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Hotel guests, travelers, or whatever you want to call them now have a new way to interact with over 500 Marriott properties around the globe. Fire up the Marriott Mobile App, and from there select the 'Mobile Request' option. This allows one to request amenities, services, and other goodies right from your phone—think extra pillows, extra towels, or just some one-on-one hotel attention before your stay.
Morgans Hotel Group / Morgans Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Technology / Hotel Culture / → All Tags
Sleep here for the Unconference
We’ve been talking for a while, now, about how sexy rooms don’t maketh the hotel anymore; it’s all about experiences. And not just ones that cost a wad of money; things that make you culturally richer, instead.
Morgans is the latest to jump on the bandwagon, partnering with
computer programming school technology, business and design educational institution General Assembly. Shrug your shoulders as well you might, but this partnership will provide “groundbreaking programming and educational content to Morgans guests and employees”.
Aloft Hotels / Hotel Openings / Miami Hotel Mambo / Miami Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Technology / → All Tags
The season is winding down in Florida but the hotel scene in Miami remains hot, especially when it comes to new hotels.
Construction has been underway on the former Ankara Motel for a few years now (here's what it looked like when our Miami spy walked by it last July) but Aloft is nearly ready to show off its restoration efforts (the Ankara was built in 1954) as well as its new interiors.
Here's some info on what Aloft saved from the Ankara days and what they added in:
Components of the hotel that have retained their original form include the classic brick walls of the Historic Wing, refurbished Ankara Motel signage and the pool shape. Inside, modern design takes center stage as a translucent staircase welcomes guests into the thriving two-story atrium with custom leather wrapping and a striking light fixture inspired by drum cymbals. Additionally, the bar and lounge features a custom chandelier by Yellow Goat Design made of 1,000 colored acrylic lighting rods descending from the ceiling.
Apple Watch / Apple Watch Hotel Apps / Hotel Technology / Starwood Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Expedia / HotelTonight / → All Tags
We're highly doubtful that an Apple Watch will change the way you stay in a hotel (#googleglass #neverforget) but the watch will give travelers some new technology to try out during their hotel stay.
Starwood Hotels were the first out the gate with an Apple Watch app for their Starwood Preferred Guest program. This app will let guests check-in, check-out and open their room door--should they be staying at one of the 118 Aloft and W Hotels that are equipped with the right technology. On the heels of that announcement, Marriott Hotels said they too would have an Apple Watch app, one that would allow guests to use Apple Pay to book their hotel room at 12 participating Marriott Hotels (the Apple Pay roll-out will begin this summer.) However, you can use the Marriott app to book a room, manage reservations, check-in and check-out, and receive a "Room Ready Alert."
And now, here comes the OTAs.
Hotel Renovations / Hotel Refurbishments / Paris Hotels / Hotel Bathrooms / Hotel Technology / → All Tags
Progress on the Salon César Ritz
Saying the Ritz Paris has been closeted away for a while now is something of an understatement – we're talking July 2012 - but as the interminable renovations finally begin to drag to a close, some concrete information is emerging.
Specifically, information in the shape of this interview with Christian Boyens, the General Manager.
The magic that is keyless entry is nothing new, but we can’t help but feel a little chill at check-in when we learn that it’s an option.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach is the latest property to get the pieces in place before flipping the switch, as they’ve partnered up with StayNTouch to enable mobile check-in among a few other tech treats.
It may be a 1908 Beaux Arts building in the middle of Paris, but Peninsula Hotels made sure when spending hundreds of millions on its first European hotel that besides all the artisans and historians restoring murals, plasterwork, and the like, some serious money was spent on wiring the place up.
The end result? Well over a mile of cabling inside each room (and more in those humongous suites) to make everything – and we do mean everything – controlled through these tablets and / or little touch screens on the walls. Want to take a bath? Touch the “spa” button and lighting dims as soothing music starts playing. Have shoes that need polishing? Drop them in the valet box, press the button, and they’ll be delivered back to you shiny as can be.
With its renovation plans announced, these tablets are on their way to Chicago, and – we have no doubt – to all Peninsula hotels eventually. Check out what’s at the touch of a button below.
Lest Starwood steal all the Apple-related attention, Marriott Hotels have announced they will start accepting Apple Pay at a few U.S. hotels later this summer, becoming one of the first hotel brands to do so.
Marriott already has a bunch of bells and whistles on their mobile apps, including the ability to check-in and check-out (so long as you are a Marriott Rewards member.) And there are plans to have the mobile app open room doors, someday.
But having Apple Pay now will make the check-in process even quicker for Marriott guests. Guests can load their credit card details, even their Marriott Rewards-branded credit card into the app, then hold their phone (or Watch when it comes out) up to an Apple Pay reader at the front desk, before moving onto their room.
"When their device responds with a subtle vibration and beep, the payment information has been securely captured. There will be no need to provide a credit card upon check-in."
Word is Apple Pay will roll out at the following hotels this summer:
Hotel Technology / Hotel News / Apple Watch / Starwood Preferred Guest / SPG / Keyless Entry / Apple Watch Apps / → All Tags
As promised when the Apple Watch was first announced last September, Starwood Preferred Guest has announced their app will allow guests to check-in and open their room door using the watch. No paper, no phone, no kiosks needed.
With today's new presentation on the Apple Watch revealing just how much it can do (SO much), how long it can go without charging (18 hours) and how much it will cost (starting from $349 up to $17,000), SPG has also detailed how their keyless room entry for watches will work.
Just like using your phone as a room key, the watch will only work at hotels that are equipped with the technology. Right now, that is for select Aloft Hotels, Element Hotels and W Hotels, but not all of them. If you're a member of SPG, you're staying at one of the participating hotels mentioned above, and you have an Apple Watch, then you
must be loaded can use your watch to open the room key.
We're assuming it works much like the phone app, where you can check-in and learn your room number all from the app, and then all you'll have to do is wave your watch in front of the door. But we'll find out soon on April 24 when the Apple Watch becomes available to us all.
[Photo via SPG]
Hotel Booking Sites / Hotels By Day / Short-Term Hotel Rooms / Hotel Technology / Hotel Apps / → All Tags
For a while now, we've been keeping tabs on hotels that offer 24 hour stays, meaning you check-in at 8pm and you don't have to check out until 8pm the following day, not the industry standard of 11am. But what about when you just need six hours at a hotel, whether it be for a long layover, to host a meeting or to crash in between meetings, or even to escape the humdrum of your everyday routine? (Writers, you know what we're talking about.)
Enter Hotels By Day.
Available in several cities across the U.S. including Philadelphia, DC, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami and New York, Hotels By Day offers guests rooms for short amount of time, ranging from five to seven hours and at different times of the day, like from 9am to 3pm or 11am to 4pm.( If you want an overnight stay, you're better off sticking with the tried-and-true last minute app, HotelTonight.)
Yes, the model is similar to the hourly rental commonly found at motels but Hotels By Day has legit hotels in their supply, instead of roadside love shacks.
Hotel Renovations / Hotel Reopenings / London Hotels / Oetker Collection / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Technology / → All Tags
Our scepticism about that (already delayed) March reopening for The Lanesborough London turned out not to be unfounded – the hotel now talks about an “end of Spring” return. That makes our estimate of June(ish) feel about right, and a recent walk by Hyde Park Corner does show some progress: the scaffolding that has obscured the hotel from view for so long is starting to come down.
Underneath is a freshly painted/cleaned exterior, and a few glimpses of the interiors are available courtesy of The Lanesborough butlers having taken to Twitter. Hashtags and the Albert Pinto-designed Regency interiors may seem a little incongruous, but among all that period design will be some advanced technology in the form of Crave tablets. From booking a spa treatment to getting a hold of your butler, all you need is the tablet.
The Peninsula Chicago, which opened in 2001, is undergoing a guest room overhaul this year, perhaps to freshen up before new luxury hotels like LondonHouse and Nobu hit the scene. Details are sparse, but here’s what we know. All 339 rooms and suites will be redesigned, with the new décor inspired by the best elements of other Peninsula properties such as:
Accent details from the Peninsula Paris:
Distinct wood and leather finishes from the Peninsula Hong Kong;
Elegant color palettes from the Peninsula Shanghai:
Can you picture a combination of these features? Well, we can’t either but look forward to seeing the most likely beautiful result.
The hotel will up its game in the technology space as well: in-room proprietary Peninsula touch tablets will feature 11 different languages and will control everything in the room from the curtains to the Nespresso machine, plus complimentary long-distance calling via VOIP technology.
Peninsula Chicago enthusiasts, what would you like to see in the newly designed rooms? Do tell.
Peninsula Chicago enthusiasts, what would you like to see in the newly designed rooms? Do tell.
[Photos courtesy of Peninsula Hotels/HotelChatter]