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2012 Must-Have Hotel Amenity: Hotel Apps

December 28, 2012 at 10:21 AM | by | ()

It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Today and Monday, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...

Hotel WiFi has been an important part of our coverage here for a while now (remember that little thing called the HotelChatter WiFi Report?). But what happens once you've logged in and connected to the world wide web? Are you Instagramming shots of your room? Are you looking up restaurant reviews on Yelp? Maybe you're eschewing the DVD players of yore and pulling up episodes of Boardwalk Empire on HBOGO?

Either way, when trying to come up with this year's must-have hotel amenity, it seemed like a no-brainer: in 2012, hotel apps were where it's at..

In the past few months alone, we've tried out new apps by hotels like Conrad, InterContinental, Ritz-Carlton and SLS, plus new hotel booking features by Hotwire and Jetsetter, and, of course, that pioneer of the hotel-booking app world, HotelTonight.

As the technology develops, the competition will only heat up among hotels all trying to come out with the best and most original hotel app. (Over a year later, W's app remains one of our favorites).

And the fun doesn't stop with hotel-branded apps. We've seen plenty of third party apps emerge this year, each offering a slightly different service: LodgeNet (TV remote), Sivi (upscale concierge), LobbyFriend (social media) and Sweetbeam (digital announcement board). Yet whether you're using these apps to make friends or just make dinner reservations, the fact remains that these days, much of the physical experience of a hotel revolves around digital platforms.

Like it or not, the more a hotel (or brand) can step up its app technology, the better chance it has of competing in the tech-obsessed world we live in. And maybe that's not such a bad thing after all!

[Photo: HotelChatter]

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