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Westin Hotels launches mobile site to reach travelers

Mega hotel chain Westin Hotels and Resorts has rolled out a mobile-optimized Web site to let consumers make reservations via their handsets, anytime, anywhere.

Powered by Usablenet, Westin Mobile gives guests access to key features of Westin?s PC site, which supports making and managing reservations. Users can either search http://www.westin.mobi or visit Westin?s PC site, which will automatically redirect to the mobile-optimized version.

?Westin's mobile site offers all the same features and functionality as Westin.com, while providing customers, especially business travelers, with the additional value of on-the-go and instant reservation access,? said Jason Taylor, vice president of mobile products at Usablenet, New York.

Westin Hotels & Resorts is an upscale hotel chain owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Usablenet is a mobile marketing firm dedicated to making branded content mobile. The company's slogan is ?Your customers are mobile, is your content??

Along with making and managing reservations, users can look up hotels by location and access their customer accounts.

Usablenet provided the technology to make Westin?s mobile-optimized site compatible across all mobile devices and platforms.

Westin is following in the footsteps of its parent brand, Starwood Hotels, in its launch of a mobile site. (see story)

The Westin Mobile homepage gives users options to reserve a room, or sift through Westin?s hotel directory.

Also on the homepage, users can manage their reservations, contact Westin with click-to-call functionality and read over terms and conditions and the hotel chain?s privacy statement.

Searching through the hotel directory is made simple, as Westin gives users the chance to narrow down their searches based on continent, then country, then state until finding the preferred location.

Within the Reserve A Room tab, users are asked to enter their city, state and country, check-in and check-out dates, along with the desired number of rooms and adults per room.

The mobile site then finds all Westin locations within 50 miles of the selected city.

With each location, users are given information such as address, phone number, the distance from the originally searched city and Starwood Preferred Guest category rating.

After selecting a location, users can read through an overview of the hotel, browse features and activities, check out photos, read through guest room amenities and access general directions to the hotel.

Once a hotel is selected, every landing page has a large Book Now option on the bottom-left side.

?The travel industry in particular has been very successful with mobile sites, since the majority of business and leisure travelers are, in fact, relying on mobile devices during day-to-day travel,? Mr. Taylor said.