Native or QR-Based Hotel App - Which One to Choose?

Mobile accessibility has gained significant importance with the change in hospitality trends due to the pandemic and digital transformation in guest expectations and habits.

According to's report, the average user spends 4.8 hours daily on their mobile device.

This means that modern guests perform most of their daily routine activities via mobile phones. This also makes hotel guest communication apps the most effective tools for providing contactless experiences.

To provide a seamless experience in modern hospitality, hoteliers must offer mobile-focused guest experience solutions.

This article will give you tips on offering an effective digital hotel compendium by choosing the best type of mobile hotel app to suit your goals and your guests' expectations.

What Is a Digital Hotel Compendium?

Hospitality is a unique industry that requires many dynamics working in harmony to fully meet guest expectations. Information flow is essential for the continuity of communication between guests and the hotel and staff throughout the guest journey.

Hotel compendiums, which are folders containing basic information, such as location and description of hotel services, restaurant menus, and directions to reach hotel staff, were used as the main element of guest communication for a long time.

However, in the modern era, where communication efficiency and speed are vital, such a limited solution cannot meet guests' expectations. That's why hotels now benefit from digital compendiums with extensive possibilities where guests can access pages of information and interact with hotel services with a single QR code. Native hotel apps and mobile-friendly web-based apps are the most effective tools for offering digital compendiums.

What Is a Native Hotel App?

Native apps are mobile applications that guests download to their smartphones through application stores, such as the App Store or Play Store. These applications are designed without the restrictions of internet browsers.

So they can benefit from the advanced features of devices, such as notifications, contact lists, and GPS, and deliver essential information about the hotel, even if the guest does not have internet access.

What Is a Web-Based / QR-Based Hotel App?

Guests can access web-based / QR-based applications, also known as progressive web apps (PWA), via URLs or QR codes through their internet browsers. They do not require any downloading and are available instantly. However, these applications cannot be accessed offline and cannot utilize the advanced features of smartphones.

Benefits of Native Apps

Native mobile applications shape a significant part of our daily mobile usage routines and therefore stand out as an important option for creating modern digital hotel compendiums.

Some of the main characteristics that make Native Apps advantageous are as follows:

Long Lasting:

Native apps always work with stable speed and performance with the proper optimization and maintenance.

This prevents your hotel guests from experiencing technical problems due to internet browser-related reasons when interacting with your services.

360-Degree Guest Experience:

By their nature, the possibilities of web-based / QR code-based apps are limited to what browsers offer. Native apps can take advantage of all the features of smart devices to offer smart-room services, such as mobile room keys as well as controlling curtains, lights, and climate through the device.

They can also offer additional features that enhance the hotel guest experience, such as contactless payment, or even enable you to offer location-based deals using GPS.


Notifications are a unique way to stay in touch with your guests at all times. When you have an offer they will be excited about, like discounted rates, a service they may be interested in, or a message you need to deliver, you can instantly communicate with guests via notifications, even when they are not using your application.

Offline Access:

Your guests may not always have internet access, but thanks to the native app, at least they always have access to essential information about your hotel and services.

Benefits of Web-Based / OR-Based Hotel Apps

Quick Access & No Downloads:

The process of downloading an application requires time and effort as it consists of stages, such as entering the application store, finding the application, logging in with personal information, and waiting for the download.

Most of the time, it is not enough to download the application to use it. You need to confirm certain permissions and log in to the application. At the same time, applications take up a considerable amount of storage space on the phone.

Web-based applications can be accessed via web browsers available on phones by default. When they don't need to download anything, your guests don't have to waste time with app stores or worrying about storage.

Lower Costs:

Creating a digital hotel compendium naturally reduces your printing and communication costs. But what you need may be more than that. Especially if you have a small-scale hotel, creating a native application may not be the best option for your budget.

Unless your guests' expectations are very high, what a web-based application offers is often enough for your guests to interact with your hotel services. And creating and maintaining a web-based application is much cheaper than a native application.

Faster Creation and Implementation:

Although complete digital guest-facing platforms like WeBee Suite allow you to bypass most of the technical requirements of creating a native app, it still requires a significant technology infrastructure and a long time to implement.

For web-based apps, most of the time, all you need is content. They can be developed and implemented in a very short time, especially with hotel web app tools like WeBee HotelBuilder.

Who Should Choose Native Hotel Apps?

Hotel chains, large-scale resorts and luxury hotels may prefer native apps to meet the high expectations of their guests, keep guest satisfaction at its peak and strengthen their hotel management structures. Of course, these hotels can offer web-based applications in addition to native apps.

Who Should Choose Web-Based Hotel Apps?

Guests often stay at urban hotels for short periods. So urban hoteliers wouldn’t want to waste the time of their potential guests downloading an app. Therefore, web-based applications that can be accessed instantly with a single QR code are the best option for them.

Boutique hotels and hostels usually have a tight budget. The guests' expectations of these hotels are also low compared to large-scale and chain hotels. The right choice for these hotels is the web-based apps that they can develop quickly at low cost and effortlessly change their content when necessary. Or in city hotels, guests stay for short periods or their restaurants host more guests than other types of hotels. In such hotels, guests hesitate to download applications for a short time. In this case, web/QR-based applications are perfect for them.

Easily Create Your Web-Based App

The architecture of a holistic and effective web-based/ QR hotel application is quite different from a standard hotel website. When you decide to create a web-based app, you need to ensure you effectively create the best guest experience for mobile devices.

WeBee HotelBuilder creates your web-based hotel app that includes a comprehensive digital compendium in seconds, allowing guests to interact with your services using a QR code.

With the HotelBuilder, you can combine your hotel and room information, service interactions, booking link, orders, guest communication structure and more under a single page.

Thanks to its unique interface, you can instantly edit all your content and customize it in line with your hotel’s brand tone.

If you want to discover the unique features of HotelBuilder, you can try it for free for 30 days now.

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