Clean bed sheets, fresh towels, polite receptionists and decent room service are the things guests expect to have in every hotel regardless of a number of stars it has. This is because the hospitality industry has always kept the bar high in terms of the quality of services, and technologies have often been an essential part of positive advancements in this field.
Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine a four or five star hotel that is not technologically equipped. Such things like automated door locks and free Wi-Fi have already become commonplace amenities. But if everyone has them, is it even possible for hoteliers to make their hotels stand out from the crowd? The answer is “Yes”. Introducing smart devices to the hotel rooms is something that will not only improve the overall operation of a hotel but also greatly enhance a guest experience.
In this article, we collected the most interesting and innovative solutions for smart hotels that will definitely wow your visitors.
Remote control tools
These tools allow for the remote management of a hotel room. Guests can easily control digital devices in a room even when they are not there. On top of that, remote control tools let guests and hotel administration create a room environment specifically adjusted to conditions and needs at hand.
A good example is the ABB-tacteo KNX sensor. It is designed for high-end luxury hotels and helps create a cozy atmosphere in a hotel room. Specifically, this sensor deals with such functions as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting and even make blinds move automatically depending on the position of the sun. The ABB-tacteo KNX sensor can also perform some hotel management tasks such as load activation, do not disturb settings and room number signaling.
A smart mirror is a combination of a regular mirror and a touchscreen where a guest can check their email, get some relevant information like the weather forecast or surf social media. Basically, guests can see their personal dashboard by looking in the bathroom mirror while brushing their teeth!
Besides that, smart mirrors may have virtual concierge tools integrated into them, so guests can order some services while enjoying their own reflections. This also opens new opportunities for the promotion of mark-up services a smart hotel offers.
In addition, some smart mirrors go with a language recognition feature which means that they can serve as a voice assistant.
Another option of a smart mirror is a television integrated into a bathroom mirror. It allows guests to watch their favorite shows and not to get bored while they do their daily bathroom routine.
To truly fascinate hotel visitors, it’s also possible to combine several variations in one smart mirror. For instance, Remi, a smart mirror for smart hotels, can be either a TV or a virtual concierge.
Smart speakers are another smart home technology that can be used in a hotel room. These devices have already become a hospitality trend of 2018 and their popularity keeps growing. Some companies even started developing separate versions of smart speakers to be used in the hotels.
For example, in January 2018, Amazon introduced Alexa for Hospitality for Echo Smart Speakers, a voice assistant that allows guests to order room service, play music, control lightning and request more towels without the necessity to call the reception. On top of that, hotel visitors can ask Echo some questions related to hotel services and a city like what time a pool closes and what are the recommended restaurants nearby.
It’s also expected that guests will be able to connect their personal Amazon accounts to Echos with Alexa for Hospitality in the nearest future, so they can have an access to their music and audiobooks.
Robots are also a popular way for hotels to go smart and attract a growing number of visitors. And although it’s more about automation of simple and routine tasks like delivering toiletries to hotel rooms, guests are usually excited to interact with artificial intelligence and are ready to pay good money for such experience.
Speaking about the practical value of having robots in a smart hotel, the opportunities are indeed unlimited or better to say — limited only by your budget. For instance, robots can meet guests at a reception desk, provide them with different information related to a hotel, deliver items and food to rooms, store luggage and many more.
If you still feel hesitant about getting robots for your hotel, we recommend you to visit Japan. Several Henn na Hotels there are run mostly by robots with minimum human intervention and a great part of an available reservation is booked up for months ahead.
Virtual reality technology can also significantly enrich your smart hotel and make a guest experience really unique and memorable. It’s mostly used for entertainment purpose, but, as with robots, the opportunities are limited only by your imagination and the amount of money you’re ready to spend.
The most popular application of virtual reality in hotels is virtual tours which guest can take by watching videos of local attractions via VR headsets. This, of course, cannot replace a real experience, but it helps guests decide which places to visit and which excursions to buy.
VR headsets are also used to entertain guests in hotels. For example, they can be placed in common areas like lobbies so guests can explore different virtual worlds (e.g. space, a ghost house) in their spare time.
Besides, hoteliers may consider introducing VR technology in sports and fitness areas. By doing so, visitors of their smart hotels will be able to take a run or ride a bike enjoying different virtual landscapes.
A story of One Aldwych, a five star hotel in London is one of many successful use cases of virtual reality application. When guests order a whiskey cocktail there, a bartender gives them a VR headset with a video showing how their beverage was made.
The ZOMEKit, a box that attaches to apartment buildings to turn them into smarter, more energy-efficient structures, has won the CES 2019 Innovation Award for smart city technology.
When it comes to a hotel going smart, the opportunities are really endless. You can either be practical and choose the technology that satisfies your current needs, or you can take a creative path and let your imagination lead you into the world of high-tech and futuristic hotels. The choice is up to you. And remember that you cannot go wrong with smart devices — whatever you opt for it will definitely bring benefit to your hotel and take a guest experience to the next level.
Looking for professional software engineers to build a web or mobile app for your hotel? We are ready to help!