Tag: Hotel PhonesView All Tags
Last week, we wondered about the future of hotel phones, noting that the technology of old is all but obsolete in today’s world. While the whole changeover process will certainly take time to implement, we wanted to give you a look at one of the possible future alternatives. And it’s no surprise that the services of a hotel phone will most likely end up being in your purse or pocket in the form of an app.
Neon, for example, is a type of concierge software that gives guests the ability to submit requests and have conversations with the front desk. The app allows the front desk to aggregate and keep track of all the requests that have been logged by guests, and it can respond and message the individual guest. The guest can also view the status of the request, including whether or not it was received (opened) by the front desk.
Check out the short demo video above to get an idea how Neon or a similar software works. While there’s a sense of nostalgia that comes along with losing the old-school desktop phone, we really like the looks of the next phase, especially since you could theoretically use the app while you were out and about during the day.
It seems we've reached a crossroads when it comes to the hotel phone, one that puts hotels in an awkward position when it comes to the next step. Undoubtedly, in-room phones are being used less and less as smart phones (and cell phones in general) continue to tighten their grip on the world. So why not get rid of the damn things?
One hotel executive told us that while there is little revenue from them, they really accept phones as a "need to have" at this point. Although most people have a cell phone, not everyone, especially older travelers, are comfortable using apps to contact the front desk or order room service, and would still prefer to simply pick up the phone and hit a button. There's also the issue of security. If a traveler doesn't have or forgets their cell phone, they need a way to reach the outside world in the case of an emergency. So we can't just straight up get rid of them.
We call it an "awkward" situation because we've reached a point where 9 of out 10 travelers find the in-room phone useless, yet hotels cannot get rid of them due to that one traveler who needs it. The result is a theoretical roadblock that is preventing this much-needed upgrade from taking place -- it seems some hotels simply don't want to deal with installing technically advanced phones until they absolutely have to.
We're all about cool hotel technology here at HotelChatter but sometimes, we just want things to be simple which is why this button found on a Country Inn & Suites phone is right up our alley.
We reached out to the hotel to see if this pizza button was still in service and where the pizza came from but so far, they've not answered us. Don't they understand this is important stuff we're talking about?
Anyways, while the pizza delivery is going to cost extra, the breakfast is free as part of the Country Inns and Suites standard amenities. Rates start at $199 CAD next weekend.
UPDATE, 11:46pm: The hotel has written us back! Here's who the pizza button, still in service, calls:
The pizza button is set to a local dependable business that provides an excellent product. The Country Inn and Suites in Niagara Falls is a very busy hotel. This button is very convenient for the guests in the room and also frees up our guest services team to have more one on one time with guests in the lobby.
The other week during our stay at The Jade Hotel in the West Village, we were tickled to find a working rotary phone on the nightstand. Just when we thought hotels were doing away with the in-room phone, this boutique hotel had to bring it back in an old-school way!
And the Jade isn't the only one. The newly opened High Line Hotel, also in Manhattan, has put rotary phones in their guest rooms as well.
While we do love the novelty there is just one drawback, in an age of emails, text messages and IM, a rotary phone simply takes too long. We only called the front desk and room service during our stay but we just pulled back the 0 number each time. We can't imagine having to do more than that. Also, the hotel really can't advertise great service "at the touch of a button." Perhaps they should stock a regular phone at the desk as well?
We noticed that having a phone right next to the toilet has become standard at a number of hotels, which made us wonder: Does anyone actually use those telephones? On the one hand, we guess they can be, um, convenient. But on the other hand, they are probably infested with germs and the thought of touching one gives us the heebie-jeebies.
Also, toilet telephones always have cords—maybe so there's no danger of them falling in the bowl? So it's not like you can take the phone into other rooms. And we've previously declared corded phones one of the most useless hotel amenities.
Thanks to cellphones, we never have to pay an outrageous Hotel Telephone charge again. Instead, we only use those phones for calls to room service, the front desk and the concierge. In fact, we don't even call room to room anymore because we can just text our friends instead.
But hotels need to keep phones in the room mainly because of security concerns and also so we can order that cheeseburger at 4am. Yet hotels aren't ready to forfeit their landline revenue just yet. And in a way to accommodate guests and their mobile phone habits, hotels are increasingly looking towards smartphone apps. Reuters reports:
We've seen this several times as well. In fact, we listed it as one of the most useless hotel amenities back in 2008. Lately, we've seen it almost exclusively in luxury hotel rooms although some larger suites offer both--a corded phone by the desk and a cordless one near the bed. (Toilet phones are exclusively corded.) But we're still confused by this.
Wouldn't everyone want to go with cordless, especially in this day and age when kids get cellphones at their kindergarten graduations?