“Southern” may have once been the adjective most commonly associated with hospitality, but in our 21st century world, we may soon have to update that descriptor with “robotic.” With the rise of automated concierges in hotels, AI systems as customer care representatives, and the general digitization of the service industry, it’s clear that age-old industries are going to have to change to keep up. And trying to stay ahead of the curve is HotelTonight, the last-minute hotel booking app that has long understood the importance of technology when it comes to hospitality. One of the first apps to offer spontaneous travelers cheap hotels deals on the go, HotelTonight has now announced its latest feature to make your booking experience even better — the Aces Concierge service is now out of beta and ready to help address any of your hotel needs.
The in-app feature was first introduced to a select number of users over the summer, providing travelers with a digital concierge to help with everything from where to have dinner to getting a toothbrush. Available from the morning of your check-in through the moment you check out, these “Aces” prove to be clutch when it comes to ensuring that your room is exactly the way you want it when you arrive (extra firm pillow? You got it.) or cluing you in on the hottest spots to check out in a new city. Meant for both the busy business traveler to the leisurely tourist, HotelTonight says that its new concierge service lets you “plan less, live more, and let someone else handle the details.”
In its beta format, the app notes that hundreds of thousands of Aces messages have already been exchanged, with an impressive response time of just 23 seconds. “We built Aces for our bookers – to make their entire stays as seamless and amazing as their booking experience,” HotelTonight CEO Sam Shank noted in a statement. “Messaging-based commerce is still nascent, and we’re excited to be innovators within the space. It’s been awesome to see people using and loving Aces, and even more awesome to see the impact it’s had on the business.”
Currently, Aces Concierge is available in a wide range of cities across the United States and abroad in the U.K. and Canada. “Users who are offered Aces are much more likely to book a room, and to come back and book again,” Shank added. “And because we launched Aces in beta before officially releasing it, we’ve been able to get more sophisticated with how we fulfill requests, allowing us to scale the program in a way that’s great for our bookers.”
Of course, to stay on top of the constantly evolving tech landscape, the app will have to keep innovating, something that doesn’t alarm Shank in the slightest. “As mobile has become ubiquitous, we’ve seen travelers becoming smarter, nimbler, and more spontaneous,” he told us in an interview. “The addition of a digital concierge is our latest effort to make sure that our customers have the best possible experience during their hotel stay. Our mobile-only focus allowed us to recognize the need for a convenient service like Aces, which is powered by real people who can attend to anything and everything that will make your stay amazing.”
Ultimately, while apps like HotelTonight rely upon the convenience afforded by smartphone technology, Shank recognizes the importance of human interaction. “A human touch is imperative to provide a great guest experience in the hospitality industry,” he told us. “Aces has been a huge hit with our bookers – and we’ve seen have a very positive effect on our business as well.”