Technology is moving fast, and hotels of all types have to anticipate the technology that will make their guests’ lives easier during their stay. As consumer technology becomes more affordable, guests are no longer terribly impressed by flat-screen televisions, integrated CD players and films on-demand; they can have that at home. What does impress them is when the technology improves the service, which in turn improves their experience.
Futuristic hotels have been the subject of many treatments in film, television dramas and books. In most cases, these hotels have a clinical look and feel to them, which is not at all what today’s guest wants to experience. They want the comfort, style and design of a great hotel, with the convenience that technology affords them. Forward-looking hotels of all types have recognised this and have begun to install technology systems that allow them to provide higher levels of service to guests.
To make guests feel at home, hotels have learned to put them in charge. The more control guests have over their experience, the happier they are. Flexible kitchens allow guests to have breakfast whenever they want to, and technology systems allow them to set up the room the best way for them: programme your media system with exactly the right track to wake you up in the morning, control your air-conditioning from a system by the pool so that your room’s just the right temperature when you return to it, or use a touch-screen to check in rather than waiting in a queue at the reception desk. These and other technological advances will give you as the guest greater control over what happens to you in the hotel and it works well both for the guest and for the hotel. Future advances could include:
- Key-less room access
- Remote ordering of food and drink
- Adjustment of room features from the pool/terrace/beach
- Service adapting to ongoing intelligence of your needs
There are already hotels putting systems in place that remember what guests choose from the menu and what they like to drink so that the next time they visit, their favourite cocktail is waiting in their room and the right music is playing. As boutique hotels continue to adapt the available technology to exceed the expectations of their guests, they will become increasingly popular places to stay.