Marriott Bonvoy has this week rolled out a new mobile app. In this post I wanted to talk a bit about what has changed, and share my take.
What has changed with the new Marriott Bonvoy app?
Marriott claims that the new mobile app offers a more intuitive and personalized experience, with new booking options, enhanced customizations for contactless experiences, and tailored ways to earn and redeem points beyond free night redemptions.
What’s new with the refreshed 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 day, stay and play passes, and Marriott Bonvoy Tours & Activities, are all now available through in-app browsing
- More Customization During the Stay: Improvements and additions to mobile requests and mobile key enable members to get more from their experience and choose to minimize contact and better maintain social distance:
- Mobile Key, available at over 4,000 properties, is now accessible on the home screen once checked in
- Mobile Requests now contains more one-touch-buttons so users can order a crib, shoeshine, and dry cleaning, along with bath towels, pillows, bath products and more, as well as the ability to chat directly with hotel staff
- Making it Easier for Members to Earn Points: Members can capitalize on points promotions relevant to them on the home screen and their account page, providing members access to tailored Marriott Bonvoy American Express and Chase limited time offers, as well as access to 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 not ready to join for free can still search and book stays easier than before
- Updated Searching & Booking with New, Dynamic Map: Users can search and book accommodations by hotel brand, destination, price or points needed for a free night’s stay
- And More Improvements for the Frequent App Users:
- Updated Marriott Bonvoy account profile page highlighting personalized promotions, on-property benefits to take advantage of during stays, and full account activity
- Member numbers can be copied and pasted onto other web-based forms
- FaceID and TouchID automatically engages after the first login
- Room numbers will now appear on the home screen
My take on the new Marriott Bonvoy app
Let me first acknowledge that I’m a pretty low tech guy. I use travel apps constantly, and my appreciation for them is based on how easy they are to use, rather than them being super fancy and having a bunch of features I may or may not need.
The new Bonvoy app looks reasonably nice, though to be honest I thought the old one looked nice as well.
In theory the ability to request services during Marriott stays with the push of a button also seems like a nice feature.
All of this sounds great on paper (or on your phone, I suppose. The issue is that these features need to be seamless and functional in practice, backed up by service at hotels.
As a Bonvoy elite member I love the concept of checking in through the app, though unfortunately:
- Most Marriott properties aren’t great about proactive upgrades, so I feel like I have to check-in at the desk in order to have any chance of a decent upgrade
- Marriott doesn’t let you select your welcome amenity through the app, so if I want breakfast or points, I need to tell them at the front desk
For Marriott’s most frequent guests, mobile check-in is quite useless, in my experience (or am I in the minority in feeling this way?).
Then it’s also great that you can make all kinds of requests at hotels with the push of a single button, rather than having to write out requests. The problem is that there’s a huge difference between what Marriott promises and what it delivers when it comes to even the basic chat feature.
If a hotel doesn’t respond to my request in a timely manner, there’s no value to me in this kind of service, regardless of whether I have to push a button or type out a sentence.
Marriott Bonvoy has a new mobile app. In addition to it being completely redesigned visually, in theory it’s also supposed to be better for mobile check-in, keyless room entry, and for making requests while on-property.
The problem is that the value of so many of these features relies on hotels actually delivering the way Marriott promises, and that’s a real struggle, in my experience.
What do you make of the new Marriott Bonvoy mobile app? What do you like, and what don’t you like?