Lodging’s 2010 Innovators: Chris Jones, General Manager, Hotel Indigo San Diego

When Chris Jones, a former San Diego resident, returned to the city to take over the newly built Hotel Indigo San Diego, he stated his enthusiasm for the hotel and the city. “As the neighborhood hotel, we’re excited about joining the community and really showcasing the neighborhood and region to our guests,“ he said at the time. Once the hotel was open, he found a new way to help promote the neighborhood and the city, using the hottest new electronic device to hit the market—the iPad.

Jones, who along with his dog Sandie spends most of his time at the hotel, decided to make iPads available to guests of the hotel in order to create an interactive guest experience involving guests, the hotel and the neighborhood. He made the devices readily available to staff and guests at the front desk and at the lobby bar. The idea was to create and additional touch point for customer service.

 The “Guestpad” program lets the hotel connect with visitors and guests. Guided by hotel staff, guests are invited to use the iPads to post comments and questions to the Hotel Indigo’s network of followers and fans on social media sites such ass Twitter and Facebook. The program is intended as way for hotel guests to communicate their experiences at the hotel and the surrounding Gaslamp Quartre of the city.


And there’s more. A live streaming feed of Twitter and Facebook is shown on widescreen TV monitor in the lobby. In addition, the hotel answers guests’ questions in real time and in some cases, answers can come from online followers and locals of the area who can help the hotel’s guest find their way around town, find entertainment, and overall, create a better guest experience.

Concierges at the hotel also use the iPads to assist guests with bookings at restaurants, game tickets at nearby Petco Park, and shows.

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