The LINK Hotel & Hub in Tel Aviv -- by Dan Hotels – positions itself as an innovative hotel that targets new age professional and tourist millennials via a unique digital hotel experience. For instance, all of the hotel’s services are implemented through its comprehensive LINKApp. The LINKapp offers guests the ability to check in, check out, and unlock the guestroom door. It can control in-room functions such as the TV, the air-conditioning and the lights. In addition, it acts as a virtual concierge assisting guests in exploring everything Tel Aviv has to offer: entertainment, dining, shopping, nightlife, culture, and transportation to the airport.
To learn more about the way this hotel is using their app to appeal to digitally savvy guests, Hospitality Technology interviewed Ron Federmann, Head of Development for LINK Hotel & Hub.
HT: What is LINK’s point of view of technology, and how does that affect the guest experience?
FEDERMANN: Technology has shaped almost every aspect of our lives -- allowing us to easily connect with one another, to be more efficient and to get fast access to information. Innovations such as an app in the hospitality sector are beneficial in so many forms, especially for our guests. We created the LINKApp to integrate every aspect of the hotel in mind, from check-in to room service, the LINKApp helps our guests settle-in fast and easily.
HT: How does this view of tech make your hotel unique compared to other hotel companies?
FEDERMANN: Today, many large hotel corporations have applications or are developing them. With the LINKApp, we aim to be more client oriented. We built our app from the client's point of view, considering the traveler’s needs in a foreign city and during their stay at our hotel.
HT: What type of services can guests use the mobile app for?
FEDERMANN: The app was first introduced at the beginning of 2019 and since then we have been implementing more options, such as controlling in-room functions and ordering room service. We plan for the LINKApp to be fully operational by mid-2020. Currently, guests can use the app to check in, open the door to their room, turn on and off the TV, control the lights and the air conditioning, order food and even specify what time they want the meal to be ready. The app allows guests to access most of their needs during their stay.
There is also an entire section in the app that offers guests information regarding the city, including restaurants, bars and shopping. Guests can even book a taxi or an electric scooter and charge the ride to their rooms.
Soon guests will even be able to use the app as if they were local phones; they will be able to make incoming and outgoing calls at local prices.
HT: Was the mobile app designed in house or by a partner?
FEDERMANN: We designed every feature in-house using our knowledge and experience, while collaborating with a German company named "Hello Guest" to create the app.
HT: How does it function as a virtual concierge? Has it replaced the hotel's human concierge?
FEDERMANN: From the start, our goal was not to replace the concierge; the aim was to make all the information more accessible. On the one hand, we have our recommendations on the app and guests can be informed of all their options, however, the app also allows our crew members to engage in conversations with guests and provide them with further details when they request it.
Photo credits: LINK Cafe. Image Credit - Sivan Askayo