With nine brands covering nearly 1,100 hotels in 100 countries and territories, Starwood Hotels, with a big assist from mobile developer Bottle Rocket, has come up with a single "state-aware" interface for its loyalty program iPhone app.
Starwood claims its new SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) app for iPod touch, iPhone and iPad "is the first in the travel industry -- and one of the first apps ever -- to utilize state-aware technology..."
The way it works is that a guest booked into a property from any of the nine brands receives a push notification 48 hours before the stay and then the My Stay user interface changes based on the brand and property.
For example, the app's state-aware feature produces the following user interface for the St. Regis Florence.
And, then the same app presents the following user interface if the guest is booked into the Westin New York Times Square:
Actually, the look and feel of the two brands' screens are similar, although the branding, logos and property information vary.
"With the previous SPG app, guests could search and book across all of Starwood’s hotels, but the app did not bring to life the unique look and feel of each distinct Starwood brand," says Starwood spokesperson Trey Sarten. "The new SPG app allows for a much more branded guest experience from search to check-in and has brought booking directly into the app."
Like other travel industry players, Starwood reports that mobile booking patterns are different than Web booking habits.
"For instance, two-thirds of mobile bookings are within 24 hours of the stay, triple that of Web bookings," the company says.
And, Starwood says its mobile revenue has jumped 300% year-over-year.
As before, users of the app have the option of accessing customer service through Apple FaceTime.
Starwood's brands include St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element.