Travel app Porter & Sail combines modern travel conveniences with local insights and personalised content, and it’s making its way into Asia
It seems that spring timed its arrival in Copenhagen with mine: the sky was blue, the sun was shining and the flowers in bloom. I’d arrived at hotel SKT. PETRI by train from the airport in an easy and efficient manner — so typically Danish — and upon check-in was told I’d been upgraded, to the clerk’s favourite room in fact, which has a small terrace with a bird’s eye view over the neighbouring rooftops and nearby chapel. A great start to my stay, I’d say, and it would only get better with the help of travel app Porter & Sail.
The app, established in 2015 in New York by tech entrepreneur Caitlin Zaino, is designed for ‘How we travel now.’ This tagline reflects the way that the platform addresses the needs of a new generation of digital nomads, and even those of us who are less tech-savvy, by making hotel stays a seamless experience. Essentially, it combines a booking platform with curated and personalised city guide content — an idea so simple I was left wondering how no one has thought of it sooner. As a frequent (and frankly, discerning) traveller, I was also happy to hear about Porter & Sail’s partnership with the Design Hotels™ group, which means a highly curated collection of properties can be booked through the platform.
While some of the unique content can be viewed on the app, you do need to be a guest at one of Porter & Sail’s partner hotels to unlock all the other benefits. For example, while the room upgrade was a pleasant surprise, the view was not. I’d already entered a set of preferences before arriving, one of which was room type. If I’d chosen to, I could have also used the app to check-in online and accessed my room using a keyless entry system. Room upgrades and add-ons – such as late check-out, spa treatments or city tours – can also be booked online via the user-friendly interface; and you can make restaurant reservations, and even call an Uber to get you there, directly through the app.
Once you’re checked-in, you can hit the ground running thanks to a personalised list of suggested activities, places to eat and drink, and insider tips that often come from local experts. This being my second visit to the Danish capital, I already had a list of locations I wanted to visit (or re-visit), but as I walked or cycled around town, my phone would buzz with notifications letting me know I was close to certain spots: ‘You’re close to this must-see gallery,’ or ‘Hej! A great coffee place is nearby.’
Until recently, the content and hotels has centred around North America and Europe, but the app is now making its way east and has recently added a few of our favourite properties in Asia: Katamama in Bali, The Warehouse Hotel in Singapore and TRUNK (HOTEL) in Tokyo.
Text / Suzy Annetta
Our editor-in-chief stayed as a guest of Porter & Sail at SKT. PETRI and Nobis Copenhagen