Tag: Plug PanelsView All Tags
It had been a long two weeks of travel in Chile and Argentina when we finally hauled our luggage into a room at the Marriott Santiago. That was two weeks of worrying about WiFi, worrying about losing our plug adapters, and worrying that hotel rooms wouldn't have enough convenient outlets for charging all our gadgets. And then we saw this plug strip built into the side of the desk at the Marriott, and there was a big sigh of relief.
Most of the time, for us, Marriotts are too cookie-cutter, too conservative and, well, too American. Finding a small touch like this, however, helps us forgive Priceline for returning with a Marriott as the result of our "Name Your Own Price" search. This may sound super weird, but like how it's nice to slip back into your bed at home, sometimes it's also just really cozy to plug your gadgets into they outlet for which they were made, sans fear of sparks (and yes, we got a small electrical shock from a hotel outlet earlier in our trip, so we're now extra vigilant).
Bonus: the in-room coffee maker at the Marriott is also a US, 110-volt plug. Still, if you want to charge multiple devices at once, be sure to have those round, 2-prong Euro adapters on hand for Chilean outlets.
At this point, we're kind of collecting instances of plug panels showing up in hotel rooms. The latest is an unexpected find, at a hotel that's probably one of the last where someone would choose to do business: The Riviera Palm Springs. Basically if you're staying at The Riviera, you're more than likely just using your room as a place to sleep, dry your swimsuits, and occasionally nap to cool off in the air conditioning.
Regardless, the hotel is surprisingly up on its techas we saw with this outlet and A/V panel built into the mirrored TV table, just above the minibar.
Thumbs up...except for one huge problems we're beginning to notice when hotels get proactive and install plug panels: this won't fit Macbook Magsafe plugs! You know what we're talking aboutthose big white blocks on the end of Macbook cords, with the plug sticking out of it. Sure, you can attach the included Macbook extension cord to get around the big white block part, but then the outlet must be for grounded plugs (which this one luckily is). Ughh, tiny aggravation after tiny aggravation. Welcome to the modern world.
Snapshot / Hotel Technology / Hotel Design / Plug Panels / Monte Carlo Hotels / Kiwi Collection / → All Tags
You know how much we love our plug panels here at HotelChatter so imagine our excitement when we checked into the Monte Carlo Bay Resort in Monaco and saw this on the wall underneath the TV--a plug panel that all languages can understand! (Most of the resort signs are in French, Italian and English.)
We also loved the generously-sized flat-screen TV that hung on the wall opposite the bed. After staying in four different hotels in Europe before this one, we were starting to think that Euros did not like big flat-screen TVs. But the Monte Carlo Bay Resort had this one all turned on with a personalized greeting too.
Room rates at the hotel, which is part of the Societe des Bains Mers, start around 500 Euros a night for a city view room. We actually booked ours through Kiwi Collection for 319 Euros a night which included a great breakfast spread every day. (We may have eaten three croissants one day. Don't judge.)
Plug Panels / Hotel Technology / International Hotel WiFi / Capella Resorts / Dusseldorf Hotels / Germany Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Picture this: you've just arrived to your room in a luxury European hotel. You're tired, a little sweaty, and your phone is out of battery life. Because of the time difference, you've also got to start working on your computer right away, but you can't locate the electrical outlets. A quick, feverish look around the room don't reveal any and thenlike a lightbulb going on over your headyou have the sudden idea to check the desk drawer, and there they are. A pair of polished-up glimmering outlets, an ethernet port and A/V cable ports are right there at easy reach and out of sight. It's brilliant.
It's what we found in the rooms at the 5-star Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel in Düsseldorf, Germany, and we've never seen a plug panel so advanced.
Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Amenities / Plug Panels / Philadelphia Hotels / Le Meridien Hotels / → All Tags
Have you ever wished you could recharge your cell phone or laptop while you're refueling yourself with lunch or dinner? Now you can—thanks to Amuse, the restaurant inside the new Le Meridien Philadelphia. These outlets are located on the edges of the communal table at Amuse, as captured by the team at the Philadelphia City Paper.
The restaurant apparently prides itself on its signature steak frites, but we have to say that this power board is one of the most impressive things we've ever seen on a restaurant menu.
After touring the W Hollywood yesterday (sorry, no photos allowed just yet) we learned that the hotel will be using Sanctuary Chargers in-room. Awesome! But wait, what are Sanctuary chargers you ask?
Sanctuary is a product from Bluelounge that enables you to charge all of your gadgets in one box, by offering a multitude of charging cords from cellphones to iPods, iPhones, PDAs and other gadgets that use a USB or mini-USB port to charge up. In fact, The Sanctuary is capable of charging over 1,500 different types of gadgets. Here's how MacWorld describes using the product:
Using The Sanctuary couldn’t get much simpler: remove the tray, plug in its AC adapter, find the correct cord for your device, thread it through one of the notches, replace the tray, and voilà. A green LED light on the power brick will tell you that your devices are receiving power—if it starts to blink or dim, it’s a sign that you may have too many things connected, and that The Sanctuary has had to reduce its power intake.
It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2009 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year (and the decade) all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.
Last year's must have hotel amenity was High-Tech Recreational Toys in-room for guests to use like Kindles, Sony Readers, Wiis, Rockbands and iPods. But with all these new gadgets at our fingertips, we're gonna need a place to plug them all in. And digging around under the desk or unplugging a floor lamp is sooo last year.
So it makes sense that plug panels became the new flat-screen TV in 2009.
Also called connectivity panels, these gadget hubs are often found on the top of the in-room desks but sometimes they are a part of the TV setup. The panels allow us to plug in our gadgets to charge them up but also to connect our laptops and iPods to the TVs. In fact, rooms with plug panels are actually more high-tech than our own offices and we love that.
We have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. The constant RT-ing, the abuse of hash tags, the "Top That!" and "First!" mentality of Twitterers and their cringe-inducing overshares have us threatening to quit Twitter on a daily basis. But today, we love Twitter again. That's because Twitterer DShelleny tweeted about his woes with too many gadgets and not enough outlets in his room at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. He writes and TwitPics the frustration saying:
Hey @gaylordhotels..great hotel, here's a quick suggestion for you though... http://twitpic.com/m9u4o
That's his TwitPic above. Interestingly, @GaylordHotels (which has four Gaylord Hotels in the U.S.) has 475 followers but absolutely zero tweets. So we're guessing they didn't see DShelleny's @reply yet. Maybe now they have.
Got something you want to tell us on Twitter? Follow HotelChatter here!
Hotel Technology / Plug Panels / Geek Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Openings / Houston Hotels / → All Tags
Hey there tech geeks: next time you find yourself in need of a hotel room in Houston, consider spending the night at the Hotel Sorella which will open on August 16. That's because the hotel promises to have a plug panel that includes bluetooth stereo for guests in-room--meaning they can play music from their iPhones or other Bluetooth-enabled devices through the rooms's TV speakers.
We got the tip from someone who works for the plug panel technology. Here's how it all went down:
I work for a hotel technology supplier and we are installing our first MediaHub panel with stereo Bluetooth at the Hotel Sorella in Houston. I know I've seen a few people chatting about plug panels. The new one going into the Hotel Sorella has a stereo Bluetooth interface so guests can stream music or any other audio through the TV speakers by using Bluetooth - no wires or cables. The catch: you have to pair an A2DP enabled device or one that will work with wireless speakers (not just a Bluetooth headset).
Ok, so what the heck is an A2DP enabled device and how do you know if you have one? Well if you have the iPhone 3G, that will definitely work here. A lot of Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson phones will work with this, as will Palm TREOs. Unfortunately, your first, second, or third generation iPod will not work with this feature. Still, you can just plug it into the panel.
Ta da! Marriott has Plug-in Panels.
We just wrote about Hyatt's similarly named panel. Both panels make it super easy for you to plug in your computer to hook up to the TV, plug in your iPod to play through the TV, plug in your portable DVD player to play through the TV, plug in your video game console (!) to play through the TV, and well, you get the idea.
Unlike Hyatt, though, Marriott's got all the cables for free already in your room.
Geek heaven is this Plug Panel, being rolled out on the "media and entertainment center" at Hyatt Hotels. Basically, we're saying that this panel of connection possibilities is attached to the 42" HDTV and you can go wild plugging in whatever you want.
You can plug in your laptop and use that massive screen to read your emails, or practice your PowerPoint presentation if you're so inclined. You can plug in a video game system or an MP3 player or even a DVD player and you'll still have some spots left over. And it's all in easy reach so you don't have to fiddle about behind the TV in the dark ... been there, done that.