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Inside Omni's New Mobile-Hold Feature

The Omni Hotels & Resorts ( team is passionate about finding innovative ways to improve all aspects of the travel experience for guests. The company prides itself on continuing to implement new features and design elements that foster Omni’s commitment to providing guests with streamlined access to information and services via a mobile platform.

In 2008, we were among the first to enable a brand-wide mobile check-in. In 2013, Omni was one of the foremost hotel groups to add its loyalty program to Google Wallet. As a brand we continue to look for the most innovative applications that will further improve our desktop site and mobile site’s functionality, making the online experiences as convenient as possible for guests.

We make it a habit to continuously review our brand channel metrics. In doing so, we are able to make informed decisions about integrating technology to best serve our customers. This policy led to the implementation of several
guest-facing strategies that have resulted in enhanced guest service and ultimately a bolstered bottom line.

In early 2015, customer data indicated that nearly 50 percent of guests research hotel reservation options from their mobile devices or tablets and then finalize reservations later from desktop computers. We closely monitored this behavior, and while we continued to see desktop conversion rates grow, mobile conversion rates remained static, even though more consumers were searching for accommodations on mobile devices. Upon further investigation, the information we gathered showed that while a large number of consumers research accommodations on their phone, many are either not ready to commit to a reservation or they find it cumbersome to enter their complete reservation information into their device.

Based on this insight, we developed a quick and easy way for consumers to reserve a room and a rate without the commitment of having to enter credit card information. In May of 2015, Omni Hotels & Resorts became the first luxury hotel brand to offer a mobile hold courtesy to travelers. The feature allows guests to temporarily reserve a room on their cell phone for a 24-hour time period with just an email address. Now anyone using a mobile device and seeking accommodations on will see the option for a courtesy hold. Within this 24-hour time period, guests have the opportunity to finalize the reservation at with a credit card. If the reservation is not confirmed within the 24-hour period, the reservation is automatically released with no charge to the guest.

The feature has been extremely successful with mobile hold conversion rates of 26.2 percent since implementation. We’ve since expanded this strategy to offer the courtesy hold feature at call centers across the country. If a consumer calls for information about one of our Omni properties but is not quite ready to commit to a reservation, our customer service advisors offer to temporarily reserve the room and rate. From here, the process works the same as with a mobile hold.  

Omni also recently launched a complete redesign of in responsive design. This responsive design ensures that potential guests experience optimal viewing and easy navigation with minimal resizing and scrolling. In August of 2015, the website was further improved with the creation of an adaptive site for mobile users. This enhances the ability to navigate the site, search for availability and rates and has special features for on-property experiences.
What was your first job?
Dishwasher at an Italian
restaurant in Buffalo, NY

Who inspires you?
My family

What are your hobbies?
Golf, skiing and travel

What technologies excite you?
Apps that make your life easier. Chef’s Feed is one of my

Sage Advice: Time kills deals. You need to be fast, nimble and scrappy to make a difference.

What is one other job that you would like to try?
Running an ad agency

What is one goal that you would like to achieve in your life?
Set my children up for a happy and successful life.

What three people would you invite to lunch?
My father (he passed away when I was 2), JFK and
Frank Sinatra

What is your favorite book/movie? The Godfather

What is your favorite vacation spot?
Florence, Italy

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