Technology is taking the word “smart” to a whole new level. This is especially true for hotels—which is a good thing for both guests and hoteliers. The days of plastic room keys and having to ring the front desk for every little thing are fading. So let’s delve into some of the top hotel technology trends for 2016:
One of the major trends is empowering the guest with the ability to customize the experiential touches and personal accents that were traditionally controlled by the property. From one device, guests can remotely open the drapes, control lighting levels, adjust the thermostat, click through TV channels and listen to music, as well as schedule wake-up calls and room service. They can even use their smartphone as a digital room key (which means no more panic-inducing “where’s my key?” moments).
On the property side, smart technology for hotels provides an arsenal of options to not only provide a WOW factor for guests, but also make the property run more efficiently. For instance, during the check-in process, the property management system will send a trigger to the guest’s room to initialize an automatic sequence of events, which can include adjusting the temperature to a comfortable level, turning on the lights, welcoming the guest with soothing music and turning on the TV to display a welcome greeting.
Smart controls are also the perfect complement to a hotel’s sustainability efforts. One example of this is using sensors to detect room occupancy. When a guest departs their room, sensors will automatically signal thermostats to lower and lighting to dim in an effort to reduce waste.
Personalized hotel technology experiences will become increasingly important, not only for operating efficiency, but also attracting guests. This is especially relevant to the millennial generation of travelers. Hoteliers should take note that this increasing, tech-savvy travel segment is not only willing to spend money on personalized travel experiences, but will also come to expect integrated smart controls in their hotel visits.
With this in mind, several hotel chains in Las Vegas—including Aria, The Cosmopolitan and the Mandarin Oriental—plus the Four Seasons in Chicago and Trump Soho in New York have already integrated smart controls. Several Marriott locations are also introducing smart controls to their guests as test cases, in return for discounted spa and other luxury services.
With over 85% of the traveling population owning a smartphone or tablet, prospective guests are incorporating the mobile experience into their lives at an increasing level. It only makes sense for hotels to follow suit and meet the guest in the more intimate, mobile environment, enabling them to personally enhance their stay.
Want to learn more about hotel technology trends? Reach out to Lynn Kaniper at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 609.466.9187 ext. 117.