Marriott bets on contactless features at select-service hotels, even after pandemic
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, is making a bet that hotel guests — at least those at select-service hotels — will continue to demand contactless, automated systems to replace some of the in-person functions that were normal in a pre-COVID-19 world.
Today, the chain unveiled two new initiatives aimed at providing guests with more options to limit their interactions with hotel staff during a stay.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
The first is a pilot program now available for use at several select-service properties, including the Moxy NYC Times Square, Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown East and the TownePlace Suites in Monroe, Louisiana.
Guests will be able to utilize self-service kiosks to complete the check-in and checkout process, view their folio and sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy program right from these kiosks, which use “antimicrobial technology baked into the touchscreen glass, powered by UV light to kill bacteria and viruses,” according to a press release from Marriott.
The kiosks will also generate room keys for guests, eliminating the need to visit the check-in desk at all. These self-service kiosks will soon be available at the Moxy Miami South Beach.
Next, Marriott has rolled out automated grab-and-go “vending machines” at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Frederick and Fairfield Inn and Suites Arundel Mills BWI Airport in Maryland as a “proof of concept,” per the chain’s release. These large kiosks will stock all sorts of goodies, including snacks, drinks, “lite bites and sundries.”
Additionally, they will house the hotel’s complimentary breakfast items, such as hot sandwiches, sweet breakfast items, yogurt, fruit and more. You’ll also be able to purchase coffee drinks and other a-la-carte food items using contactless payment platforms.
Marriott notes in its press release that these moves are backed by research showing travelers are interested in seeing contactless solutions stick around, even as we can see an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Save for the contactless grab-and-go machines, guests can already complete many — if not all — of the functions of a self-serve kiosk right within Marriott’s Bonvoy app, which offers mobile check-in, checkout and even room keys, along with the ability to communicate with hotel staff through the in-app messaging feature.
While it remains to be seen whether or not travelers will continue to prefer contactless solutions in hotels, rolling these types of initiatives out in select-service properties makes sense. These are typically the hotels where guests don’t expect things like turndown service with chocolates at the bedside, concierges, individualized check-in experiences and the like.
Often, guests who choose these hotels only need a place to stay for a night or two and are perfectly happy with not seeing or talking to anyone upon checking in and out and grabbing a snack or beverage without interacting with staff.
Going forward, even in a post-pandemic world in which people crave interaction with others, it’s reasonable to expect hotel chains to continue to replace in-person interactions with contactless processes — especially at hotels on the lower end of the pricing spectrum.
Featured image courtesy of No Brick LLC for Marriott International
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.