Hotels with cool technology for the business traveler

These brands offer useful tools and gadgets for a smooth stay for guests.

Video: Business travelers want a technically skilled hotel room
The typical hotel room has not changed much in recent decades, but travelers want the same high-tech comfort from home when they are on a business trip or vacation.

You prefer to be at home. You are exhausted. You have to play your game. It is a business trip.

Thanks to the infusion of helpful technology in hotels around the world, a boring work trip may not be so bad. More hotels bring in useful tools to cater for business guests.

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Travelers need technology

“Smart home devices such as
Amazon Alexa
have entered into partnerships with brands such as Marriott, and enable travelers to ask Alexa for additional toiletries or room service, “said Yanni Poulakos, travel expert at Lola.com, a travel management company.” This eliminates contacts with a reception, guest services or a concierge.

“From big brands to small operators, hotels invest a lot in apps that make it possible to check in from a mobile device and replace a room key with a smartphone,” Poulakos said. “This not only meets the needs of travelers, it is cost-effective for hotels and potentially for more final income, including direct booking.”

“Hotels are also adapting to the need for extra convenience, with in-room amenities such as fitness equipment,” Poulakos added. Travelers can find devices such as Mirror and Peloton, as well as traditional fitness items such as weights and yoga mats.

“The high bar to keep business travelers satisfied,” said Poulakos, will encourage competing hotels to turn to technology and innovation. As hotels meet the need to simplify business travel, it is more likely that they “attract and retain these travelers”.

How robotics and automation are used in hotels

What is the next big thing for the hotel industry? Robotics and automation, according to Saurabh Jindal, who manages Talk Travel, an app “to travel like a local.” “You can chat and discuss your needs with the robots who perform their tasks in a very efficient way.”

Jindal said that technologies that allow fewer human interactions and where automation rules will be the norm, such as advanced face recognition systems for keyless residences. “This provides a more seamless experience for the end user,” he said, “and leads to lower costs for the hotels.”

Here’s a look at a handful of hotels that make technology a top priority.

The Marriott Phoenix Chandler is suitable for the business traveler.

PHOTO: Marriott Phoenix Chandler

The Marriott Phoenix Chandler is a hub for a vibrant technical corridor

The very gadget-friendly Marriott Phoenix Chandler Hotel is located in a bustling technical and production area in Phoenix and was designed with the business traveler in mind.

Each room is equipped for the business traveler, with many outputs and USB outputs, also on each side of the bed and next to the desk. The Wi-Fi-equipped hotel has 28,000 square meters of event and conference room and the hotel lobby bar, Proof 19, has two long communal tables with hidden exits at the top of the tables. At the M-Club, designed for the frequent traveler, there are also points of sale next to each table.

Hotel Zetta is one of three Viceroys (The Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills and The Viceroy Los Cabos) with Volera powered Alexas in every room.

PHOTO: Viceroy

Hotel Zetta by Viceroy Group

Hotel Zetta, built in 1913, claims to be the only hotel in San Francisco with Alexa technology in every room and one
Atari Pong
Table in the Zetta Suite.

“We use technology at Hotel Zetta to create a more seamless environment,” said Mark Beevor, general manager. “Thanks to our technology, our guests can use streaming subscriptions en route.”

Located at the place where Union Square, SoMa, and the financial district meet, Hotel Zetta has recently installed Amazon Alexa speech assistants, powered by Volara, of which Beevor said it is the only provider of customized speech-based solutions for the hospitality industry.

“With Volara, guests can issue commands to Amazon Alexa to order services from rooms,” Beevor said for “ordering a toothbrush, setting an alarm clock, synchronizing music playlists, discovering dinner specialties at The Cavalier restaurant, or” order the hotel’s spa treatment.

The Atari Pong table features games with retro sound effects, bouncing lights, the classic Pong game and a Bluetooth speaker, allowing players to customize a Pong tournament experience with custom soundtracks, an LED clock display and USB charging. The control panels on the table can be hidden and turned into a retro coffee table.

Include other tech-centric amenities
Oculus Go
virtual reality headsets and additional portable game consoles for the Nintendo Switch.

In addition, the playroom has pinball machines, shuffleboard and neon images. Each room has broadband WiFi, streaming platforms such as Netflix and wireless chargers in the room.

Business travelers are “extremely important,” Beevor said. “Most business travelers are road warriors who spend as much time on the road as they do at home, so it’s important to have a comfortable and attractive environment to stay in.”

Two other Viceroy Hotels in California use Volara-powered Alexa: The Viceroy L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills and the Viceroy Los Cabos.

“When we look at speech technologies,” Viceroy “wanted a flexible partner with integrations with third-party applications,” said Darren Clark, vice president of technology for Viceroy Hotels & Resorts in a release. “Volara understood our vision and it already had integrations with more than 40 hotel technologies, including IPTV, room control, PBX, music and work order management. Security was also important. Volara ensures that guest recordings are never associated with personally identifiable information. All guest recordings are removed within 24 hours. ”

Thanks to the integration of Volara with INNCOM by Honeywell, guests can control the lighting, the Do Not Disturb / Format settings and the room temperature. With integration with Sonifi, guests use their voice to control the TV, change channels and adjust the volume; integration with the ALICE Hotel Operations Platform is intended for guest requests for pillows, toothbrushes, refreshments in the minibar and the like. With integration with iHeartRadio, guests can play music and listen to podcasts; and makes direct calls to the reception, concierge, valet etc. possible. Hotel Zetta’s Volara integrations add the MCOMS Guest Room Entertainment Platform and iHeartRadio.

Hotel Plaza Athenee New York

Hotel Plaza Athenee New York has recently started adding new technology in many of the suites where business meetings are held, including the ability to control lighting, temperature, TV, Wi-Fi and more. Managers can also share presentations on the screen.

Ten high-end hotel chains have Courant chargers in the rooms and offer an option to purchase.

PHOTO: Courant

10 luxury hotel chains with Courant chargers

All four available Courant wireless chargers are located in hotels with the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Soho House, Fairmont, Lotte NY Palace, William Vale and Shutters on the Beach, for a total of 10 large hotel chains and more than 1,000 rooms in the US and worldwide.

“The Courant ecosystem fits uniquely in different parts of the (hotel) real estate,” said the co-founder of Courant Monish Sabnani. “The Catch line is located in hotel rooms, lobbies and restaurants, while the Carry and the docking system are at the reception or concierge.”

Guests have access to electricity at the hotel or on the road. Sabnani added: “They can charge Carry at the hotel, and if they choose to keep the product, they can be billed automatically via credit card.”

“Hotels need to offer up-to-date services to their customers,” Sabnani said. “Wireless charging is still a fundamentally new concept and we claim that we are the preferred supplier of high-quality features in the next form of room power.”

“Courant can be found in boutique hotels such as Casa Del Mar and in a number of larger luxury chains such as the Soho House, worldwide.”

Chargers are a standard for business travelers. “The first thing someone does when they enter their hotel room is to charge their phone,” Sabnani said.

“For business travelers specifically,
staying charged is extremely important
, because they are probably on their way throughout their journey, with little downtime to recharge meetings in between. Providing business travelers with universal and portable chargers “is convenient. In addition, the ability to pack one item less without charging a wire means.”

The Park James Hotel in Menlo Park / Silico Valley has added technology to rooms, including the cloud-based platform KEYPR.

PHOTO: broughton Hotels

Park James Hotel by broughtonHotels

The Park James Hotel in Menlo Park / Silicon Valley has added technology to the rooms, including the cloud-based platform KEYPR.

The boutique hotel with 61 rooms, located near the Facebook headquarters, opened in September 2019. The hotel’s KEYPR platform includes a mobile app, mobile key, in-room tablets and soon to be TV cast via Chromecast.

With the KEYPR mobile app, guests can use their phone or tablet to check in and out, and receive push notifications, order room service, make special requests, communicate directly with hotel staff, and receive messages from the hotel, both on and off property. Guests can also use the app to provide feedback in real time.

With the tablets in KEYPR’s room, guests can set alarms and reminders, order and schedule room service, submit maintenance requests, listen to music, and stay up to date with events at the hotel and nearby. The tablets also offer pre-installed third-party app content, such as The Wall Street Journal and Scribd, and give guests access to hotel and local information.

The hotel integrated the KEYPR platform with the keyless locks from ASSA ABLOY with the mobile key solution from KEYPR, the Stay INN Touch app, which allows guests to communicate with hotel staff in real time via direct messaging and INNCOMM’s room automation system, allowing guests to control the environment aspects of their room via the Park James Hotel app and KEYPR’s in-room tablets.

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