This is Cool — Hilton App Now Uses Google Maps to Help You Choose Your Room

The Hilton HHonors app now integrates with Google Maps so that when you use the app’s function to choose your own room – a feature available starting at 6 am the day before a stay – you can see where rooms are in relation to streets, views, etc.

The updated digital floor plans include detailed geographical information about the hotel’s surroundings. Hilton HHonors members can visualize where available hotel rooms are located in relation to city streets, public transportation, parks, bodies of water and other markers. They can see if an expressway is outside their window or if their room faces east toward the sunrise, for example.

Additionally, members will soon be able to see where additional points-of-interest like landmarks or attractions are in relation to their selected room.

Here’s how it works:

When you go into the app, you choose your arrival time and then can see a floor plan for the hotel. Available rooms have green circles. Already functionality included photos and room details. Now there’s better information on room location relative to the world around the property.

And of course the app offers digital keys but that functionality is still rolling out and many hotels don’t yet participate. Regardless, this certainly seems directionally correct.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Any thoughts on whether it’s a good idea to use this feature, rather than hoping for a better room in person? I’m not talking about bullying for a suite, but maybe a larger or nicer room in person than the system allows automatically.

  2. Anybody who thinks that they can “bully” their way into a COMPLIMENTARY suite is not playing the loyalty game with a full deck.

    I have used the app. The advantage is that it lets one know what types of room are available and their location (including upgrades to the exec floor, but excluding suite upgrades, which need to be confirmed at check in because, well, they are COMPLIMENTARY).

  3. I have received a room upgrade automatically after checking in but before receiving my digital key. When I got the notification of my digital key I also has an alert that my room had been upgraded and I did have a different room than the one I selected at checkin. The whole process was done using the mobile app, but it was the version before the recent addition of Google Maps showing the hotel layout, I expect it still works the same now.

  4. @Christian – looooong FT thread on this matter; the answer (as is the answer with most things pertaining to hhonors) is “it depends”. Many members will wait to go to the desk to try to get a better room, yes (often with success). On the other hand, if there is a risk of a walk or it is known that an upgrade is unlikely (based on familiarity with the property), then OLCI is useful to lock in a “least bad” option. You can still inquire later (though some agents will say they “can’t override” the OLCI, which is bogus).

    @DCS it all depends on the property. Some won’t even upgrade to the Exec level until you’re there in person, whereas I’ve had others pre-upgrade to a suite during the night audit the day before I showed up. In that latter case, I went ahead and did OLCI to lock in the suite location I liked.

  5. @CW– You are right that it depends on the property. The app will, in fact, indicate something like “we see that you are a Diamond member, so you have been upgraded…”. But things may not work the same way at all properties. At least not this early in the implementation. I suspect that it will get more uniform with time…

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