

“She experienced the city (shopping, restaurants, culture, etc.) and curated itineraries perfectly suited to the Conrad customer demographic,” he said. “[The brand] reimagined its Web site and built microsites to support this initiative.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York