Providing hotel guests with the right information for helping them best enjoy and maximize their stays will always be paramount. Whether it is an actual concierge or augmented support from innovation, guests need additional services from hotels, and it is contingent upon hotels to meet this need.

A recent Hotel News Now article highlights how mobile apps and user-generated review sites are rendering the traditional hotel concierge moot in some cases, although luxury guests still expect personalized service.

The main takeaway from this piece is that technology is not making the concierge go away for good, it’s just making it better. This assessment is very valid and should always be considered when developing a hotel technology implementation strategy.

Of course, countries like Japan are taking things to a different level. The Nagasaki’s Henn-na Hotel recently made major headlines by announcing that it will feature ten robotic staff members to check-in guests, take their bags and escort them to their rooms. The whole idea is to free the hotel chain from using human employees, which may be an extreme approach.

Today’s guests prefer a mix of both innovation and human-oriented services. Being able to make it easier for guests to access information during all points of their stay cycles – first through innovation, then second through the human concierge – is a key priority.

Of course, there are risks in implementing new hotel innovations. For example, finding alignment between pleasing the guest and return-on-investment (ROI) maybe a challenge. This could cause a hotelier to abandon a technology that the guests preferred just because it did not enhance revenue.

Justifying the cost of innovation, and meeting the guests’ needs, will always be a challenge. By developing a human- and technology-centric approach, it could be possible to provide next-generation concierge services that will resonate for the long-term.