Things hotel guests want, apparently
 
Things hotel guests want, apparently
20 FEBRUARY 2017 8:33 AM

Technology is offered in hotel rooms to better the guest experience. No one wants all this tech, but how wonderful is it that it exists?

I am, at times, a curmudgeon. I live in England—a grey country where the clouds start below one’s knees—where that is a survival technique. I also realize every hotel guest is different, but …

Hold on. I have just decided to change tack—not to gripe and sneer, but to assume that I, as a guest, want all the things I list below. These are all very new initiatives, seeking to make your next hotel stay the best thing that ever happened anywhere.

These do not include radiance we already store in our hearts, such as key-card electricity systems, which mean getting out of bed when you wish to sleep and make it impossible to charge camera batteries overnight.

The first thing I want is wine on demand in my hotel room.

This is what I want.

It is possible now thanks to the brilliant people at Plum.

Now, one of the things disappearing in hotels is the notion that they provide things you do not have at home: Huge TVs with cable networks; multi-thread Egyptian cotton sheets nightly changed over the world’s best mattresses; a view of the Malibu coastline.

Those things now we all have, either in reality or in virtual reality.

Therein lies the problem perhaps: How to stand out in a world where few things any longer do.

Undeterred, the fantastic folk at Plum say that “the hotel in-room wine experience has remained largely unchanged for nearly 50 years. Meanwhile, guest preferences have changed dramatically.”

OK, so this is how it works. Rather than go down to the bar and enjoy a glass, perhaps have a chat with someone, or just open the minibar, now guests can select from a “virtual tasting room” that “(helps) guests celebrate special occasions at the touch of a button.” Though, from what I read, Plum’s clever in-room wine device seems to be limited to two bottles, presumably one red and one white.

Anyway, it’s brilliant. How did I live without this?

The second thing that will dramatically improve my future days is getting things I’ve forgotten delivered to my hotel room by robots.

Many guests say that they do not wish to talk to anyone when they go to hotels. I am not one of those, but in my rush toward being happy of heart, I suddenly do feel the urge—no, the ardent desire—to open my door to a robot, which I am sure has a fiendishly clever way of announcing it is standing outside your room. I terribly, awfully, want to know how it does this, even if what remains healthy of my cerebral cortex already is pretty much full with 1980s pop trivia.

Besides, robots will likely reduce hotel operational costs, so happiness for the guest, happiness for the hotelier.

One of the main providers of hotel robot tech is Savioke, its latest blog entry announcing robots are all over the M Social Singapore hotel.

Zut alors! I just came back from there and missed this golden chance to experience additional joy.

(Drones are another godsend, but I have written about my love of them before, so I will spare you more unbridled bliss here.)

A more serious point, though, is that once offered, tech undoubtedly will be pointed out by staff as the only solution to a guest need. Humans will simply not be an option. No one will bring a glass of wine to you; nothing but AI can be summoned.

The last ray of sunshine on a steadily warming day is the ability now to order room service via emoji. Yes.

This magnificently will allow us all to not have to spell out all “fose trubblesum” words when ordering in-room hamburgers.

Aloft is one brand that offers this, and the greatest thing about it is not only can we order food in a much more fun manner, the cost of the hire of the necessary in-room technology is effortlessly added to your final check-out bill.

Indeed, all the cost of all this new technology will be spread across all guests in higher average daily rates calculated on the “value” of all that the hotel offers.

No guest will be left behind.

Email Terence Baker or find him on Twitter.

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