Some hotels today have technologies that were once thought to only exist in the movies. But times have changed and hoteliers are embracing the most cutting-edge innovations for attracting the BYOD traveler.
According to CNN, “the new breed of techie lodging is no less a hotel than a Best Buy with blankets.” The news outlet recently developed a list of the top 10 hotels for the technologically savvy traveler that not only support a Frictionless Guest Experience™, but also create a truly unique experience for guests.
While you can find CNN’s entire list here, we selected a few hotels that stand out as forward thinkers by going well beyond Wi-Fi, video-on-demand and satellite radio in the rooms.
Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas: Guest rooms greet you as you enter – literally addressing you by name – while the lights and TV turn on and curtains open to reveal spectacular views. From a single control panel, you can personalize every aspect of your space, including a “good night” button that cuts the lights, shuts the drapes and activates the do-not-disturb sign. In addition, you can customize the lighting, temperature and tunes to wake you in the morning.
Hotel Zetta, San Francisco: A sort of physical “social network,” the hotel boasts a “Playroom” that is a 1,500-square-foot adult space equipped with the latest gaming consoles, as well as old school classics like Atari and Nintendo. An antique red telephone booth is rigged so you can video chat, snap a profile pic or order drinks and food from the bar.
Yotel New York, New York: White walls backlit in purple create an ultramodern atmosphere as you check in at touch-screen kiosks similar to those found at airports, only cooler. The hotel offers the world’s first-ever robotic luggage handler. A 15-foot robotic arm towering in the lobby behind a glass window, the Yobot picks up your luggage and safely stores it in a wall of drawers before or after check-in.
Scarp Ridge Lodge, Crested Butte, Colorado: At an elevation of 9,000 feet, altitude headaches can be an issue. So all guestrooms offer on-demand oxygen systems, complete with touch panels that let you create the exact altitude you’d like the rooms to simulate.
theWit Hotel, Chicago: Within guest rooms, sensor-activated climate controls detect your location and adjust to your body heat. A VoIP touch-screen phone lets you call housekeeping, valet and more without speaking a word. With staff members all connected to the system via iPhone or iPod Touch, they’re alerted to your needs ASAP. There’s also a private movie theater boasting an oversized HD screen.
Clearly it is an exciting time in hotel technology when a major media outlet covers
the latest and greatest innovations. We believe that while many of these innovations have a “gee-whiz” component to them, it is always important to use technologies in ways that enhance the guest experience.
These hoteliers are very much on the cutting-edge of innovation and it may take time for other hospitality providers to follow suit. In addition, the investment into these technologies had to be considerable, which means that only the most high-end hoteliers – who can charge premium prices – can afford to pull this off.
For hoteliers, who don’t have such abundant technology budgets, there are more cost-effective ways to embrace innovation in ways that both pleases the guest and does not break the bank.