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iPhone Hotel Review at Malibu Beach Inn

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 22878 Pacific Coast Highway [map], Malibu, CA, United States, 90265
October 22, 2008 at 12:59 PM | by | Comments (6)

When we found out that The Malibu Beach Inn was running the world's first iPhone guest management system, Hotel Evolution, naturally we had to go and try it out.

Despite the hotel's website telling us that rooms were a steep $385 a night (on a Tuesday in a recession), we actually found a rate of $258 within the site. We clicked on one of their promotions which was offering a room and dinner for select days only. Our day happened to be a select day.

So a few hours later we were checking into the Malibu Beach Inn on PCH. At check-in, we casually placed our iPhone on the counter, hoping the front desk clerk would notice it and ask us if we wanted to try the Hotel Evolution program. He did not. He was gracious in every other respect however.

We made our way up to the room and chilled for a bit, ordering that dinner as promised, in-room. As we waited, we looked around for any notes about the Hotel Evolution application. But there were none. So once we ate, we headed down to the front desk to inquire.

There was some initial confusion about whether guests could get it on their own iPhones or if it was only available on the hotel's stash of iPod Touches, which come with the application already pre-loaded.

But we cribbed the directions from a sheet of paper and managed to get it installed on our cracked iPhone. Here's how:

1.Get an Access Code: The front desk needs your iPhone number in order to give you an access code.

2.Enter In The Code: Once you have that, go to http://www.runtriz.com/mbi. Here you will need to put in your room number and the access code.

3.Download to Your Home Screen: Then Hotel Evolution appears on your screen in Safari. You can click the + sign at the bottom of the browser which says, "Add this page to home screen." The application is then installed on your iPhone home screen as MBI.

4.Live It Up: From there, you can order room service, request your car, or ask housekeeping to bring up the toothbrush and toothpaste that you have forgotten.

Our overall thoughts on this application? It's awesome and we think the Malibu Beach Inn is awesome for implementing it.

The service is totally free and it allows you to do those silly things that you would normally have to dial zero to get. The front desk clerk told us that the requests are sent from your iPhone or Touch to their computers and they will see them right away. So it's no different than ordering from a regular in-room telephone.

Since it's still pretty much in a testing phase with the hotel, they are double-checking your requests to make sure you did in fact order them.

The only issues we did have with this is that there was no Account Review/Checkout option on the Evolution. Additionally, if you want to make plans for show tickets or a night out or anything that a real-life concierge would do, the Evolution can do it, but we think it's better to use a human. Also, the choices under Concierge were not as specific as you might want or need.

Lastly, there were some misspellings on the descriptions ("anadian bacon" anyone) but hey, that happens to everyone.

Comments (6)

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this is truly awesome.


whoa

This is baller. This ALMOST makes me want an iphone -- and it makes me happy that crackberry devotees are covered by the loaner-itouch option.

love

SO TURNED ON RIGHT NOW. iTOUCH myself.  

Checking this baby out next month.  


iPod Touch

How would this program work with the iPod Touch?  The article said that "The front desk needs your iPhone number in order to give you an access code."

There is no phone number attached to the Touch.  Can you get an access code anyway?


Interesting App

I posted on this subject a week or so ago myself (http://www.cityporters.com/2008/10/hotel-go-hi-tech/) and in doing research had a few questions. Thank you for inadvertently answering them. I think Runtriz has done an awesome job at building the app but I was curious as to whether or not Runtriz has a tech go to the hotel and program the app or if a hotel employee does the job. With the misspellings you noted it seems that perhaps a bellhop does the job. Whatever the case, I think it is a great step for this sort of automated concierge service. I guess now we wait to see how Apple will capitalize on this one.

awesome

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