Tag: Hotel TechnologyView All Tags
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.
Hotel Technology / Hotel iPads / Hotels with iPads / Intelity Software / Hotel iPad App / → All Tags
Fast forward three years and iPads in hotel rooms are almost ubiquitious these days. Well, in luxury and full-service hotels anyways. And the hotel iPads go far beyond just letting you browse the web. Most hotels have their own iPad apps which allow guests to order up room service, call for their car from valet, ring for housekeeping and more.
Yet if you've not
paid for had the pleasure of fooling around with one of these things, or if you're just curious about iPads in hotel rooms, here are 5 Things You Should Know About The In-Room iPad.
1. The Hotel Spent A Lot of Time Creating Their iPad App: A hotel wouldn't give you an iPad to tool around with without installing their own app. But if you think creating the app involves copying the in-room compendium and adding some images, think again. Depending on what the hotel wants, it can take up to 12 weeks to custom-create the app. That's the estimate given to us by David Adelson, CEO and President of Intelity, a hospitality software solution company, who has done the tablet and smartphone apps for hotel brands like Four Seasons, Element Hotels, Hilton Hotels and many, many, more.
After talking with the hotel to find out exactly what they want and how to realistically implement those goals, Adelson says Intelity will then customize an app platform complete with images, logos and other information provided by the hotel. After that, an Intelity team is sent to the hotel to install the apps and train the hotel's staff on how the apps work. Once the installation is complete, Intelity provides the hotel around-the clock support to answer any questions or help with troubleshooting.
We have to say that we've never seen so much world-wide hotel construction in the last two years. It's exciting business, but it means increased competition for already-established properties. In order to stay in business they have to up their A game and that usually comes in the form of renovations.
But a slap of paint ain't gonna cut it. And not even discounting your hotel is enough. There are plenty of high-end budget hotels out there.
So in the spirit of lending a helping hand, here are 7 Signs Your Hotel Needs an Upgrade. Trust us, in order to run with the big dogs of the hospitality world, pay attention to innovations being made.
Read on for the worst offenders.
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Technology / Hotel Bathrooms / Hotel Mirrors / Hotel TVs / Germany Hotels / Capella Hotels / Dusseldorf Hotels / → All Tags
The Breidenbacher Hof is the closest luxury hotel to the Old Town of Dusseldorf, literally a two block walk to what is commonly referred to as "the longest bar in the world," a series of pubs and restaurants that pour out onto the pedestrian promenade (our sister site Jaunted gave us the scoop on it). Dusseldorf is a beer-drinkers paradise, specializing in a unique style called Altbier, and it's one of those towns where you go out for one drink and end up coming back at sunrise (which this contributor experienced firsthand a few day ago).
But the town is not all beer drinking and belching. It's also home to Germany's largest Japanese population and well known for its luxury shopping, including the Königsallee, which is regarded as the most exclusive kilometer in Germany due to its top designers and exclusive jewelry, perfume, porcelain and antiques shops.
The 95-room Breidenbacher definitely fits in with the latter luxe crowd, having hosted celebrity guests that include Pink and AC/DC. It didn't take us long to notice the flair as we were escorted to the room during check-in by an associate from the front desk, who showed us how all the gadgets work. The room was gorgeous, but what made us crack a smile was when we entered the bathroom and saw the television embedded in the mirror. Upscale hotel, or man's dream bathroom?
We’re all pretty good at playing Monday-morning quarterback when it comes to both good and bad decisions about the layout and amenities of hotel rooms, but have you ever wondered how the hotel industry comes up with the concepts and designs in the first place?
The general public is understandably kept in the dark about most of the development processes for multiple reasons, some no doubt related to competition, but we know hotel chains do indeed test out new room concepts on certain properties before rolling them out nationwide and that trade shows offer the opportunity to see new products in person. While the latter are "temporary," we learned recently that the first permanent exhibition is now under construction outside of Munich at the Hotel-Kompetenz-Zentrum, a center/platform and adviser in all fields of the hotel and gastronomy industry.
One floor of the building is set to become a "hotel without guests" that features "eleven room types, from 3-star comfort to luxury suites, as well as a large reception area with a bar and a café." Each room is designed differently in an effort to try out and showcase various strategies. This allows those in the hotel industry to easily compare rooms, layouts, designs, concepts, etc.
We've griped before about how we can't stand seeing the room service table left in the hallway all day or night. The last thing we want to see as we head back to our room is what you ate for dinner last night or for breakfast this morning. Sorry, but it's true!
That's why we always say take the extra step and call up room service or housekeeping and let them know the tray is outside. (In a really good hotel, room service will call you an hour or so after the meal was delivered and ask if they can take the tray.) However, thanks to this new-fangled technology from Axxess Industries you will never have to call for the tray to be removed.
Axxess' solution is to embed a transmitter somewhere in the room tray or the table--for instance, in the sugar packet dispenser--that automatically sends a signal to housekeeping or room service that the tray has been placed outside the room. The signal can be sent through the electronic Do Not Disturb signs outside the room or through plug-in devices. Fittingly, the technology is called Tray Tracker.
We got a demo of this technology at the Hospitality Design Expo in Las Vegas last May and according to CEO Joerg Wagner, the technology is already being used by several Vegas hotels which have thousands and thousands of hotel rooms, and potentially, thousands of room service trays. Of course, the Tray Tracker doesn't send a robot to pick up the tray. We still need to rely on humans for that. But it does save us the hassle of making the "Can you pick up my tray?" phone call.
[Photo: Axxess Industries]
You know how much we love cool hotel technology here on HotelChatter but today we're spotlighting some hotels that go far beyond offering giant flat-screen TVs, bedside control panels, TVs in the bathroom mirrors and even gold iPads. While we've yet to find a hotel that allows guests to borrow a pair of Google Glasses during their stay, these hotels are truly forward-thinking in their amenities and their experiences,except for the one that offers a cassette tape player in the room. But we had to include that one. We had to!
THE SCI FI HOTEL
Whatever sci-fi fantasy tickles your pickleperhaps plugged into the grid like in "The Matrix," abducted and organ-farmed by aliensthe 9hours Hotel in Kyoto, Japan is about as close to it in real life as you can get. The property is a simple, nearly windowless building in an alley near Kyoto's Kawaramachi Station and, like other Japanese capsule hotels, it specializes in giving the weary worker or traveler one solid night of bare-bones rest in a sparkling clean, sex-segregated environment.
Unlike other Japanese capsule hotels, however, it's prime focus is on good living through good design. Alarms are soundless; ambient lighting gradually awakens the sleeper without disturbing other capsules. Pajamas and basic toiletries are provided, and the WiFi is free (but kept out of sleeping quarters). We paid 4,900 JPY ($48) just a few days ago and would do it again, sci-fi fantasies or no.
THE AV GEEK HOTEL
Speaking of capsule hotels, Japan has actually expanded upon the concept to create a small chain of sleeping pod rooms called The First Cabin. Modeled after the semi-private quarters of airplane first-class suites, each guest is assigned one room identical to the rest. Inside is a large Sony flatscreen TV (only watchable by using the provided noise-cancelling headphones so as not to disturb others), pajamas, basic toiletries, a lockable storage drawer and several power outlets and free WiFi.
Since it's a chain, we chose the Osaka location as the geekiest owing to its libraries of manga novels and its location near Dotonbori, a mecca for foodies. Even better is they're growing; First Cabin currently has branches in Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo's Haneda Airport, but this June they'll debut in central Tokyo's Akihabara district, a name synonymous with "otaku" or geek culture. Rates start at 3,300 JPY ($32) in Osaka and only 2,800 ($27) in Kyoto.
Workspace on Demand / Marriott Hotels / Hotel Technology / Digital Nomad Hotels / Hotel Workspaces / → All Tags
Earlier this year, Marriott Hotels began testing a new workspace program within their hotels, simply called Workspace on Demand. The program allows non-guests to rent out existing public spaces like the media pods at Courtyard by Marriotts and more traditional meeting and board rooms at other Marriott Hotels by the hour, making it convenient and affordable to hold meetings for small groups. Bookings can be made online via the Workspace on Demand website or through the LiquidSpace.com website and mobile app.
Right now, only 35 Marriott hotels offer these rentable workspaces but that will change soon as Workspace on Demand is preparing to roll out in all Marriott Hotels, including Residence Inns, Towneplace Suites, Springhill Suites and Fairfield Inn & Suites.
Katie Tyson, business lead for Workspace on Demand by Marriott, estimates that 300-400 Marriott hotels will have the Workspace On Demand program by the fall of this year. And it could go beyond the U.S. "We see tremendous opportunity for international as well," she said.
Hotel Tech / Hotel Amenities / Tech Hotels / Aloft Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Technology / Hotel Keycards / Hotel Check-In / → All Tags
The back of a sample Aloft Smart Check-In keycard
It turns out that the number of people who check-out of hotels the old-fashioned way is shrinking at an alarming rate. But what about checking in? Are people in such a hurry these days that they can't bear the thought of waiting in line to get their keycard and be told which room is theirs?
In a word, yes. Judging from the popularity of Aloft's smart check-in program, people seriously value convenience over a face-to-face welcome. And the numbers speak for themselves: last month, the program reached 10,000 users, even though only a limited number of Aloft hotels are equipped to use it.
This year, Smart Check-In is set to expand to even more properties all over the world. In case you're considering signing up, here are some fast facts on how the whole thing works.
The next time you find yourself at a Hard Rock Hotel or Casino or Cafe, take a moment to look around and enjoy the TVs and digital signs. Seriously.
That's because Hard Rock has partnered with moving image exhibitor Microcinema International to create mesmerizing digital moving image art that is synchronized with the popular hits playing in the hotels (or cafes) from classic rock jams to today's latest
Bieberpop hit or the latest in EDM. It's kind of similar to the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas that are synchronzied with classical music, except instead of shooting water canons, you see trippy digital art keeping the beat on the TVs and other digital signs.
“As a forerunner in the curation and distribution of moving image arts, Microcinema is the perfect partner for Hard Rock International,” said John Kirkpatrick, head of music and artist relations at Hard Rock International. “Microcinema’s ability to understand our customer base and aesthetic approach produced impressive results and we look forward to continually evolving the relationship between music and visual arts together.”
Here are a few snapshots taken from a Hard Rock Cafe. Just imagine your favorite Rihanna track as you flip through the gallery, or better yet, the new Daft Punk album. #sogood.
All photos courtesy of Hard Rock Hotels
There's no question we were enamored with all of the shiny objects the W Bangkok had to offer us from the moment we stepped foot into gem-toned guest room. The one thing that managed to take us away from the glitz and glam trance was on the bedside table. No, it wasn't the notepad and pen, it was their high-tech wireless tablet that's like a little handheld butler.
The tablet, tempting us with the message, "Do what you want, I'm yours" couldn't get into our hands fast enough. After a few minutes we were trying out all the different settings from the do-not-disturb sign to the climate control and even the preset lighting option; all right from the comfort of our dragon-emblazoned bed.
Photo Gallery / Hotel Design / Hospitality Design Expo / Hotel Furniture / Hotel Technology / Hotel News / → All Tags
This week we attended the Hospitality Design Expo Conference in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and never before have we seen so much hotel furniture in one spot--from chairs and beds to desks and lamps and beyond. It was thrilling for hotel nerds like us.
We'll have more from what we learned at the show next week (keyword: MILLENIALS) but for now, we thought we'd simply show you what we saw. Take a, um, seat and enjoy!