Your Guide To The Latest Trends In Smart Hotel Technology

September 25th, 2017 Christina M. General

The expectations of guests are rising, and, in response, hotels are becoming smarter.

In 2016, 57% of hotels planned to allocate a record-high budget for technology. Hotels today are prioritizing everything from smart in-room experiences to on-property robots to better anticipate the needs of guests and deliver even more personalized service.

So, what are the up-and-coming trends in hotel technology, and how are they redefining the way guests experience hotels? Read on to see.

‘In-pocket’ Concierge

Guests are now communicating with hotels in the same way they interact with friends.

Pairing comfort with convenience, industry leaders are offering guests the ability to directly text or instant message the hotel concierge, whether that’s through SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, or an internal hotel application.

Since 85% of international travelers carry a mobile device while on the road, direct messaging provides guests with an effortless way to request additional hotel services, inquire about local attractions, and provide valuable feedback.

Guests are responding positively to mobile-based communication, and many hotels are benefiting from more ancillary sales, better feedback, and all-around happier guests.

Tap into social trends

The Aloft hotel brand has put a unique spin on instant messaging by launching the world’s first “emoji only” room service menu.

Featuring six speciality room service kits, like the “Munchies” snack box, guests can only order by texting the corresponding emoji on the menu to the hotel’s dedicated “TiGi” (Text it. Get it.) number.

By tapping into popular social trends, like the rise of the emoji, Aloft effectively engages with guests in a way that feels comfortable and familiar, while having a bit of fun along the way.

 

In-house mobile apps

To provide guests with the most convenient and stress-free stay, hotels are investing in mobile apps that deliver superior self-service experiences.

Features like mobile check-in and smartphone room access have gained traction in the industry, and guests are enjoying the flexibility of skipping past the front desk and comfortably entering their rooms without a hotel key card.

However, that’s not the only way mobile apps are shaping the guest experience.

Industry leaders are constantly searching for ways to solve common pain points of travel, and many in-house apps are integrating innovative features that help guests to do just that.

Guest-centric app features

Hilton, as an example, has implemented a Google Maps-style feature into its hotel app, which allows guests to pick their exact room, floor, and view – all before arriving.

Other industry leaders, like W Hotels, are bringing a lifestyle feel to their in-house apps, integrating music streaming functionality and detailed guides on things to do and see around the city.  

W Hotel and Hilton mobile app screens

Advanced in-room technology

The latest hotel technology is giving guests ‘remote control’ over their in-room experience.

Systems like Smart Hotel solutions, which allow guests to customize their room temperature, lighting, and music from a single touchscreen, are becoming more commonplace.

With more travelers craving home comforts while on the road, personalized in-room entertainment has also become a valued addition to hotel rooms.

Since most guests already have subscriptions to Netflix, Spotify, and other streaming services, hotels are now enabling smart devices to seamlessly sync to the in-room TV.

Investing in technology like iMediaCast, which effortlessly mirrors the content on smartphones to the in-room TV at your hotel — no TV upgrades necessary — can help keep you up-to-date with guest needs.

Mobile guest entertainment

Luxury hotels, like Hotel Rickmers Insulaner and Hyatt, are further fulfilling the entertainment needs of guests by implementing mirror TVs in places like the hotel bathroom, sauna, pool, and gym.

The results? Guests can easily access entertainment from almost anywhere in the hotel.

On-property robots

Industry leaders are now onboarding robots to improve the efficiency and service of their hotels too.

Regarded as a cost-effective way to elevate the guest experience, robots are now taking on roles like managing the concierge, preparing dishes in the restaurant, and in some cases, running the entire hotel.

According to Steve Cousins, the CEO of Savioke, a company that manufactures robots for many leading hotels, guests are interacting positively with hotel robots and enjoying faster room deliveries with no tipping required.

With the number of guests helped by hospitality robots expected to double by the end of 2017, hotel robots are predicted to become both a critical source of data and a normal part of the guest experience.

Personalized Tech-Driven Experiences

As advanced tech empowers guests to customize many aspects of their hotel stay, properties gain key insights into the personal preferences of their guests.

Great tech tools, such as guest-centric property management systems, like roomMaster, and CRM software, now help hotels to harness this information to please guests and drive revenues.

With access to such rich data, hotel brands today can not only deliver great experiences, but personalized, memorable stays. In an age when technology has given travelers access to unprecedented choices for booking, that can’t be a bad thing.

Interested in seeing how roomMaster can help you better understand your guests and deliver more personalized hotel experiences? Book a demo.