Tag: Hotel TechnologyView All Tags
Snapshot / Hotel Technology / Keys / London Hotels / Maybourne Hotel Collection / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
While we're on the subject of hotel room keys today (or lack thereof), we noticed this super cool key system when we stayed at The Berkeley Hotel in the Knightsbridge neighborhood of London last week.
At check-in, (which is discretely done at individual desks off the lobby, with cushy chairs for the guest to sit in), we were handed two small plastic black keys. At first we thought, "Cool, old-school door keys." But when we arrived up to our room, the keys weren't used the way we expected.
Just off to the right of the door handle is a mirrored plate which has the room number. Below that is a little slot for the key, which is actually wired to the door. Once your key goes into the slot, a green light will appear at the top of the key, letting you know the door is ready to open. You can leave the key in the slot too so you don't have to simultaneously insert the key and push the door open.
We've always loved how IHG's Hotel Indigo brand embraces their surrounding neighborhood, often showcasing artwork from local artists, incorporating elements of the area's history into the hotel's design and using locally sourced ingredients in their restaurants and bars. Now, Hotel Indigo is taking all that they know about their neighborhoods and giving it to guests via these cool touch screens.
Called The Neighborhood Guide, the touch screens essentially serve as virtual guidebook for the area. It's fill with the background and history of the specific area, along with tips and recommendations from the staffers at Hotel Indigo, from bellman to bartender to room attendants, on what to do and where to go. The guide also has a photo sharing tool that's linked to Facebook so when you're bragging about where you are on vacation, you can snap a real-time photo of yourself in the Hotel Indigo. #selfietime
Hotels can't stop texting us! But we kind of like it, especially when a free drink is involved.
The newest hotel to try out testing their guests is the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek near Vail, Colorado. Fresh off an extensive renovations of its guest rooms, which brought a more contemporary look to the ski resort, the Park Hyatt is now looking for feedback on the new look from its guests…via text.
At check-in, guests will be alerted that the hotel is interested in their thoughts on the new rooms and will be given a mobile number to text with their opinions. In exchange for typing out their thoughts, guest will receive a complimentary cocktail.
The texting initiative is available through the end of March. We like it because we're in control of the texting, rather than receiving unsolicited or unwanted messages from the hotel. And so long as the texts are strictly about the renovation and won't lead to the hotel "spamming" us with deals or packages, we're cool with that.
Rates at the luxury ski resort in March start at luxury ski resort prices like $799 a night on weekends.
[Photo: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek]
Hotel Room Alerts / Hotel Booking Tips / Hotel Booking Sites / Hotel Technology / Hotel News / → All Tags
What do you do when the hotel you want to stay in is sold-out? You probably exhaust all the options you can--like hitting up every booking site known to man, constantly checking the hotel's own website and perhaps even begging the front desk to try and find you a room. But you can stop all of that busy work, thanks to Hotel Room Alerts.
This new service will send you both a text and an email alert as soon as availability opens up at the hotel you want. No refreshing, no plugging in dates over and over, and best of all, no begging.
The site is linked up to Hotels.com so if the hotel you're looking at is listed on Hotels.com then you'll be able to get the room alert. Once you get the notification, you'll have a direct link into the hotel's listing on Hotels.com to book away.
The notification system works not just for sold-out hotels but also for sold-out room categories. Say you want a room with double beds but those are sold-out. Sign up with Hotel Room Alerts to get notified when a double-bed opens up again.
Keep reading to see what the alerts look like
Speaking of hotel smartphone apps today, Sofitel Hotels' new app is giving its guests an easier way to reserve rooms, check loyalty programs balances and even get some inspiration for their next vacation.
Not to be mistaken for the Accor Hotels app, this one is strictly for those travelers that enjoy the lap of French luxury at Sofitels and want to top-up their Le Club account with stays at the prestigious properties.
After playing with the app for a little bit, we were blown away by the plethora of great photos each address offers up. Besides great snaps, the navigation is easy and simple to not only book a room, but check the destination's weather for the next week and even call or email the hotel with one touch of the screen.
With the Marriott Mobile app, checkout is simple. In the morning of their departure day, Marriott Rewards guests will receive a push notification on their Apple iPhones or Android devices alerting them mobile checkout is available. Upon completing mobile checkout, guests will then be prompted to provide an email address and their bill will be emailed to them, allowing guests to bypass the front desk on their way out.
No more "Irish goodbyes", no more waiting forever for the folio to pull-up on the TV and definitely no more queuing at the front desk with all the other guests at 11am. Of course, this new services has our full approval.
Marriott plans to all 500 properties worldwide in offering mobile check-in and check-out, available in English, Chinese, French, Spanish and German. You can go here to see where the mobile check-in and check-out services are offered.
Since July, Marriott has process 150,000 mobile check-ins while the Marriott mobile app has been downloaded nearly 3 million times. Since checking out is a bit easier than checking in, we expect to see some pretty high numbers for the service in a few months.
The best thing a hotel could do for its website is to make everything easy. Easy to book. Easy to look up hotel photos and information. Easy to view on a mobile device. The new website for South Beach’s Raleigh Hotelgets all these right.
The Miami hotel opened in 1942, and with the help of old Hollywood starlets like Esther Williams, it became one of the hotels that encapsulated the South Beach allure we know today. Fast foward 60 years later to 2012, when hip hotelier Sam Nazarian of sbe bought the historic hotel for $55 million (previously, Andre Balazs had managed The Raleigh.)
Since then, the Raleigh has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. And, though the hotel and website have undergone some major changes, neither has lost any of its vintage glamour or charm.
Is that our Facebook page you keep looking at?
Last week, we let you know that hotels want to text us. If that seemed a little intrusive to you, then look away now.
We've heard a few times recently that hotels are Googling you and checking out your social media profiles before your stay. Hmmm....on the one hand, we don't think that's too bad. The hotel is just trying to get a good idea of who we are, what we like and what we look like. Not every hotel can have a dedicated personal assistant so this is a good way to fill in that hole.
On the other hand,
most of the time sometimes we like the anonymity of hotels that provide. Sure, the front desk will always know our name and our address after we check-in as well as our room number but at least they won't know where we work, went to school, who our friends are or that we spent an hour watching One Direction videos on YouTube yesterday. (Um, for "research.")
Then again, this is the world we live in today--where anyone can find out a reasonable amount about your life with a few quick clicks. So if you're wary of hotels
stalking looking you up, then be careful about what you put out there.
What do you think--should hotels be researching who you are before your stay or should they just aim to be "pleasantly surprised" by you? Sound off in comments below!
Hotel Technology / Starwood Hotels / Keyless Entry / Mobile Check-Ins / Aloft Hotels / W Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
In case you've already forgotten, our #6 resolution for hotels to adopt was more mobile check-ins with "bonus points if they offer keyless entry too." Well, it looks like Starwood Hotels will be getting an envelope of bonus points from us.
The hotel brand announced yesterday that members of its Starwood Preferred Guest program will be able to test a Keyless Mobile Check-In via the SPG smartphone app. Take a look at how it will work:
It's not that much different from the Smart Check-In that Starwood first started doing with its Aloft brand, except the app replaces the special SPG member keycard.
Starwood will be testing this new keyless technology at Aloft hotels in early 2014 with plans to roll it out in Aloft and W Hotels after that. You can apply to be a tester here but you have to be an SPG member first.
Has anyone else noticed that all the latest customer service movements have revolved around decreased interaction with the staff? From self-service check in to the growing trend of text message services, one would assume that hotel goers would rather not interact directly with anyone from the hotel.
Marriott and Hilton, for example, have for sometime allowed guests to request their car from the valet via text. And now a few hotels are experimenting with mobile concierge programs that enable guests to text for housekeeping (extra pillows, towels, etc.) or even dinner reservations.
The main reason for the rise in text technology within hotels is that it
further addicts people to their smartphones saves a lot of time when compared to making a phone call, fosters relationship building between hotel staff and the guest.... hmm... well, maybe we had it right the first time.
Today's HC question comes from Doug S. who's looking for some seriously cool in-room technology. He writes:
Just wondering if there is a luxury hotel with high end audio for the audiophile with wanderlust? If so, could you send me what must be a short list?
Indeed, it is a short list. While most new hotels have the capability for guests to plug their smartphone, computer or tablet into the TV for a better audio experience, not all hotels have high-end audio systems. But here are a few hotels that make sound a priority.
Cool / Hotel Technology / Hotel News / Magic Bands / Disney Hotels / Disney World Hotels / → All Tags
Over the summer, it came out that Disney World would be testing some new technology called Magic Bands. The electronic bracelets would essentially serve as park tickets, so you won't have to scramble in your purse, wallet or pocket for your tickets.
But the bands do a lot more than letting you into the park. If you're staying at one of the Disney Resorts you can use these bands as your hotel room key. Here's how one of the reviewers on the forum MouseChat described the process:
It is your room key. So you tap and open the door. You have to touch the mickey icon on your door precisely. So Mickey to Mickey to get the door to unlock. Same thing to get to a concierge floor with the elevator, just touch the Mickey on the elevator and the Concierge level floor button will light up. The only thing is, it can be tricky getting the band to line up exactly and we found ourselves contorting our wrists to get the door to open or the elevator to light up.