Digital Designs for One-of-a-Kind Guest Experiences
In the hyper-competitive hospitality industry, repeat business is gold. These days, hotel properties are seeking to secure brand loyalty by taking bold steps to revamp their room designs and appeal to the technology needs of a connected traveler as well as eco-conscious guests. Hotel properties around the world have are experimenting with guest room technology and offer high-end digital amenities to create one-of-a-kind guest experiences.
Last year, high-tech boutique hotels made headlines with their innovative offerings and digital room designs. Properties like theWit Chicago, the Yotel New York City and Nine Zero Hotel Boston have introduced futuristic room amenities like an in-room body heat sensor to automatically set and regulate air conditioning, a giant robotic arm to store luggage for you, and iris scanning in lieu of room keys.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced earlier this year that plans are in motion for guests to soon be able to unlock their rooms with their smartphones via a mobile app, hoping to herald this as the biggest technological development since free Wi-Fi. By converting guests’ personal smartphones into room keys, a bottleneck in customer service is eliminated and guests can enjoy more time relaxing, taking advantage of amenities, or tending to personal business. Other brands are looking closely at this development closely, observing how it will be received.
The trend seems to be to implement “digital” in every facet possible to make the guest experience as convenient as possible: the Peninsula Hotel Tokyo offers a tablet bedside control panel, the Hotel Zetta San Francisco boasts 46-inch smart TVs in every room that sync to your personal device, and the Eventi Hotel in New York City, for example, provides guests with a buffet of devices ranging from iPads and reading tablets to GoPro cameras. In addition, the Opus Hotel in Vancouver is among a growing number of hotel properties that provide iPads and tablets in every room with access to daily full-content newspapers.
Even traditional elements of the hotel room are digitizing. Recently, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts announced it will introduce environmentally-friendly, digital newspapers and magazines as an alternative to distributing approximately two million print publications, including the Kerry Hotels and Resorts and Traders Hotels.
The global hospitality industry is taking great strides to digitize their rooms and their offerings. It is an exciting time, and we can be sure to anticipate more trendsetting innovations to come.
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