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Yesterday, we showed you a newfangled device that helps guests suss out all the dining/beverage/activites options available in the hotel they're staying at. But what if you're so darn
lazy comfortable that you'd just rather not leave your room at all?
Well, the obvious answer is: room service.
But SLS South Beach takes that notion one step further, with a new feature on the hotel's app called "Bring Me Bubbles." With the tap of an iPad screen, you can rush-order a $50 bottle of Avinyo Cava or, if you're feeling generous, then perhaps a $148 bottle of Lanson Ivory Label Demi-Sec Champagne—and it'll show up at your door in less than 20 minutes.
There's no exact science to veging out in your hotel room, though there are certainly creative ways to enhance the experience. Ordering up extra pillows. Creating a mini steam room in your bathroom. Putting on the hotel's custom spa music CD.
And here's another: using the LodgeNet app to change channels, adjust the volume and turn the TV on or off—all from a quick tap of your iPhone, iPad or Android. As we reported before, the LodgeNet app is just one of many new tech tricks that are simplifying trivial hotel tasks like booking your room, checking in, and even opening the door upon arrival. And we love them.
We spent some time recently playing with the app in our hotel room. Read on to hear what we thought!
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Eventually, it's going to get pretty boring writing (and reading!) about every single hotel that launches a partnership with LobbyFriend, the newest hotel social media and city guide app to set the hotel world on fire. But for now (we hope), the excitement is still there...
If for no other reason than that LobbyFriend is so darn secretive about which hotels they've partnered with!
The Lungarno Collection, a boutique family-owned consortium boasting four hotels in Florence, Italy, will be the first European hotel brand (and only the second worldwide, that we know of) to offer the technology. Giving guests that much more of an opportunity to practice their shaky Italian.
What is LobbyFriend, you ask? It's the newest travel app to hit the market that's designed to make you feel bad for not socializing enough when you stay at a hotel. OK, it's more than that. And for many people, meeting other guests is exactly what they prefer to be doing in a hotel. For others, not so much. But LobbyFriend isn't just a Facebook for hotel guests.
The new app, which is available on iPhone, Android and mobile web (BlackBerry is coming in June), is making its big launch this month at Tryp Times Square South, and has reportedly linked up with over 50 other hotels.
So, what does LobbyFriend actually do? And how can you use it? Read on to see our conversation with LobbyFriend co-founder, Jason Ayoub!
If lack of inspiration has been the one thing stopping you from a long weekend in Miami this fall, then here's something that might get your creative juices flowing. Out magazine, in collaboration with ultra-gay hotel Lords South Beach, has devised a new travel app called Out-N-About, designed to aid (mainly gay) travelers navigate all the cultural offerings of the city.
Out and Lords are calling the program a "digital concierge," and it can be downloaded for free onto your iPad, iPhone or iPod. It's tough when we hear about these hotel-generated e-travel guides. On the one hand, we love exploring places on our own (walking down dark side streets has landed us at some pretty great parties); on the other, we find it hard to ignore any new service a hotel has to offer—especially when the hotel has enlisted the help of a few cultural experts. Four of them, to be exact.
Apple has just unveiled their new
iPhone5 iPhone 4S which doesn't look that much different from the iPhone 4 but on the inside, things have been changed up drastically. Most exciting is the addition of Suri Cruise, er, Siri, the voice recognition app who will serve as your "humble personal assistant" telling you when you have a meeting, what the weather is like today, sending your text messages and picking out a restaurant for you to dine at.
Even though we've not had much success with voice recognition, Suri, er, Siri does promise to be life-changing. Provided she's actually understanding what you're saying.
Naturally, if Apple is demonstrating Siri's ability to pick out a restaurant in a certain neighborhood in their keynote address, we can't help but wonder if Siri can help us find a hotel room.
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If tech-savvy types are correct in their assessment that "[t]he future of mobile is the future of everything"—and what a bold statement to make—then Firmdale Hotels' business future is looking up. Jumping on the very full and happy mobile technology bandwagon, the hotel chain has just released its own iPhone Application, downloadable by clicking here.
The hotel named after the 1950s Italian hit song Tu Vuò Fà l'Americano (which literally means, 'You want to be an American') has finally opened its doors. And in addition to its homegrown Chelsea glamor, its bento boxes, and its impeccably golden location, now The Americano has one more thing to sing about: its own iPad/iPhone app.
We already knew the hotel was fond of
name-dropping its community—quite a number of the better-known Chelsea residents have already appeared on the Americano's candid "neighborhood" blog. Now, taking the neighborhood-y, insider-y angle one step further, they've tapped a few more neighbors to provide personal recommendations on exploring the city. People like architect Enrique Norton (the man responsible for the hotel's austere mesh facade). It's an insider's game, you know?
Ready to take your next West Coast road trip to the next level? Check out this $0.99 iPhone/iPad app by GuideGecko, which organizes over 200 hotels—by state—along the 1,250 mile journey from San Diego to Seattle. And for all you jet-setting winos, there is even a special category built for California Wine Country.
While travel guidebooks can certainly be helpful in providing local info, listings, and some photos, no 500-page Lonely Planet can ever become as fully integrated (or as lightweight) as an app like this. Want to call and check availability? You're already on your phone. Want to book online? Tap away. Got lost along the way? All of the maps can be accessed offline.
Hotel brand and booking service Mr and Mrs Smith did what all the cool kids are doing these days and made a hotel-booking app. But the company's free Plan and Play app will also encourage travelers to be bad.
Okay, we aren't talking Charlie Sheen crazy-bad here, but it does encourage naughty behavior with someone. It comes with a Truth or Dare function, where you can shake your iPhone to play a risque round. The app also has an excuses generator that offers an email template that you can edit and then send off to your boss so you can go play hooky with your date.
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Remember, hotel guests who check into the Ace from now through September 30 get to use the Chromebook during their stay and out on their adventures through the city. And it comes in a nifty customized felt slipcover. Of course, if you don't return it, the Ace will charge you $499.
Initially, we though the program was just for hotel guests but the Ace actually says that hotel visitors can check one out too. Just simply ask if there's one available at the front desk.
Grace Hotels has come up with a good way for you to remember to bring the toothpaste on your trip. The hotel group launched a new app that is a packing check list and task reminder.
Appropriately dubbed Saving Grace, the app offers preset lists for various trip types, including winter, summer, activity holiday or short break. It also breaks it down with specific lists for surfing, cycling, golfing, fishing and camping.