[Technology] Why the Marriott Bonvoy app is actually pretty good

Estimated read time: 3 minutes


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The challenges of rebranding certainly exist and I’ve shared my thoughts about when Marriott Rewards, Starwood and Ritz-Carlton all became Marriott Bonvoy.

Apparently you can say Bonvoy for all kinds of things:

But anyway, the rebrand also discontinued three separate apps and updated the Marriott one. And I have to say that overall the app refresh and updates haven’t been bad and even customer-focused. Overall, I’m happy with my user experience in the app so far.

The chat function rocks!

Of course that assumes that somebody on the other end is paying attention. I’ve used it twice now:

  • Once when I was in Barcelona at the ibtm conference and I needed to get cash. I asked them in the app if I could just charge the amount to my room and my credit card and then have them give me Euros. The answer was no but we just chatted about the situation in the app.
  • The second time was when I was staying at the Marriot Marquis in San Diego while speaking at the ContentTech Summit.

I sent the San Diego hotel a chat message  while on a flight from Chicago to San Diego. I asked if they have an airport shuttle. The answer was that they don’t. So I took a Lyft.

I messaged them two more times.

Once because I needed sunscreen so I could sit on the wonderful balcony they gave me with a free upgrade of an executive suite.

As you can see in the picture, they got right back to me to let me know I could buy it in the gift shop 23 floor down.

This time-lapse video was the view from my room:

And a couple of pictures. The living room.

The view from the balcony:

Even the bathroom has a view!

I’m a fan of the chat function! I assume a real person is answering on the other end, but who knows at some point – if not already – a chatbot will probably own these experiences.

More evidence that writing has never been harder: Looking for an AI Chatbot writer

You can now order room service from the app

Ordering food online isn’t that new and kind of expected now. When I order Jimmy John’s in the office in downtown Cedar Rapids I always do that online, pay with Apple Pay and often they beat the receipt email with their delivery. Freaky fast!

The Bonvoy app – at least it did at the San Diego hotel – now allows you to order without even having to call! Here’s how those screens look:

You can eat now or pick a time later. Super convenient.

Then make your choices in the menu, like many other restaurants offer.

 

The biggest drawback is that you cannot order alcoholic beverages through the app. But other than that it was great to see this improvement. The app also alerted me that this service was available in San Diego, which I mentioned in my Instagram Story for the day. I was in Pittsburgh the day before and that Sheraton didn’t offer the service.

Wrap

To get people using your app we have to add features that bring them back and that actually help them achieve whatever they are trying to achieve. Both of these new features do that and it’s great to see the additions.

Of course, in addition to those two highlighted features, you can also book your stays in the app, check in and use a mobile key at certain properties.