We often cover the latest hotel innovation trends – from robotic butlers to big data to pleasing the guest through the entire stay cycle. While many people embrace cutting-edge technologies, there is always the exact opposite reaction, especially when innovations move very quickly. For the hotel arena, there is a retro movement where offering an unplugged experience is paramount.
Grace Hotels recently made headlines with its new Polaroid Program, which puts a refurbished Polaroid camera and free roll of film inside each of its suites.
This new effort shows that there are those who want to be unplugged in an increasingly digital world. In fact, there are many cafes that no longer offer Wifi in order to discourage those who camp out and work all day, and to get people away from their devices so they can enjoy human interaction once again.
While many of us rely on our laptops and connected devices to remain productive on the road, there is a growing audience of travelers who want the exact opposite. To meet this need, some hoteliers – more on the resort side of the spectrum – are touting how they are destinations for those seeking to get away from technology.
Of course, for business travelers, these are not the most ideal destinations. As we have highlighted before, many of today’s travelers bring at least three mobile devices and expect to be able to use all of them in their hotel rooms.
For large hospitality providers, this strategy may only work in their boutique properties in more tropical environments. However, the key is to know what your guests want and then deliver on meeting these needs.
Innovation will continue be the backbone for pleasing guests in new ways. By finding the right balance, larger hospitality providers can develop ways for enhancing brand loyalty with both retro/unplugged and the tech-forward guests.