It’s no surprise that tech-savvy guests are looking out for the latest amenities as a part of their hotel experience. Millennial guests in particular demand total convenience and seamlessness, and high-tech features can help hotels offer that with a high level of personalization.
Whether it's a virtual concierge or a digital room key, hotel operators are adopting more and more technology to meet customer expectations.
Coping with volatility
Noble House Hotels & Resorts, for example, found that incorporating new technologies helped them cope with volatility and emerge from the initial pandemic restrictions with improved efficiency and convenience for guests.
We’ve identified seven innovations that will help position your property as especially modern and forward-thinking in order to build brand loyalty for years to come.
1. Robots and artificial intelligence
From housekeeping to the front desk, robots have become a go-to at many hotels, especially as they face increasing staffing shortages. On a busy day at Yotel in New York City, the “Yobot” — a robotic luggage handler — organizes around 300 pieces of luggage, up to 500 pounds each. Combined with Yotel’s check-in kiosks, this creates a contactless and conversation-free interaction — a perk used by about 95% of travelers.
SaviOne, a service robot used by the Aloft Cupertino hotel in California, delivers meals and other hotel amenities (like extra toothbrushes or phone chargers) to guest rooms by navigating the hallways with cameras and sensors.
On the other hand, Blow Up Hall 5050 in Poland has gone the opposite route by eliminating the front desk completely — no robots necessary. Guests use their smartphones to check in and gain access to their room, which is identified on a map of the hotel and unlocks upon arrival.
2. QR code customer support
Given how ubiquitous QR codes have become in the past few years, some hotels are using this technology to connect guests with a hotel staff member instantly through real-time video chat. Hospitality teams have also found QR codes to be a reliable and cost-effective way to offer contactless services such as digital menus or to deliver feedback surveys, promotions and loyalty programs.
3. Touchscreen consoles
The need for touchscreen consoles has only grown since the onset of COVID-19. More travelers than ever are looking for contactless check-in experiences and assistance throughout their stays.
London’s COMO The Halkin hotel offers touchscreen consoles in guest rooms, which can be used to call a staff member, control light switches, adjust room temperature and activate a “do not disturb” mode. At the Eliot Hotel in Boston, the digital concierge can be used to order room service or extra amenities, or to request the nightly turndown at a specific time.
4. Smart bathrooms
In addition to their digital concierge services, the rooms at Hotel Beaux Arts in Miami have waterproof televisions built into the bathroom mirror. Smart bathrooms can also ensure water temperatures are consistent, improving the guest experience and reducing operating costs.
5. Iris scan security
In addition to private jet transportation, an on-site chauffeur, and champagne and caviar menu items, the Cloud Suite at the Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel in Boston has an iris scan security system to ensure only the right individuals are granted access to each room or suite. Our smartphones have already gone from fingerprints to facial recognition — iris scanning might be the key to true security in the future.
6. Infrared Body Scanners
One of the more advanced technologies hotels have started to implement are infrared sensors that can silently scan rooms to detect body heat. At Hotel 1000 in Seattle, these are used to alert cleaning staff of guest presence in the rooms, ensuring that no one is disrupted during their stay.
7. Virtual reality experiences
Hotel 1000 is one of many to offer a high definition golf simulator, where guests can home their swings and play some of the top-ranked courses in the world without ever leaving the property. But VR experiences don’t end with golf. Hotel Zetta in San Francisco has a full room dedicated to VR, as well as Nintendo Switch consoles and Oculus VR headsets that guests can take up to their rooms to try. And each room is equipped with Alexa-enabled voice controls.
It can be overwhelming for hotel leaders to figure out which trendy high-tech amenities will offer the most value to their guests, but hotels around the world are seeing success with these seven ideas. Consider which additional features you can implement to attract tech-oriented guests and offer the most seamless experiences possible.
PressReader is working with hotel leaders around the world to improve the guest experience. Learn more about how we’re partnering with members of the hospitality industry to help their properties stand out.