The day before I was scheduled to check in to the Hyatt Regency Houston, I received Hyatt Consumer Research asking me to download and test out the new Ask Hyatt app for iPhone. Previously I have used the STAYConnect app and enjoyed the ease of controlling the tv, checking out, and ordering Hyatt Has It items I may have forgot to pack. So I thought I would give it a try.
Note that the app is currently a pilot and is only available in three properties (Houston, New Orleans, McCormick Place — all Regency branded). Below are the first six screens of the app that are presented after installation.
When you click on “Get Started” you are taken to your sign in page. You can use your Hyatt Gold Passport number to log in. If you have set up your online account already and know your username, you can also use this.
If you don’t have a Hyatt Gold Passport (SHAME!) you can sign up at this time.
After singing in to the Ask Hyatt app, you are shown a page with your upcoming reservations. Clicking on a reservation takes you to details about the stay.
Tapping on “More Services” will show you the options you have.
When it came time to check in (the morning of my stay), the process was simple.
Once I was checked in, it gave me the option of welcome amenity as a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Member. I always choose points, but wanted to see how the choice of food amenity worked at this property. They had quite a selection of food and beverages; and spelled out nicely exactly what you were getting. In this example, I could have had my choice of bottle of wine.
I was not given any choice of room; and I got the feeling that it had been preassigned. Had I checked in 12 hours later or at the desk I think it would have been the same room. The only difference is that if I had decided to check in at the front desk I could have perhaps negotiated a different room. As it was, I was put on a high floor (28 out of 30). It wasn’t clear if it was a King or Double room. So I chose “Contact Hotel” from the main screen and texted the hotel (I have T-Mobile which allows you to text on Gogo Inflight Internet, so was able to do it from 35,000 feet). It was confirmed in a quick text response that it was a two Double Bed room as requested.
The final screen of the check in was a bar code to take to a kiosk or front desk to get my key. I used one of the kiosks in the lobby and it spit out my two keys. Pretty slick system.
I don’t know if I will use this app in the future (once it is more widely available) or not. While I love being able to check in for flights via iPhone app, there is still something I like about checking in with a human at a hotel. Airline desk agents are usually not the most friendly, where I usually have good luck with Hyatt front desk staff. When I was at the Orlando Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress I was offered a glass of champaign while checking in and some friendly conversation.
Still, it I am glad to see that Hyatt is continuing to try out new innovative technology. Hopefully the Ask Hyatt app will stick around and be rolled out to more properties.