“Hey, Alexa. Order me room service please!”
Hotels will always embrace old-fashioned hospitality but in this day and age, they are also starting to embrace high-end hotel technology. The two go hand in hand when it comes to staying ahead of the curve for providing the ultimate in comfort and class.
Hoteliers have started to adopt some really cool technology to improve the in-room and pre-arrival experience. Think room service robots and hyper-connected meeting spaces.
If you are a boutique hotel looking to give yourself an edge, here are some of the hottest trends on the market to implement in your property.
Imagine, before you even arrive, having a clear sense of what your suite is going to look like. With 360 video and virtual reality technology, that is entirely possible! Several hotels have started to offer virtual room tours or 360 videos on their websites as a way for guests to step into their world, before ever stepping foot on their property. Marriott has also launched a platform called VRPostcards, where you can rent a VR headset during your stay and go on virtual tours of unique destinations. The possibilities with VR and 360 videos are pretty exciting and will encourage guests who’ve never been to your hotel to take the leap and book!
Virtual Reality Tour of Atlantis Dubai
360 Tour of Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Virtual Reality may have come first but Augmented Reality has given it a run for its money. Don’t know what AR is? It’s when a computer-generated image is superimposed on the user’s reality. AR can be experienced through a headset or more practically, from the comfort of your own smartphone. Most AR experiences can be downloaded on an app. Want to see what your food will look like while browsing the room service menu? Use of an AR app can make that possible. Hotels are also using the technology to upsell tours and to share the history of the building, artwork, or more.
Gamification is another way AR can bring delight to hotel guests. By implementing a way for users to collect rewards for using your AR app, you create more engagement and loyalty.
Once Alexa and Amazon Echo arrived on the scene, hotels started jumping on the chance to implement the idea as well. Volara is a company that works specifically with hotels to provide guest-centric experiences with voice-controlled devices. Amazon also created a special version of the echo for hotels. So now, all you have to do is let your device know you want to turn the TV on and your in-room personal assistant will take care of it!
Just like smart home devices, smart room technology exists for hotels. Room temperature, lighting, and energy are all controlled by sensors or by RIFD cards. Some hotels even provide the capacity for you to sync your smartphone or watch device to the rooms controls and to make adjustments that way.
The robots aren’t just coming, they are here. Robotic butlers, maids, and bellboys already exist and hotels have started to test them out. Atheon has a new technology where a motorized luggage carrier will deliver your bags to your room. Aloft hotel has been trying out their own branded Botlr, who will deliver warm towels and cocktails to your room.
It’s no surprise with the rising popularity of crypto-currency, that hotels would start their own rewards programs using blockchain. Loyalty points that accrue through blockchain reduce liability for the hotel and the account holder. Users can manage their points across multiple brand partners without risking their privacy. Strategic Coin has a great resource on the topic and how using blockchain in the hospitality industry is a positive move.
Interested in learning more about these technologies and how to implement them in your hotel? We provide in-depth business strategy and consultation for boutique hotels and resorts and would be happy to help you.