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Exeter hotel first to offer check-in app

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 14, 2014

By Olivier Vergnault, WMN Business Editor, Twitter: @OliVergnault

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Receptionist Alyson Bateman welcomes guests at the Southgate Exeter Mercure Hotel. Picture Richard Austin

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An Exeter hotel has become the first of its kind in the city to offer a mobile app so guests can check in before they arrive.

The Mercure Southgate is one of just 60 Accor hotels across Europe that has the new mobile App facility.

For sales manager Tamsyn Parsons at the four-star hotel, the aim of the app is to ensure guests can have an even better experience at the hotel rather than have to fill paperwork when they would rather enjoy a drink in the bar.

She said: “It will mean no more filling in forms or dealing with payment cards when you arrive or check out.

“Our staff will be able to focus on welcoming guests, and making sure they have everything they need for their stay.”

Ms Parsons added: “We’re in the hospitality business and that’s what we want to focus on.

“When people arrive, it’s often after a long journey or a day’s work, and they don’t want to queue or fill in forms.

“They want to relax and get on with enjoying their time with us. “The new check-in app allows guests to do just that.”

The Mercure Southgate Exeter is the first Accor hotel in the South West to offer guests the mobile app check-in.

Available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry, it is free to download from online app stores and at www.accor.com, and means people can check-in up to two days in advance of their stay.

Derek Philips, chairman of the Heart of Devon Tourism Partnership, said: “It’s great to see the Mercure Southgate Exeter at the forefront of Accor’s plans to improve the customer experience.

“A slow or busy check-in can be frustrating and that can now be completely bypassed.

“It’s a great example of using technology to make things that little bit easier for guests.”

On the day of the stay, guests receive a welcome text message confirming that the room and key are available.

When guests arrive, they no longer need to provide credit card information and fill out paperwork.

The checkout process simply involves returning the room key.

The Southgate Hotel has 154 rooms and suites, the Cloisters Restaurant, Lounge Bar, health and leisure club, indoor heated pool, gym, sauna and spa pool, and extensive business facilities including nine purpose-designed conference suites.

According to Mercure’s parent company Accor, 47% of travel searches now take place via mobile.

The company’s Christine Pouletty, who managed the project’s introduction, said: “Queues are diminishing and hoteliers are more available for their guests.

“They can devote themselves completely to their passion, the job of host.”

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