Earlier this year, Canadian luxury hotel chain Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts one of the leading player in global luxury hospitality, launches is IOS and Android Application for mobile devices. The App has uploaded 80% of its properties, some of those not yet featured include: Maldives, Bali, Damascus (operational) and Seoul. For properties such as Mumbai, Moscow, Cairo at Nile Plaza, Riyadh the check-in option through the App is not available (only check-out and services). Otherwise, all hotels feature the check-in option which can be extremely practical and time efficient.
One can log in to the App ahead of a stay at a Four Seasons Hotel using the provided reservation number or can create a profile through the front page of the App. Once profile is defined by the Reservations, several errors came up when I tried to update my profile such as mobile number or address, being urged by an automatic response to contact Customer Service, which can be a hassle.
Also, during my recent stay at the Four Seasons Hampshire, the Services which were divided into Sleep Experience, Dining, Concierge etc. I found it rather confusing for instance how to make a choice for the recently launched Four Seasons Signature Bed (which is already available at Four Seasons Hampshire). I could order many additional small bedding amenities but no details on how i would opt for a softer or harder bed top.
Regarding the activities section, for the Four Seasons Hampshire, only the Programs for Kids was uploaded, none of the other activities – horseback riding, picnic in the country side, bike rides, culinary experiences, Spa, fishing, range shooting etc. I would suppose the hotel will soon upload this information.
What I found extremely useful was the section dedicated to the destination of Hampshire which included a mix of hotel proposals in terms of dining and Spa as well aother local attractions, including suggestions of activities as well as dining (pubs and restaurants nearby).
Booking of other Concierge services such as airport transfers also made for a rather confusing experience, as there were no prices for the various options available, only details on the timing of the departure from the hotel. I did not try out this option to see how this is actually confirmed back.
What I found lacking as part of the personal profile are details such as preferred room temperature, favorite flowers, bathroom amenities (natural or cosmetic), higher/lower floor and/or away from elevator.
In over 3 months from launching, the Four Seasons App has less than 10.000 downloads from the Google store for the Android powered mobile devices, given there are over 100 Four Seasons properties with over 25.000 keys. The discrepancy must come from the fact that the luxury hotel chain has taken a soft launch approach or maybe it should boost the promotion of the App and provide incentives, especially given that our smartphone and pads are flooded with other Apps.
The check-in and check-out option is not one i would personally use, as I am sure many guests would be adamant. The human connection to the Front Office is very important especially to verify expenses but also sharing a feedback on the overall experience. For instance, for a stay below expectations or when a guest encountered serious problems, the Front Office would be available to provide an immediate explanation – if needed an apology and act on a compensation for a future stay, for example.
The design of the App is very stylish and it is easy to navigate. Each hotel has a comprehensive profile, similar to the mobile friendly pages of each of the hotels, so guests and potential guests can easily browse through hotel information.
It is extremely important for the Four Seasons to engage App users more and to link it to lifestyle events. I would dare suggest a section specifically on special events at each hotel so that through the Push service can warn App users on the latest promotions but also advise, for instance, on newly renovated or redesigned accommodations.
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