May 14, 2013, 4:44 PM

A Canadian hotel chain books iPad and smartphone apps

The apps offer 24-hour live chat and GPS features to help consumers find hotels.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Lead Photo

Canada-based Sutton Place Hotels has launched mobile apps for the iPad tablet as well as for smartphones operating on Google Inc.’s Android operating system and Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

The apps were built by vendor 2P Ventures, which also developed Sutton Place Hotels’ mobile site a few years ago. The apps took around three months to build, the company says.

The smartphone and tablet apps are designed the same except that the tablet app will render larger to fit the iPad screen and the smartphone apps offer click-to-call functionality for consumers to book their reservations by tapping their screen to make a phone call.

Consumers can use the apps to book reservations at any of Sutton Place’s three hotels in Vancouver, Edmonton and Revelstoke. App users also gain access to mobile-only promotions and limited-time offers as well as corporate and group rates, and can chat live 24 hours a day with a concierge.

Other features include the ability to browse locations and properties on an interactive map; access to photos of rooms, guest services and amenities at each hotel; and the ability to retrieve local information about attractions near a selected hotel. Mobile app users can also register with the app to access their bookings and e-mail the hotel chain with questions.

“Mobile technology is an essential factor in the hotel industry,” says John Sandor, vice president of The Sutton Place Hotels. “These days, most people have a smartphone or other mobile device that lets them complete many of their daily tasks. We wanted to give our guests that same convenience with our apps.”

The company would not say how much it cost to build the apps. Retail mobile apps range in price from $2,500 to $100,000, depending on features and functions, says Jeremy Black, director of retail at mobile site and app developer Xtreme Labs.

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