PR Newswire | September 29, 2023
The IHG One Rewards mobile app is redefining the travel experience with a greater emphasis on customer satisfaction – and it's earning rave reviews. The app's intuitive design and new features seamlessly guide guests through their booking journey from inspiration to customizing their in-room stay experience, all in the palm of their hands. As IHG's fastest-growing booking channel, the app has driven more than half of all digital bookings in 2023 and is the main platform for loyalty engagement. With the ability to inspire adventure, maximize loyalty earnings, and seamlessly integrate into the in-hotel experience, the app has received high ratings of 4.9 stars on the Apple store and 4.8 stars on the Android store.
"At IHG, we believe that technology can redefine hospitality and our IHG One Rewards mobile app is a testament to that. We knew that by placing our app at the center of delivering choice and control to our guests, we could stand out in the industry," said Jolie Fleming, Senior Vice President, Guest Products and Platforms at IHG Hotels & Resorts. "With new features rolling out weekly, we continue to offer greater customization and increased guest engagement through this channel. We have seen positive reviews from our most loyal guests who use the app devotedly and can't travel without it!"
The IHG One Rewards app is packed with new features that set it apart from other hotel apps, including:
New! Travel Wishlists. An in-app exclusive experience, members can now save properties to their Wishlists page to view later – easily allowing them to track future stays or add past stays they enjoyed to their list.
Wi-Fi Auto Connect. When enabled, this feature automatically connects a guest's mobile device to a property's Wi-Fi as soon as they walk through the doors. A one-time sign on is required and takes only two taps to join. More than 1 million users have signed up globally.
Room charges in real time. Guests at more than 3,000 hotels across the Americas can view their room charges as they happen during their stay. Available on the Reservation Summary page, guests can see in-room charges such as room service and dining charges.
Room details and customization. Guests can now easily see the size of the room booked, so there are no surprises when they show up! Plus, IHG has made it easier for guests to personalize their stays, whether that's by booking a room with a view of the mountains or selecting one with more space.
Seamless loyalty benefits experience. IHG One Rewards members can conveniently explore their current loyalty tier benefits and discover the exciting rewards they can unlock as they progress to higher tiers, as well as access and redeem Milestone Rewards, including free nights, food and beverage vouchers and complimentary suite upgrades.
Updated Wallet. Google and Apple Wallet users can add their IHG One Rewards membership and reservations to their digital wallet allowing for convenience and ease during travel.
More languages. The re-architected app is available in 20 languages across six global and Greater China focused app stores.
Jolie Fleming added: "Our app is designed for a new kind of loyalty program and for a new kind of traveler. We designed this app with our customers and are proud to say that it has exceeded expectations. The app's exceptional adoption rate, positive user feedback, and transformative impact on guest experiences has reinforced IHG's standing as a global leader in redefining hospitality through technology."
The IHG One Rewards mobile app also offers members a Best Price Guarantee with no hidden fees; and the ability to track the availability of rooms in their favorite hotels. Plus, guests are able to use guest service support and chat directly with customer care representatives directly in the app. And, for our top tier Diamond Elite members, they get priority access to Dedicated Diamond Support through the app.
The future of the IHG One Rewards mobile app
The mobile app has come out of a transformational year and new updates are always on the horizon. Upcoming features include the launch of Apple AirPlay at IHG Hotels & Resorts and virtual 360° tours of select Hotel Indigo properties globally. Not to mention, guests will soon be able to share Wishlists with friends and family, making the travel booking experience even more engaging and fun.
ABOUT IHG HOTELS & RESORTS
IHG Hotels & Resorts is a global hospitality company, with a purpose to provide True Hospitality for Good.
With a family of 19 hotel brands and IHG One Rewards, one of the world's largest hotel loyalty programmes, IHG has over 6,000 open hotels in over 100 countries, and more than 1,900 in the development pipeline.
Luxury & Lifestyle: Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Vignette Collection, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo
Premium: voco hotels, HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, EVEN Hotels
Essentials: Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Garner hotels, avid hotels
Suites: Atwell Suites, Staybridge Suites, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Candlewood Suites
Exclusive Partners: Iberostar Beachfront Resorts
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated and registered in England and Wales. Approximately 345,000 people work across IHG's hotels and corporate offices globally.
Travel Technology, Hospitality Management
Business Wire | October 16, 2023
Hilton celebrated the grand opening of Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton, solidifying the company’s foray into the premium economy segment. With more than 400 opportunities in various stages of development, the first-ever Spark by Hilton made its debut just eight months after Hilton announced the new, conversion-only brand in January of this year.
Located less than half a mile from I-95, Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton is nestled in the historic maritime town of Mystic, Connecticut, with iconic landmarks including The Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport Museum, Olde Mistick Village and the Mystic Bascule Drawbridge nearby. The hotel is also less than two miles away from local shops and restaurants in Mystic’s quaint downtown.
“In partnership with Distinctive Hospitality Group, we are thrilled to welcome guests into the very first Spark by Hilton. This breakthrough premium economy brand builds on Hilton’s continued work to develop new brands and provide a hotel for every traveler and every stay occasion,” said Matt Schuyler, chief brand officer, Hilton. “Spark is our fastest announcement-to-market brand in Hilton’s history, and we are excited to grow our portfolio of world-class brands with many more Sparks on the horizon.”
Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton features 120 comfortable and relaxing guest rooms and a seasonal outdoor pool. Other signature elements of Spark by Hilton hotels include:
A 24-hour retail market and a simple, complimentary breakfast, featuring premium coffee, juice and a signature bagel bar with spreads.
Public space with multi-functional seating from communal tables to rocking chairs, offering plenty of options for guests to enjoy breakfast, socialize or work throughout the day.
Guest rooms outfitted with practical amenities, including simple, streamlined furniture, an open closet, an in-room refrigerator, a multi-purpose work surface and a bright bathroom.
Simple, inspired design with splashes of color, vibrant exterior statement walls and energizing artwork.
“At Spark by Hilton, our approach to hospitality is all about ensuring that every traveler can enjoy exceptional quality without sacrificing affordability,” said Alissa Klees, brand leader, Spark by Hilton. “As we celebrate the opening of our inaugural Spark in Mystic, it marks the start of a journey to reshape travel and disrupt the premium economy segment while expanding our customer and owner base.”
The grand opening of Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton was celebrated today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks from Matt Schuyler, chief brand officer, Hilton; Alissa Klees, brand leader, Spark by Hilton; and Lou Carrier, president, Distinctive Hospitality Group. Photos from the grand opening event can be found here.
“Needless to say, we’re thrilled with being the first Spark by Hilton to be opened,” said Lou Carrier, president, Distinctive Hospitality Group. “We’re extremely confident the Mystic/Eastern Connecticut marketplace will present the diversified business drivers to allow our 120-room hotel to flourish. Additionally, we are already seeing an incredible mix of Hilton Honors members giving trial to the new brand as well as never before Hilton Honors members signing up to join the loyalty program. Hilton is clearly redefining the economy segment with Spark!”
Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s distinct hotel brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Members also enjoy popular digital tools available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app, where Hilton Honors members can check-in, choose their room and access their room using a Digital Key.
About Spark by Hilton
The newest addition to the Hilton portfolio, Spark by Hilton is a premium economy hotel brand at the intersection of value and consistency. Spark by Hilton provides a reliable and comfortable stay with friendly service for every guest, all at an accessible price. Spark by Hilton hotels provide a welcoming sense of arrival with colorful accent walls and inspiring artwork. The public spaces provide multi-functional seating, from communal tables to rocking chairs, and guest rooms are comfortable and relaxing with simple, streamlined furniture. In the morning, travelers can enjoy a complimentary signature bagel bar and premium coffee.
Travel Technology, Hospitality Management
Virgin Voyages | September 08, 2023
Virgin Voyages announced a $550 million funding round led by Ares Management for global expansion.
Founder Tom McAlpin transitions to Chairman of the Board, while Nirmal Saverimuttu takes over as CEO, bringing extensive experience from Virgin Voyages' early days.
Virgin Voyages looks forward to continued success and collaboration with investors, including Ares Management, to drive future growth and innovation.
Virgin Voyages, the award-winning cruise brand backed by Richard Branson's Virgin Group, has announced the completion of a $550 million fundraise led by Ares Management's Private Equity Group. This funding, including contributions from existing investors such as Virgin Group and Bain Capital, is poised to propel Virgin Voyages into international markets while enhancing the overall customer experience.
Partner and Co-Portfolio Manager of Special Opportunities in the Ares Private Equity Group, Aaron Rosen, remarked,
With this new investment alongside our partners at Virgin Group and Bain Capital, we believe the company is on strong footing to capitalize on its differentiated product and value proposition in the growing cruise industry.
[Source - Cision PR Newswire]
Established as a leading player in the industry, Virgin Voyages has swiftly gained recognition and accolades with a fleet serving various destinations and recent wins like topping the mega-ship category in Travel + Leisure's 2023 World's Best Awards and sweeping all five cruise categories in the 2023 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards.
Alongside this development, Tom McAlpin, the founding CEO, is transitioning to the role of Chairman of the Board. Nirmal Saverimuttu is taking the reins as the new Chief Executive Officer, having formerly served as President and Chief Experience Officer. In addition, Nirmal Saverimuttu has been a foundational figure at Virgin Voyages since 2014, when he joined as Chief Commercial Officer after securing initial investments from the Virgin Group. His role expanded in 2021 to President and Chief Experience Officer, making him well-prepared to guide the brand into its next phase of growth and innovation.
Nirmal Saverimuttu, CEO of Virgin Voyages, said,
I want to send our deepest thanks, on behalf of all our Crew and the Board, to Tom for his leadership and passion for the business. We are so grateful for all he has done and are thrilled to continue to partner with him as our Chairman.
[Source – Cision PR Newswire]
Virgin Voyages is a trusted brand due to its crew's dedication and passion for offering remarkable experiences for its guests. Nirmal also expressed his anticipation of collaborating with the Ares team and Virgin Voyages' current investors to execute growth and expansion plans as the company contemplates its promising future.