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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]
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The 3D TV
Anyone who loves hanging out in hotels* will know that the downside of gorgeous spaces, people-watching and nice bathrooms is usually the premium price. £15 for an entry level cocktail in a nice London hotel? Yeah, we’ll reluctantly swallow that, it’s par for the course.
Not so at the Eccleston Square Hotel, though. Until the end of March, it’s offering £4.95 cocktails from 5pm-8pm Monday to Saturday.
Yes, cocktails for under a fiver. In London. In a nice hotel. And not at an hour where drinking incurs funny looks.
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We love Instagram. It's a simple social space where we can enjoy family and friends' intimate photos while at the same time stalk celebrities, pick up fashion tips, laugh at animals doing adorable things, drool over dishes from exotic restaurants and best of all, admire crazy killer views from all over the world.
But is it a place where eyou want to book your hotel room? Conrad Hotels hopes so.
The Hilton Hotels brand has partnered ups with Like2Buy technology to allow followers to book a hotel through Instagram. Here's how it works:
Hotel Robots / Japan Hotels / Hotel Technology / Huis Ten Bosch Hotels / Theme Park Hotels / Robot Receptionists / → All Tags
We've always joked that with the advent of mobile apps in hotels, guests will no longer need human interaction to make their room service request, pull up their car from valet or ask for more towels from housekeeping. But maybe we should be more concerned about hotel robots eradicating the human experience?
A newly announced hotel in Japan's Netherlands-like Huis Ten Bosch theme park will be staffed with robots at the reception desk. And not the Botlr kind of robot but robots that have a human likeness to them and who can engage in "intelligent conversation" with guests. #CREEPY. There will be other "service and porter" robots similar to Botlr who will do the menial tasks like cleaning and presumably bringing up that toothbrush you forgot. But let's be real, they won't be able to make a bed now, will they?
Keyless Entry / Hotel Technology / Hotel News / Caesars Entertainment / Viva Vegas / Las Vegas Hotels / eKey / → All Tags
There are many things that you can lose in Vegas--money, inhibition, dignity, and most certainly your room keys. Raise your hand if this happened to you not once but twice this weekend in Vegas. Oh? We're the only ones?
But if you're staying at The Cromwell Las Vegas, a part of Caesars Entertainment, there's no way to lose those pesky key cards at 2am as the hotel has just announced mobile keys, aka keyless entry, or as Caesars is calling it, eKey. The boutique casino hotel (formerly Bill's Gambling Hall) is now part of exclusive club of hotels that offer keyless entry.
Here's how it works:
Hotel guests using the eKey will receive a link to download The Cromwell app and an access code tied to their iOS device and reservation. When the app is downloaded, guests enter their ID number and will be able to enter their room by placing their iOS device next to the lock. The eKey will also activate the hotel elevator as a traditional key would.
And here is a helpful illustration:
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Hallo! There's a bunch of news flying around and we're having trouble getting to it all, so we've packaged the tidbits up nice and neat for you to read about here. Enjoy!
· BEHIND-THE-SCENES STRUGGLE IS HAPPENING AT ACE HOTELS: Alex Calderwood, the man who founded Ace Hotels, passed away last November, shocking those close to him and those who like us, just loved his hotels. His presence can still be found throughout the Aces, including in illustrated format at the Ace Hotel DTLA. But now his estate is asking for a bigger presence. We received a media alert which said the following:
The estate of the late Alex Calderwood has filed suit against Ace Group International LLC (“Ace”), its member Ecoplace LLC, and board member Stefanos Economou. Calderwood’s estate is the majority stakeholder in Ace and is asking the court to declare that it, not Ecoplace or Economou, has the right to control and manage Ace under the Ace membership agreement and Delaware law. The case is pending in the Supreme Court of New York for New York County.
Calderwood, who passed away in November 2013, was the founder and creative force behind Ace and its collection of successful Ace Hotels. Aspen Ace LLC, with Gordon Sondland as President, was established to advise and represent the estate on behalf of the Calderwood family.
Ay, yi, yi. We hope this ends amicably.
UPDATE 1.20.15, 5:00PM PST: A rep from Ace Group International has sent over this statement on the lawsuit.
Upon Alex Calderwood’s death, his interest in AGI passed to his estate which is administered by his father Thomas Calderwood. AGI’s operating agreement states that the estate's interest is a profit/distribution only interest and that it has no management rights. Stefanos Economou and the rest of Ace’s management team have been operating the company since Alex’s death. A lawsuit was filed which requests a broader role for the estate. We believe that this lawsuit is without merit.