by Michael J. Shapiro | February 07, 2017
Marriott launched a redesigned mobile app for Marriott Rewards members today, available for iOS devices in five languages -- English, Chinese, Spanish, French and German. An Android version is coming soon.

The new app dynamically adjusts to the Rewards member's experience, meaning it highlights different information depending on whether the person using it is in trip-planning mode, getting ready to travel, already in transit or at the hotel. Extensive customer research and feedback have guided the redesign. The home screen changes depending on the traveler's itinerary, and all navigation -- whether swiping to an alternate home screen or clicking on a menu feature -- can easily be done with one thumb while holding luggage in the other hand.

"Marriott is using mobile to introduce and revolutionize the next generation of customer service to travelers worldwide, delivering a far more personalized and anticipatory stay experience," noted Marriott's senior vice president of digital, George Corbin.

To start with, Marriott has made some of the previous app features easier to use and more robust. The Mobile Check-in/Checkout and Mobile Room Ready Alerts now include the option to request room upgrades from within the app and to receive notification before arriving at the hotel. Additionally, members can now request late check-out via the app, a benefit that's guaranteed for Gold and Platinum Elite members.

The Mobile Requests feature, which debuted in 2015, is now available at more than 4,000 hotels around the globe. Travelers can use that to chat directly with hotel staff and make requests before, during or after their stays. Marriott also is expanding Mobile Key, which will roll out to more than 500 hotels this year. Once guests at those properties check in via their mobile devices, they have the option of bypassing the front desks and using their phones to open their respective guest room doors. 

When planning their trips, travelers can narrow down destination searches more precisely and save favorite hotels for making future bookings faster. The app also now can deliver content about a specific destination from Marriott's digital magazine, Traveler, based on previous searches and/or active itineraries.

Many location-based features debuting later this year will be aided by beacons that Marriott already has installed at more than 500 properties. For instance, real-time app messaging, called mPlaces, will push hotel and travel information, recognition and special offers during a hotel stay. Guests will receive personalized welcome messages upon arrival, for example, and those who typically use the workout facilities will receive information about the location, hours and services of the fitness room at their current hotel. Other future features include the ability to order restaurant and room-service items to be delivered in locations throughout the hotel, rather than just to guest rooms. In coming years, according to Marriott, artificial intelligence will be increasingly incorporated to drive more anticipatory service features.