Coffee Shop Innovation Expo logo

19 & 20 NOV 2019



At best, guest information books are just out of date, at worst they are full of crumbs or missing crucial information. For today’s tech savvy traveller they must also seem archaic, when the rest of the world works digitally. 

Last month, a concierge style app service for the independent hospitality sector was launched that begins to address this persistent problem for owners of holiday lets, serviced apartments, small hotels and guest houses.

Called Criton, it is the UK’s first self-build app software designed for holiday accommodation. Accessed on a low cost subscription basis it makes all guest information available at the touch of a screen anytime, anywhere.

Criton provides the who, what, where, when and how about a place to stay via a bespoke mobile app. It can be up-dated at any time and is very user friendly, capable of incorporating instruction videos on how to use appliances and directions, through to contact details and information on and links to nearby restaurants and attractions for a flawless customer experience.

The software is easy to use and it is possible to build an app with a property’s own brand with as many links as desired in under an hour. 

Julie Grieve, formerly CEO of Lateral City, a 5 star serviced apartment business in Edinburgh which includes the award winning Old Town Chambers, set up the business when she couldn’t find a system that would let her build her own app.

“While setting up and running the apartments we spent a lot of time refining the instructions we left for guests to try to ensure they had all the information they needed to hand. But no matter how good your customer service is, guests don’t want you in their apartment after a long journey, late at night going over the heating system or how to operate the hot water. 

“I began to think about sourcing an app where I could upload videos and more interactive information, but the cost was prohibitive. I have always believe that technology should unlock opportunity for small businesses just as it does for big businesses, so that is when I decided to design my own. 

“The use of smart phones and tablets in the hospitality sector has created a new platform for operators to interact with their clients in a variety of ways. We know that the way Millennials consume information and interact is entirely different to the current demographic. With a background of trust reviews driving consumer booking behaviour, introducing technology which drives reviews and improves the guest experience at all touchpoints will become crucial to continued success.”

The app service has been welcomed by industry figures including James Foice, Chief Executive of the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP). He commented: “At this time of rapid growth in our sector it’s great to see the development of this new self-build concierge to enhance the guest experience.”


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