Vacationers and other travelers who book into certain Hilton accommodation facilities have an inside track on how to take advantage of their surroundings thanks to a special feature in the Hilton Honors app.
The new innovation is called Explore and is the result of a joint venture between the hotel chain and location intelligence technology firm Foursquare. Those with the app can access Explore to find a number of services in the immediate area of whichever Hilton hotel or establishment they're staying at.
The feature, activated on September 12th, also offers recommendations on what is deemed to be the best tourist attractions in the vicinity, from high-end restaurants and nightclubs to local events and places of interest to guests.
On the day of the launching, only 28 Hilton properties in the U.S. including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville and Atlanta were featured on the system. International cities in the small list include London and Rome and Hilton has assured its customer base more municipalities will be added over time.
The recommendations part of the feature are also quite extensive and detailed, providing information from menus at cited restaurants, operating hours, best times to visit in order to avoid lineups, photos, and even whether the venues are family-friendly, business-oriented or geared towards more romantically-inclined visitors. There's also a plan-ahead feature, which allows travelers to include recommendations as part of their timetable before reaching that destination.
However, potential users need to join the Hilton loyalty program before being able to download the app. There's no cost to sign up and being in the program also provides members access to a wide range of amenities such as free Wi-Fi, discounts while staying at a Hilton establishment, and digital check-in. And once booked at a Hilton, guests can use the app to remotely control their accommodation's environment, from temperature and lighting adjustments to opening and closing the drapes in the suite. On top of these benefits is an additional incentive to earn redeemable points.
Based in San Francisco, Foursquare claims to have more than 60 million users worldwide. It recently reported that its technology was responsible for more than 12 billion hotel check-ins.