It’s 3 p.m. on a Monday at Homewood Suites by Hilton Largo Washington DC, arguably one of the busiest times for this hotel’s lobby. A guest, having checked in on Sunday, would like to inquire about dinner reservations. They approach the front desk. Although the hotel is at capacity, there is no line. The guest is welcomed personally by a smiling Hilton team member, who has time to ask their preferences, their dining style and more before making a recommendation.
While a seemingly simple interaction, this valuable in-person connection is enabled by a new cloud-based hotel Property Engagement Platform (“PEP"), co-developed by Hilton and HotelKey, now powering more than 1,000 properties within the Hilton portfolio. The platform’s ability to speed computer-based transactions at the front desk and throughout the hotel is helping reduce guest waits and increase the amount of time hotel team members can dedicate to providing personalized service.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Largo Washington DC is one of the first hotels in Hilton’s portfolio to implement PEP and is a testbed for the project rollout, which is expected to reach more than 7,000 hotels worldwide over the next three years.
“Since implementing the PEP solution in early 2022, we rarely have a line at our front desk, allowing us to spend more time connecting with our guests,” said Andron Gordon, general manager, Homewood Suites by Hilton Largo Washington DC. “Our regular, extended stay guests are even noticing the dramatic changes in efficiency. We are huge fans of PEP.”
Gordon credits the platform for significantly reducing the amount of time for team member training, reducing day-to-day technology and billing errors and enabling more time to build relationships and genuine connections with their guests.
According to a recent Hilton report, “The 2023 Traveler: Emerging Trends that are Innovating the Travel Experience,” more than half (56%) of consumers planning travel in 2023 said they want an easier, or “frictionless” travel experience this year. PEP, which was co-created with Hilton for exclusive use at Hilton properties, enables the global hospitality company to incorporate a suite of integrated software solutions to streamline operations, address guest and team member needs, and identify cost efficiencies within one standard platform that can be scaled worldwide. The collaboration is expected to improve the guest experience across Hilton’s 19 world-class brands and reduce team member upfront property management system training efforts from 40 hours to 4 hours, by providing access to HotelKey’s industry leading TrainKey solution.
Hilton’s implementation of PEP is one of many innovations the company is delivering to marry the power of technology with the light and warmth of hospitality, helping team members deliver the most reliable and friendly stays.
“As a business of people serving people, we’re always looking for ways to deploy solutions that meet the evolving needs of our team members and our guests,” said Michael Leidinger, senior vice president and chief information officer, Hilton. “In addition to benefiting from our new property engagement platform, to achieve a more frictionless travel experience, guests can also engage in our other industry-leading digital innovations, such as enhanced booking options, Digital Key and Digital Key Share through the Hilton Honors app and personalized in-room technology.”
Fareed Ahmad, co-founder & chief executive officer, HotelKey said, “Our partnership with Hilton is a testament to our hospitality platform technology and capabilities that allow a single property platform to serve many distinct brands across the globe. This engagement also highlights our partnership approach to integrate our technology as a part of the broader workflows of a large hotel enterprise.” Aditya Thyagarajan, co-founder & president, HotelKey, said, “We are enthusiastic about the new ground being blazed by our collaboration and look forward to a long partnership with Hilton to complete the deployment of our Hospitality Management Platform across their global portfolio.”