My family and I just got back from a little weekend trip where we attended a bat mitzvah. We needed to drive up the night before, because the service began too early. So I ended up booking a room at a Homewood Suites by Hilton not too far from the synagogue.
The morning before we left, I received an email from Hilton Honors inviting me to “check in now.” When I logged into the website, I had the opportunity to choose my own room via an interactive map of available rooms.
(You can also perform the same trick via an app on your smartphone.)
So I said to myself, “Why not?”
Choose Your Room Online
As I did a little digital snooping down the hotel’s hallway, I could click and open up pictures of the rooms, although I quickly realized they only represented room types… not specific room layouts.
So I’m choosing a room based on location and general layout.
Okay… that’s something.
I quickly realized the room that I was preassigned to was located just off the lobby.
Huh. That’s not ideal….
(I didn’t like the idea of being right in the middle of pedestrian traffic.)
I clicked on another room a little further down the hallway and on the other side of the hotel away from the road. You usually can’t figure out those kinds of nuances until you walk into the room and realize the deficiencies of its location.
I was actually feeling a little pumped by this virtual view of our upcoming hotel room.
But then I saw a disclaimer at the bottom of the page that said my pre-arrival room selection could still be changed at management’s discretion.
What? You were expecting a guarantee?
(I expect a lot can sometimes happen in the life cycle of a hotel room within a twenty-four hour period…)
When we arrived at our Homewood Suites, the room I had selected online was…
(Drum roll please)
…Indeed still assigned to us.
So was that it?
To be sure I hadn’t missed anything else with my new trick, I asked the man running the front desk about his opinion regarding digital check-in…
He agreed that the value was mostly the ability to choose your room. He suggested that this feature was more significant for repeat visitors. And that it made the in-person check-in experience a little faster.
(Of course, I blew through the ‘time-save’ by asking my question!)
Thank You, Hilton Honors
All right, then…
So a little tech trick from Hilton gives you the power to take a virtual peek and select your home away from home.
(Note— You need to be a member of the Hilton Honors program to have access.)
It worked for me.