NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It sounds very much like a conversation between two friends, one of whom is planning a fantastic vacation and needs advice. Here's how it begins: "I'll be visiting the City of Lights with my husband for 10 days this September and staying at Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris. We'd love to find one really great treasure -- like a vintage Louis Vuitton steamer trunk for our home. Where's the best high-end antique market?" The answer: "Without a doubt, Marche aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt. Happy shopping!" Except this isn't a conversation between two friends over a mocha latte. It's a conversation from the social media platform Pinterest as part of the Four Seasons' new Pin.Pack.Go board. Pin.Pack.Go is an industry first. It's a new, worldwide, collaborative trip planning service created by the Four Seasons that reinvents the way luxury travelers research and receive information when organizing a vacation. In this case, Four Seasons guests are able to connect with any of the luxury hotel chain's local experts around the globe, creating "travel boards" with Four Seasons staff. Gone are the days of sitting in a travel agent's office poring over dusty travel brochures, hoping the pictures are real. Pin.Pack.Go makes even TripAdvisor ( TRIP) start to look outdated. With Pin.Pack.Go, Four Seasons guests get specific advice, pictures and travel tips from experts on the ground in their destination. The collaboration from the local Four Seasons hotel concierge or other knowledgeable staff includes personalized recommendations, insider knowledge and even the ability to book dinner reservations -- long before a trip begins.
Once a guest downloads the SLS app, they can use it to order room service, book a spa appointment, set a wake-up call and more. "It includes concierge recommendations for restaurants, night life -- it's a great resource for Angelenos," Bernstein says. "But it's also another way to meet our guests' needs for guests that may not want to pick up the phone and call housekeeping every five minutes. They could be driving back from a meeting and use the app to order a burger and have it waiting for them when they get to the hotel." "People love SLS. It's very quirky and very whimsical," Bernstein adds. "We are really challenging this modern-day travel, applying modern technology in modern ways to accommodate the luxury traveler." Meanwhile, in New Orleans, at the Royal Sonesta, Social Media Coordinator Colleen McCourtney has been known to act on guest's comments on the hotel's various social media outlets at all hours. When it comes to Pinterest, the hotel began maintaining individual boards a little more than one year ago for its restaurant, jazz club, coffee shop and oyster bar. McCourtney uses the Pinterest boards primarily to post pictures that are likely to get the attention of browsers. "We post any kind of interesting picture we have. For the restaurant's board, we have different renderings of the dining room, pictures of the kitchen, links to different articles about food, and I always put a link directing people back to the Royal Sonesta website," McCourtney says. "We use it as a tool to catch people's eye and bring them back to the hotel's website." There is no real means however, of tracking how much interest a Pinterest board is attracting, or any sort of analytics that give businesses using it, feedback about visitors, but for McCourtney and other luxury hotel social media managers, it's worth the time and energy. "We do track which kinds of people pin our pictures on their boards," McCourtney says. "And Pinterest is where people are. You just have to be in front of them all the time."