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Hotel Services: There’s an App for That?

One minichain is stuffing the concierge into your iPhone.

By Allison Williams October 3, 2011

If you don’t have an iPhone, you get to actually talk to the concierge in person.

The only thing an iPhone can’t do is fluff your pillows—until now. The Heathman Hotels, a pair of properties in Portland and Kirkland, have launched an app that gives customers more direct access to amenities using iPhones and iPads.

Some of the actions it performs are merely shortcuts to calling the front desk: Request turndown service, preorder breakfast, or schedule a spa appointment. But the free app has other uses, like handling check-in or check-out. The chef updates the onscreen menu daily, so of course you can order room service (or some Oregonian pinot noir, or a six-pack of local craft beers).

There’s also an audio tour of the art that hangs in the Portland hotel. Hear the stories behind the Baroque Claude Lorrain piece in the tea court, the resident Steinway piano, and the 2,000-book library. The app offers outside the hotel, including running courses and a pub crawl.

So what doesn’t the free app do? It probably won’t carry your bags. Yet.

Updated 10/18/11: While the Portland hotel’s app is available now, the Kirkland branch’s version is expected in 2012.

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