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We have a bit of a thing for lamps here at HotelChatter. Classic lamps. Kooky lamps. Lamps with electric sockets in them. Lamps that take up the only socket in the vicinity of the desk. Tall lamps, bedside lamps, chandeliers swinging from the rooftop – we love them all.
So we were totally in our (electrical) element during a recent stay at the Attwater in Newport, RI. Newport, of course, has plenty of exceptional lamps in all its Gilded Age mansions, but the Attwater could give The Breakers a run for its money with this lot.
The luxury Jumeirah Carlton Tower (which, by the way, was just named England’s Leading Business Hotel at the World Travel Awards) and boutique Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel, both in London's spiffy Knightsbridge district, have announced that their services will be upgraded to include an iPad in each room.
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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.
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The answer is: of course not! But this is The Burj Al Arab and whatever their high-paying guests want, or think they might want, they will get. Hence the new 24 carat gold iPads that are now available in all guestrooms. (No doubt, these will show the Emirates Palace just how silly their gold Christmas tree was!)
The iPad will be loaded with the Burj Al Arab's own virtual concierge software, enabling guests to order up whatever they wish through the iPad. The glittering iPad is just one of the latest high tech amenity additions to the Burj which already has iMacs in each room, plasma TVs and private butler service. Fortunately, the WiFi is free.
But as Business Insider points out--the starting room rate is $1,500 so perhaps offering up gold iPads is the least the Burj could do.
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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.
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We know, that word immediately conjures up images of post-economic collapse 2008 and the hospitality world's desperation to keep folks traveling but we were dying to get away, even if it was just 20 minutes from our house.*
Now we've covered the Four Seasons extensively here on HotelChatter--from the Culina restaurant to the renovated rooms, the pool scene, the free WiFi and even the owner's penchent for succulents so there wasn't much that surprised us during the stay.
However, we did spend a lot of time using the hotel's in-room iPad 2. And since iPads in every room is fast becoming a Four Seasons brand standard (many of their new and soon-to-open hotels have them), we thought we'd give you a run down on how to use it.
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This week the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals put on their annual HITEC conference in Baltimore and while we couldn't attend ourselves, we did hear back from an attendee who shared these two bits of "chatter" with us.
1. In-room iPads Might Be Dirtier Than the Remotes: Our attendee spy overheard folks talking about how housekeepers often find in-room iPads in the bathroom, next to the toilet after a guest has checked out. Vom. Now we need to add the iPad to the list of things covered in poop in hotel rooms.
2. Women Don't Touch the Remotes Because Men Have: Apparently, there's a high percentage of women who aren't using the hotel room TV remote control because they are skeeved out by what men who stayed in the room before them may have done with that remote while watching pay-per-view movies. Um, and do you blame them? Just another reason to download the LodgeNet Mobile App. Or else make good use of the hotel room shower cap.
Got any more observations--good, bad and gross--to share from HITEC? Send it along!
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Ah, Greenwich, Connecticut, home to finance and insurance companies plus blonde monied madams (both young and old) sporting twin-sets and driving fast cars. Corporate viking GE is in nearby Fairfield, and they also come to play here. So, it's fitting that an old HoJo hotel was torn down to make way for the new J House opened last month care of Brenwood Hospitality Group. We drove our beat-up minivan to the hotel, handed it to the valet with nary a blink, and went inside for a look.
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The rumor is true: a new boutique hotel is indeed opening this Spring in Chicago, whose burgeoning new hotel scene is really starting to gather some serious momentum.
Just over a block from Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s Near North neighborhood, the new Ivy Hotel has staked its claim on a 15-story, vacant office building set to open in April as the only true boutique luxury hotel in the city.
“There is no one else in the city who will be so small and so luxurious,” said the hotel’s Managing Director and family rep, James Cazares. A big claim, but we're ready to play along; especially the way they’re selling it. Picture a modern high-rise spanning 15 stories with only five rooms per floor—the majority of which will be suites (52 out of 63, to be exact)—plus espresso machines, mirror TVs, and sea salt soaking tubs.
What Is This? / Hotels with iPads / Hotel Furniture / Hotel Design / Hotel iPads / Hotel iPods / Hotel Technology / Hotel Amenities / Newport Hotels / → All Tags
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our newest series, What is This? is devoted to odd-looking items in hotel rooms that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
On Monday we were snooping around the gleaming Italian-tiled atrium inside Forty 1 North. What we also happened to find inside the rooms was this plastic framed hole in the wall. No, it's not an air freshener. And no, it's not art. In fact, it doesn't 'do' something as much as it allows for something else to happen.
What could it be?
The gadgets will be loaded with ICE Technology which will enable guests to make restaurant reservations, order room service, book massage at the spa, put in housekeeping requests and call up their Porsche from valet, all through the iPad.
Now, while hotels using iPads in the rooms to perform functions that a telephone once took care of is nothing new, this is a huge step for an older luxury brand like Four Seasons Hotels. And the FS LA is not just the first hotel on the West Coast to have this technology but also the first Four Seasons hotel in the world to feature it. Yeah, they're kind of a big deal.
New York's Amsterdam Hospitality Group, the folks who brought us Chuck Bass's hotel, er The Empire Hotel and the Marcel at Gramercy have just announced a complete redesign for The Moderne Hotel on W. 55th Street. That's The Moderne above, getting worked on.
The renovation, done by design firm Goodman Charlton, will revamp the hotel's 40 guestrooms, communal lounge space and the business center. Here's a wordy bit on the new design:
The hotel’s 40 sleek and sophisticated guestrooms will provide an ultramodern interior, featuring an oversized tufted white leather bed draped in extravagant Belgian linens, a polished stainless steel desk and a Charles Eames-inspired black and white woven carpet.
In addition to donning bold original abstract artwork, each richly appointed guest room reflects the whimsical spirit of the 1950’s Color Filed art movement, featuring works inspired by influential artists such as Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis. Lush red parachute nylon drapes block out the harsh light of day, and reveal the energy and excitement of the neighborhood when parted.