8 must-have features for your resort mobile app

Investing in a mobile app platform for your resort helps you create memorable experiences for your guests and increase key metrics like spend-per-capita. But what features should it have? Read on to see our recommendations.
Adam Catterall
February 2024

Are you with the 78% of hoteliers looking to increase their investment in technology? Mobile app platforms centralise your digital offering, equipping you with a suite of tools to boost NPS scores and drive up guest spending.

We have over a decade of experience supporting world-leading resorts and attractions with mobile technology. So from past experience, here are the eight features we would recommend for a five-star mobile app.

1. Contactless Check-in and Check-out

The last thing your guests want to do after a long journey is stand in a long queue and wait to check in at the front desk. They’re tired, they've travelled far, and they’re eager to get to their room. According to Skift, 54% of travellers said that they'd like to see contactless check-in and checkout permanently adopted. And we don’t blame them, check-in can be frustrating. 

Using a digital contactless check-in system eliminates front desk annoyances by enabling the guest to check in before their stay, directly from a mobile app. Once they arrive, they can head straight to their room and get that hot shower they’re desperate for.

Contactless check in ideas

2. Interactive wayfinding

Think back to your last hotel or resort stay; how often did you find yourself asking questions like “How do we get to the hotel from the car park?”, “Where do I get towels from?” or “How do we get to that restaurant by the spa?”

Resorts often rely on static signage and pamphlets to help guests find their way around, but they can’t update them easily if anything changes. Or, a concierge will explain all of that information at the front desk in one long burst, which often leaves the guest more confused than when they started.

Instead, give guests a guests an interactive map of the entire resort, with information housed neatly in interactive points of interest. This way, they can:

  • Tap to learn more about each part of your resort, from gyms to restaurants. They can even go straight to activity booking or extra resources directly from the map. 
  • Use interactive wayfinding to find the quickest route to points of interest, and avoid uneven terrain if they have strollers or mobility issues.
  • Zoom, tilt and rotate the map to orientate themselves and better understand their surroundings. 

All in all, helping your guests find their way around your resort sets them up for a stress-free stay, making interactive wayfinding a must-have feature you should look out for.

Mobile app wayfinding for resort

3. Day-planning and activity booking

Most resorts have services that require guests to pre-book activities like excursions and spa treatments. But, often the booking platforms are external websites or even separate mobile apps. This forces the guest to juggle multiple technologies, leading to a disconnected and confusing experience.

Mobile apps make it easy for guests to fill their time with excitement and relaxation, by allowing them to choose their preferred activities and book them all in one place. It helps them discover the full range of activities you have on offer and keep track as they go by checking things off, and re-organising if they need to.

Butlin’s holiday resort in the UK discovered that post-pandemic, over 70% of their guests wanted to book their activities in advance using a mobile app. At the time they were using two different booking platforms, one for paid activities and another for free activities, and the disjointed experience was impacting guest reviews. To simplify the process, they intergrated activity booking, food ordering and entertainment schedules in their mobile app. This gave guests a single tool to manage their entire experience, so they could plan and book everything at once. Today, over 98% of bookable activities are now booked using the Butlin’s mobile app and the resort maintains 4.8 star average ratings on the App Store.

Mobile app activity booking and planning for resorts

4. Room service

47% of guests said they would be more likely to order in-room service if they could use a mobile app to place their order.

With mobile food ordering for room service, guests can order their food and get it delivered directly to their room by a waiter on a trolley. From a guest’s perspective, they’ve got the entire up-to-date menu, and can order with a few taps. Payments can be added to the room bill, or taken on the spot using familiar methods like Google Pay and Apple Wallet.

It’s also a big opportunity to drive revenue—according to a survey of US hotels, 27% of guests spend more than $100 on average on room service.

Room service with a mobile app

5. Guest analytics

Like many resorts, you’re desperate to understand your guest better, tailor their experience and surface personalised recommendations to drive key metrics like NPS scores and spend-per-cap. But it’s tricky to do that without reliable behavioural analytics to base your decisions on. A mobile app with an operator console gives you the ability to track and log guests’ preferences, enabling you to tailor your offering to their needs.

You’ll also improve your resource allocation. With operational reports like heat maps and live visitor views included, you can monitor guest footfall throughout the day and accurately pinpoint any bottlenecks.

Heat map for resorts data

6. Real-time notifications and updates

A mobile app opens up a key channel of communication with guests. You can keep your guests informed during their visit with strategically timed push notifications, and send them updates if anything changes. You can cover the entire guest journey in this way—for example, you could:

  • Remind them of room upgrades pre-visit.
  • Send them a greeting on their check-in day. 
  • If they’re arriving by car, you can provide them with parking details and details on how they can pre-book from your app.
  • Once they’re settled in, send them reminders of shows, events and activities on offer during their stay and prompt them to make bookings.
  • Keep them in the loop with breakfast times and pricing.
  • As they check out, ask for some on-the-pulse feedback or request a Trip Advisor review.

Your messaging is up to you, but the possibilities are endless. Whether your aim is to improve the overall experience or increase operating efficiency, an app gives lets you share the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

Activity booking notification for resort mobile apps

7. Targeted offers and promotions

After you’ve nailed your notifications and updates, you can tailor your messaging further, based on behavioural data. For example, guests who have used the pool for example might be interested in learning more about your other fitness amenities, so you’ve got all the information to send them targeted offers that match their preferences and buying intent.

The advantage of taking a digital approach to your promotions compared to signage or print material is that guests carry it around with them, and they’re still reachable after they’ve left your resort. If your guests left positive feedback for example, you can always send them discounts on return visits, or maybe special offers on activities to show your appreciation.

User segmentation for push notifications

8. Feedback collection

You can’t make things better if you don’t know what’s wrong. Traditional collection methods like random sampling or email surveys often result in biased positive feedback or low response rates, making it difficult to keep on top of your guest feedback and action it correctly.

Integrating your feedback into your mobile app allows you to gather immediate and honest feedback through Bluetooth beacons or push notifications. Everything ends up in the same place, based on the same metrics, giving you a daily reading of guest satisfaction. 

Guest feedback from mobile app for resorts

Create the perfect getaway for your guests

We’ve chosen these must-have features because they connect the entire on-site experience for your guests, and provide powerful tools for your staff. With them, you can solve inefficiencies in your operations and provide a seamless guest experience.

By now you’re probably itching to get your app off the ground now, and we don’t blame you! At Attractions.io we can build mobile app platforms for resorts with feature sets that connect the entire guest experience while providing your staff with actionable insights. Find out more by booking a discovery call with our team.

Adam Catterall

Roller coaster buff and black belt content writer
February 2024
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