Tag: hotel technology

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Binge Watch 'Orange is The New Black' at The W Union Square

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 201 Park Avenue South [map], New York, NY, United States, 10003
June 5, 2014 at 3:28 PM | by | Comments (0)

You know when you’re on the couch watching the Kardashians your favorite TV show, and you want to get up to get drinks/food/an empty bladder, but you don’t want any of that quite enough to get up and move?

You do? Good. The W New York Union Square has just the package for you.

As the name suggests, the new Sunday Binge Watch package is especially designed for couch potatoes. You get your two welcome cocktails (or a basket of beer) in-room. You get a basket filled with movie theater-appropriate candy and snacks. And you get an Apple TV with access to up to three full seasons of the following TV shows: Orange is the New Black, Mad Men, Homeland, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Sex and the City.

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The James Pocket Assistant Lets You Do Anything, Talk to Nobody

May 20, 2014 at 4:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

Welcome to the brave new world of 2014. Where self-checkout stations at your local pharmacy are the norm, not the exception. Where you can text the restaurant with your dinner reservation. Where essentially every customer service innovation is designed to limit the annoyance that is actual human interaction. Because people, man —always yapping, amirite?

That said, even those of us who appreciate a little flesh-and-blood interfacing can’t deny that technology has its perks. The latest brand making use of it: The James Hotels, which just launched the James Pocket Assistant, a mobile app that basically puts a digital concierge in the palm of your hand.

Need a suggestion for dinner or shopping? The Assistant has a “curated insider’s guide” that maps out noteworthy restaurants, bars, and other attractions. Want to impress the wedding ring-less looker in Room 603 with your knowledge of the elevator art? The app offers a “self-guided art tour” throughout the art collections at James properties in Chicago, Miami and Soho. (Of course, it also covers the obvious basics like room reservations and spa appointments.)

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Stanford Court Hotel Now Loaning Guests a Pair of Google Glass During Their Stay

Where: 905 California St [map], San Francisco, CA , United States, 94108
May 14, 2014 at 9:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

As they promised the other month, the The Stanford Court Hotel has now begun offering a Google Glass overnight package for interested guests.

The hotel initially offered free drinks to Google Glass owners but they've now taken the Glass upstairs to the guest rooms. The "Google Glass Explorer Package" offers guests the complimentary use of a pair of Google Glass to use during their stay, along with overnight accommodations in a deluxe room, breakfast in the hotel's Aurea cafe, and a nightly beverage in the Aurea Lounge.

In case you've never tried on Google Glass before, the hotel will give guests a brief tutorial including a creative handout that teaches one how not to be a Glasshole. #sonecessary

The package starts at just $199 a night and is available through the end of the year. Meanwhile, a real pair of Google Glass can set you back a cool $1,500 dollars. Not in San Fran? You can also try on Google Glass during your stay at the ACME Hotel in Chicago.

[Photo: Wikipedia]

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5 Awesome Room Amenities at the Revamped Peninsula Kong Kong

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  Site Where: Salisbury Road, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
May 14, 2014 at 8:49 AM | by | Comments (0)

We knew Peninsula Hotels was spending some serious money to refresh its Hong Kong flagship, and that lovers of tech would be well looked after. Having just stopped by the hotel, we now know what those proprietary bedside tablets look like in their natural environment, and spotted a number of other cool room amenities – including the futuristic-looking thing above.

We honestly had no clue what it was, but in this case we’re not the target audience. Ladies, any guesses? Read on to find out.

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The Delano Las Vegas is Making The Hotel Room Telephone Useful Again

May 12, 2014 at 4:28 PM | by | Comments (2)

We usually associate the Delano brand with design and not necessarily technology but when we peeked into a model room of the Delano Las Vegas, opening September 1 at the Mandalay Bay, we geeked out over the room phone. Yes, the room phone which we actually thought was nearly extinct.

While the phone may look like an ordinary cordless phone with the requisite hotel buttons on the front, on the side, it has a USB port so you can directly plug in your phone for charging.

No more schlepping over to the desk to the plug panel. No more bringing both the outlet charger and the USB cord. Just plug and charge while you sleep.

This is the first time we've seen this sort of phone in a hotel room, anywhere. But we sure hope it gets picked up by hotels, everywhere.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more photos inside The Delano Las Vegas!

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Accor Hotels Getting Digital With The Check-In Process

May 5, 2014 at 10:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

Accor Hotels are getting all digi with it, rolling out a new check-in process that allows guest to check-in online before they arrive. Here's how the high-tech Welcome Experience will work (you can also watch the video below)

1. Two days before their hotel stay, guests are invited to complete their check-in online. Guests must have made the reservation directly through Accor or must be a loyalty card holder.

2. On the day of arrival, guests will receive a welcome message SMS, letting them know that their room and key are ready along with some practical information for their trip (options for getting to the hotel, car park access codes, etc.)

3. When guests arrive at the note, their key is ready to hand over without the "usual administrative formalities" i.e. paperwork.

4. On the day of check-out, guests simply turn in their hotel key to the front desk and then a hotel folio is sent to them by email.

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The Andaz Liverpool Street to Release Room Service App Soon

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 40 Liverpool Street, London, United Kingdom, EC2M 7QN
April 29, 2014 at 1:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel is London is on the cusp of releasing a new smartphone app that strictly handles your room service orders.

With the Ordering App, you can select not just what you want to nosh on but also specific delivery times. Best of all, you can use this app when you're not in your hotel room but you want room service ordered upon your return. No, it's not ground-breaking app technology (we've seen the room service function on the Four Seasons LA app and the Upper House in Hong Kong's app) but it does make your hotel stay a lot easier.

The Ordering App will be released within the month to the iTunes store and we suspect the Android store too. Rates at the Andaz start at around $330 a night on weekends in May.

[Photo: Andaz Liverpool Street]

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Marriott Adds a 'Chat' Feature To Their Mobile App

April 18, 2014 at 10:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

Marriott Hotels officially rolled out a check-in and check-out function to their mobile app earlier this year, making it even easier for guests to get up to or get out of their rooms.

But now Marriott has gone one step further. Guests will now be able to "real-time chat" with the hotel with the Guest Service Requests function. The chat feature is available to Marriott Rewards' guests and allow for two-way text messaging, if you need an extra pillow or have issues with the WiFi. No word on if you can order up a club sandwich at 2 am, but room service is easy enough.

Right now, the text-like chat is only available at 15 properties around the country, and pending its success, will be rolled out to more cities by the end of the year. Right now you can chat with guest services at the New York Marriott Downtown, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile and Marriott San Diego Hotel and Marina to name a few.

[Screenshot: iTunes/Marriott]

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'Ok Glass, Access My Starpoints': SPG Creates an App for Google Glass

April 16, 2014 at 1:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Google Glass hit the market for the general public yesterday for one day only (and for $1,500 a fully tricked out pair) and already, a hotel brand is catering to the Glassholes new owners.

Starwood Preferred Guest announced this morning that they will soon be releasing its SPG app for Google Glass. Here's what you'll be able to do with Glass and SPG:

· Search and Book: Voice search Starwood's 1,150+ hotels worldwide and then book your room
· Explore: Get turn-by-turn directions to any hotel and explore photos of amenities, rooms or local areas
· Check Your Account: Access your Starpoints balance
· State Aware: The state aware technology already found on SPG's mobile app will be implemented here so guests can display upcoming stay details, recognize arrival, and customize experience.

In essence, it's not that much different from what you do on your phone, except you'll be showing off your Glass-ware.

The app has not yet been released to the Google Glass store but it is coming soon. SPG's Glass website also says that the app will be updated based on member feedback and of course, any new Glass features that come out.

[Photo: SPG for Glass]

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The Eventi Hotel Has a New Bar Everyone Will Hit Up, The Business Bar

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 851 Avenue of the Americas [map], New York, NY, United States
April 1, 2014 at 3:36 PM | by | Comment (1)

It's never fun to arrive at your hotel only to discover you forgot your phone charger, or worse, your laptop. We've long believed that hotels should at least carry spare chargers behind the front desk yet keeping back-up tech supplies is still a rarity in this biz. But now at The Eventi Hotel in NYC, they've launched an entire Business Bar for absent-minded gadget hoarders like us.

While the "bar" is not an actual physical bar, the offerings are very real from a selection of Apple products (iPads, iPad Minis, and MacBook Pros) to reading tablets (Kindle or Nook) and even digital cameras and a GoPro. Plus, there's a plethora of tech accessories available too, including the all-important chargers.

All guests need to do is stop by the front desk to reserve their item of choice. The amenities are available on loan for the length of your stay.

Rates at The Eventi, a Kimpton Hotel, start at $379 a night next Monday.

[Photo: Eventi Hotel]

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Take Off in a Tesla at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: One Pico [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States, 90405
March 31, 2014 at 1:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

One of the perks of staying in a luxury hotel is riding in the complimentary house car, which is often a car you'd never be able to afford in real life. We're talking Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous cars like Mercedes, Rolls Royce and Bentley. But now in Santa Monica, Calif., Shutters on The Beach is offering a very 21st century type of house car, one that's quickly become the new "it" brand in luxury--a Tesla Model S.

General manager Gregory Day said the hotel changes out their house car every year but have slowly been moving towards a greener alternative.

"We've always been heavy-Mercedes house," he said, while showing off the Tesla in the hotel's porte-cochère. "We had a CLS 550 when I got here and I think our next one we got, to make it more environmentally-friendly, we got a V6 engine, and then the last car we had was a S400 hybrid Mercedes," Day said. "But the more we learned about it, hybrid isn't that green in a sense because the battery, once it's done, there's no way to recycle it."

The hotel considered electric vehicles but Day said it was hard to find one that would also appeal to their high-end guests. So when the Tesla came out, the hotel dug both its sleek look and its technology.

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At The Berkeley, A Modern Way to Use Hotel Room Keys

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, United Kingdom, SW1X 7RL
March 5, 2014 at 4:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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