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Gaylord Hotels’ Wayfinding App Keeps Guests on Track

App reduces guest frustration and doubles as a great marketing tool.
Gaylord Hotels Wayfinding App with route highlighted
Gaylord Hotels Wayfinding App with route highlighted

At the beginning of 2023, Gaylord Hotels rolled out its Gaylord mobile app to help guests take advantage of all the fun activities the brand offers. In particular, it wanted to ensure not only that guests were aware of what each of its properties offered, but also help guests easily navigate the property. Preventing frustration with wayfinding was especially important for the brand as its properties are quite large. For example, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is built on nine acres. It has approximately 3,000 rooms, 170 suites, and 750,000 square feet of meeting space.

To create the app, the Gaylord Hotels team collaborated with its ownership group Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (RHP) and researched and vetted technology vendors,  searching for one with expertise in wayfinding technology. Ultimately, it ended up partnering with Phunware.

“We wanted a vendor that really understood how to get around the property, especially with interactive maps,” says Mona Patel, Director of Digital Platforms & Strategy for Gaylord Hotels.

When using the app, guests can type in the name of a restaurant, their hotel room number, or even the word “bathroom” and instantly receive walking directions to get them wherever they need to go. It also has a thoughtful wayfinding feature where guests who are traveling with friends or family can share their location with each other in the app, making it easy to track and find one another on property.

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Gaylord Hotels Mobile App with activity tiles
Gaylord Hotels Mobile App with activity tiles

“I go to Gaylord Opryland a lot, and it’s a lot of fun watching people navigate our property and use our wayfinding app,” Patel says. “I literally walk around the property just to see how people are using it.”

And while wayfinding was the driving force for the app’s creation, Gaylord Hotels and Phunware found they had uncovered an opportunity to create a really useful tool for guests. Endless activities and amenities are a core part of the Gaylord Hotels brand and the app allows guests to take advantage of everything each resort has to offer all in one place. For example, guests can look up operating hours before heading across the property to a restaurant or other business. Additionally, guests can keep track of tickets for on-property activities, performances or waterparks. Guests can even use the app to plan their day’s itinerary throughout the property. And, guests who want information on their reservation details can see that information as it drives users directly to the Marriott Bonvoy app.

As an added bonus, Gaylord Hotels allows guests to view all of its different properties and their amenities within the same app. Why would it do this?

“If I’m at Gaylord Opryland and I loved it and had an amazing experience, I can go in the app and change it to Gaylord Palms and see what it has to offer. Additionally, if I stay at another Gaylord property, I can just change my hotel location instead of having to download another separate app. This then becomes a great marketing tool for the brand,” Patel explained.

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