Guests at Conrad Hotels & Resorts can use the Conrad Concierge app on their iPhones, iPads and Android devices to manage every detail of their stay, which promises to be a real timesaver for travellers on the run.
But with the Conrad’s Golden Key concierge staff just a phone call away, is the app worth downloading, or are you better off dialling in your requests the old-fashioned way?
We put the iPhone version of the Conrad Concierge app through its paces during a recent stay at the Conrad Centennial Singapore hotel – here’s what we thought.
From simple requests such as wake-up calls and housekeeping services right through to booking a private jet to take you to your next destination, this app has it all.
As you’d expect, the hotel’s concierge team can also be queried via the app on the best restaurants, bars and attractions to visit during your stay.
Where a response is required, you can nominate your choice of email or SMS reply... but as SMS isn’t supported to Australian (+61) mobile numbers – even when roaming in Singapore – email is the way to go.
(If you’re in Singapore and using a local M1 or Starhub SIM, or are using an American SIM from AT&T, Metro PCS, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon, you’re clear to opt for SMS.)
The only time that doesn’t apply is if you’ll be arriving in style by private jet, for which you can use the app to request a quote and call-back…
Back down on Earth, Conrad guests are given a choice of Aromatherapy Associates, Shanghai Tang or Tara Smith Vegan Hair Care in-room amenities, with items such as shaving kits or extra towels available by request.
While you can certainly use the app to have your favourite items waiting for you upon arrival, we decided to try our luck and request all three amenity brands during the one stay…
The hotel didn’t disappoint, with one full set of each brand awaiting our arrival – plus an extra set of the Shanghai Tang for good luck.
Once you’re at the hotel, you can also report any problems with the room such as plumbing or electrical issues, and can nominate a time you’d prefer them to be addressed or when your room will be vacant for its daily clean or turn down.
You can too request a free shoeshine, using the ‘notes’ section of the request page to indicate your preferred collection time.
We opted for an immediate pick-up, which saw the shoes collected within 10 minutes and returned at the promised time the following morning – easy.
Already familiar with Singapore’s hawker culture, we took the chance to get a local’s recommendation for nice restaurant satay, just for something different.
Within the hour, the concierge team responded with a number of suggestions. All of the restaurants named gave several satay options amidst an otherwise balanced menu – tick.
Keeping things simple, we also used the app to order an 8am wake-up call – which pleasingly came right on 08:00:
Room service – whether it be food, champagne or even a simple coffee – can be ordered via Conrad Concierge…
That's perfect if you’re touching down at Singapore’s Changi Airport or you’ve had a long day and would like a nice meal waiting for you back at the hotel... in theory.
With a confirmed 3pm check-out, we tried ordering an easy room service lunch while out and about in the Lion City, but it wasn’t to be.
At 12:36pm, the earliest delivery time available was 2:40pm – much later than the desired 1:40pm.
Then when trying to place the order, we were blocked from using any of the concierge features as the attached reservation could no longer be accessed.
Neither entering the reservation number manually nor logging in with the attached Hilton HHonors profile saw the features return to life. Instead, the app began demanding an access code to restore functionality:
If we’d requested a late check-out and it hadn’t registered in the system properly, it’s an easy mistake to make – but when you’re staying in a room type that guarantees a 3pm check-out as standard, it's a pretty major oversight.
A phone call to the hotel would have seen us with the secret password, but if you need to speak to an operator to merely re-activate the app and order room service, why go to the trouble?
You could easily place that same order over the phone instead of asking for a password when you dial up, which makes the otherwise brilliant app completely irrelevant.
Linking up reservation timings, late check-outs and early check-ins with the app could well fall into the ‘too hard’ basket, although hotel staff could easily plan for the lockout by providing guests with an access code during the check-in process – yet sadly didn’t do so.
If not for the issues on the final afternoon and the lack of support for SMS notifications to Australian mobile numbers, the app would have earned a perfect score. Until then, it’s four stars from us.
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- The Hilton HHonors loyalty program for Australian travellers
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