Florida Boutique Resort Uses Mobile App to Open Successfully Amidst Pandemic
At the end of July, HT reported on how a brand-new boutique resort at the University of Florida – Hotel ELEO -- would be delivering a mobile-first guest experience via its partnership with Intelity, a provider of a comprehensive guest experience platform for the hospitality industry. Using a branded mobile app, created by Intelity, Hotel ELEO guests can tailor their services to their preferences before, during and after their stay. For example, the app allows travelers to find hotel and amenity information, make reservations, and more directly from their smartphone or tablet. Meanwhile, Hotel ELEO can use SMS and in-app messaging to connect with guests in real-time.
To learn more about this app and Hotel ELEO’s partnership with Intelity, we spoke to both Robert Stevenson, CEO, Intelity and Jason Dugan, Director of Sales, Hotel ELEO at the University of Florida.
What’s special about Hotel ELEO’s mobile app?
STEVENSON: The mobile app for Hotel ELEO at the University of Florida makes contactless service simple for guests and team members. It provides guests with full access to amenities and services directly from their smartphone or tablet. Mobile check-in and mobile key capabilities enable guests to skip the front desk and head straight to their room—a completely hygienic and secure check-in process. An added benefit is that the app enables hotel staff to communicate directly with guests via push notifications, promotions for hotel dining and amenities, and more. In addition, through the mobile app, guests can book a room or make contactless service requests. All of these in-app features were available as soon as it was deployed.
Why did you feel offering guests a mobile app was necessary?
DUGAN: Most travelers today have become accustomed to controlling their experiences from the palm of their hand–they make reservations, request a ride, book flights, order food, and more from their mobile devices. Most travelers today have become accustomed to controlling their experiences from the palm of their hand–they make reservations, request a ride, book flights, order food, and more from their mobile devices. Additionally, Hotel ELEO at the University of Florida opened this summer during a most unprecedented time in history. The global pandemic has magnified the demand for mobile convenience, and most guests now expect their experience with a hotel to match this new normal. That’s why limited contact and mobile technologies have become front-and-center pieces of hospitality business strategies.
How does the app facilitate communication with staff?
STEVENSON: Guests will be able to make contactless service and concierge requests through the app utilizing INTELITY’s ticketing system GEMS. Once the request has been completed on the staff side, guests will receive a notification requesting immediate feedback and rating for that service, enabling the hotel to track guest satisfaction in real time. Also, guests will be able to send and receive text messages with front desk staff via their smartphone’s messaging app. Hotel ELEO at the University of Florida has thoughtfully dedicated a phone number for this sole purpose to streamline communication between guests and hotel service.
How does the app allow for guest personalization?
DUGAN: Guests can save their preferences in the mobile app. Any previous amenity reservations or service requests are also retained by the hotel in the guest record, allowing for the hotel to personalize and customize future stays, and continue to deliver top-notch customer service.