Budget hotels may be in the game of accommodating people and meeting their needs. But luxury hotels have a responsibility to impress, surprise and leave a lasting impression on their guests.
The luxury hotel industry has become an incredibly competitive area of the hospitality sector. As trends, tastes and particularly technology evolve at a frenetic pace, hoteliers must face up to an arms race that pits them against their closest rivals.
Once upon a time, a complimentary bottle of champagne or some chocolates on the pillow would have been enough to deliver a 5-star feel to customers. But as this has become passé and hotel innovation has progressed, what should we expect from the very best luxury hotels over the coming months? And how will they serve to revolutionise the “guest experience”.
The Internet of Things – IoT
This year’s Global Digital Report revealed some staggering facts. More than half the world now uses a smartphone and there are an estimated 3.773 billion internet users, not to mention the endless amounts of smart objects now equipped with internet access. What this means is that there is a wealth of information just waiting for the hotel industry to tap into, helping them to streamline their services and transform customer experiences.
The hospitality industry is already embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) – the smart technology now inherent in many everyday objects. From heating and air conditioning systems that can be programmed remotely to controlling lights and televisions through voice-activated systems such as Alexa, hotel stays have never been so customizable or convenient.
One particular example of next-generation connectivity and convenience can be seen at DisneyWorld. Through their MagicBands, Disney are combining wearables with their resort infrastructure to give guests access to their rooms, rides, and online accounts through one single wrist accessory.
Inevitably, this technology is making the lives of hotel guests and hotel staff even easier, allowing visitors to navigate resorts quicker and lighter, without worrying about cash, cards, keys and other items. For Disney, the data that can be gathered from these MagicBands will assist them to refine their customer experiences as they track the way their guests interact with rides, rooms and resort facilities.
Smart technology in the likes of air conditioning units and lighting fixtures can also now alert staff members of maintenance issues before the guests even notice that there is a problem – ensuring that errors are fixed and inconveniences remedied faster than ever before.
Given the ubiquity of smartphones, it should come as no surprise that every guest now demands ready access to charging points. Indeed, in hotel chains such as the Marriott, wireless chargers are being rolled out in hotel lobbies, helping those who have travelled long journeys to maintain connectivity the minute they pass through the hotel doors.
As this technology develops we may soon see hotels offering even more sophisticated charging facilities like TechNovator’s XE, capable of charging multiple phones from distances of up to 17 feet.
Virtual reality and robotics
Implementing holograms and robotics into hotels may seem like something from the distant future but in reality, there are already hoteliers innovating with these technologies. A recent study by Hospitality Technology found that 14% of hoteliers think that personal holograms have “real world potential as property concierges/guides”.
Holograms may be popular, but robots are even more so amongst ambitious hoteliers with 22% of hotels in the same Hospitality Technology study stating that robots have a real potential in the hotel industry. The Relay robotic concierge is already in use in 5 major hotel branches including the Residence Inn by Marriott Los Angeles LAX/Century Boulevard. Relay is 3 feet tall, and makes routine deliveries to rooms providing guests with anything from towels to toothpaste to a morning Starbucks. Savioke’s Relay uses WiFi and cameras to summon elevators and navigate its way to and from guest’s room.
Are you looking to create a one of a kind hotel with exceptional decor and hotel contract furniture that lasts? Do you need your furniture to work in unison with your ambitious technological innovations? Why not get in touch with us today and see how we can help. Call us on 01977 66 50 50 today or email [email protected]