Marriott Bonvoy launched a new mobile app this week. In this post, I wanted to talk a little bit about what has changed and give my opinion.
What has changed with the new Marriott Bonvoy app?
Marriott claims the new mobile app will offer a more intuitive and personalized experience, with new booking options, advanced customizations for contactless experiences, and tailored ways to earn and redeem points beyond redeeming free nights.
What’s New in the Updated Marriott Bonvoy Mobile App? As the company describes it:
- New shopping and booking options: Homes & Villas by Marriott International Home Rentals, Work Anywhere with Marriott Bonvoy Tag, Residence and Playing Cards, and Marriott Bonvoy tours and activities are now available via in-app browsing
- Further adjustments during the stay: Improvements and additions to mobile requests and mobile keys enable members to get more out of their experience and to minimize contact and better maintain social distance:
- The Mobile Key, available in over 4,000 hotels, is now available on the home screen after checking in
- Mobile Requests now includes more one-touch buttons that allow users to order a cot, shoe shine and dry cleaner, bath towels, pillows, bath products and more, as well as the ability to chat directly with hotel staff
- Make it easier for members to collect points: Members can benefit from point promotions relevant to them on the home screen and on their account page and grant members access to customized, time-limited offers from Marriott Bonvoy American Express and Chase as well as points promotions with Eat Around Town and Hertz
- Increased functionality for non-members: While nearly a million people used the app to become members in 2020, those who are unwilling to join for free will find and book stays easier than before
- Updated searching and booking with a new, dynamic map: Users can search and book accommodations by hotel brand, destination, price, or points required for a free night
- And other improvements for the frequent app users:
- The Marriott Bonvoy account profile page has been updated Highlight personalized promotions, on-site benefits to enjoy during your stay, and activities across the account
- Member numbers can be copied and pasted into other web-based forms
- FaceID and TouchID are activated automatically after the first login
- The room numbers are now displayed on the home screen
My opinion on the new Marriott Bonvoy app
First, let me acknowledge that I’m a pretty low tech guy. I use travel apps all the time and my appreciation for them is based on how easy they are to use rather than being super fancy and having a bunch of features that I may or may not need.
The new Bonvoy app looks reasonably good, although I honestly thought the old one looked good too.
In theory, the ability to request services at the touch of a button during a Marriott stay also seems like a nice feature.
All of this sounds great on paper (or on your phone, I assume). The problem is that in practice these functions have to be seamless, functional and supported by the service in hotels.
As an elite member of Bonvoy, I love the concept of checking in via the app, although unfortunately:
- Most Marriott hotels are not doing very well at proactive upgrades. I feel like I have to check in at the counter to have a chance of a decent upgrade
- Marriott does not allow you to select your welcome convenience through the app. So if I want breakfast or points, I have to tell the front desk
For the most frequent Marriott guests, mobile check-in is completely useless in my experience (or am I in the minority if I feel like that?).
Then it’s also great that you can make all kinds of inquiries in hotels with a single push of a button instead of posting inquiries. The problem is that there is a huge difference between what Marriott promises and what it delivers, even when it comes to basic chat functionality.
If a hotel doesn’t respond to my request in a timely manner, this type of service has no value to me, whether I have to push a button or type in a sentence.
Marriott Bonvoy has a new mobile app. Theoretically, it will not only be completely redesigned visually, but should also be better suited for mobile check-in, keyless entry to the room and for inquiries in the hotel.
The problem is that the value of so many of these features depends on hotels actually delivering what Marriott says they do, and that’s a real struggle in my experience.
What do you think of the new Marriott Bonvoy mobile app? What do you like and what do you dislike?