Technology has revolutionized the hospitality industry and how we do business. With a competitive and evolving landscape, the one thing we can be certain of is that technology is able to keep up and is not going anywhere. If you’re looking for ways to implement technology in your hotel to deliver a world class experience for your guest, while gaining a competitive advantage over your competitors, you’ve come to the right place. Adding in-room hotel technology can not only impress your guests, but save money in the long run. So consider the following list of hotel technology trends while you’re strategizing about how to innovate at your hotel.
1 – Room-service apps
It seems like everything can be done from a mobile device nowadays. Have you ever dined at a restaurant where you actually access an online menu and your order directly on there? Were you completely mind blown? Same idea here. Get rid of the tattered menus and free up front-desk staff by having room-service apps to facilitate that process. These web-based apps can be accessible via mobile device or a laptop via a web link provided, or better yet: a QR code on their night stand. Your guest then browses the up-to-date menu and selects what they’d like, and then be able to track the order. Why aren’t hotels all doing this yet?
2 – Wine-on demand
Luxury hotels have recently started to install little wine-taps of local and crowd pleasing wines directly into their mini fridges. Many travellers prefer to enjoy a glass of wine over a bottle so the guest is able to pour as much as they like, whenever, they feel like it. It’s a great way to get rid of another touch point for guests and make them feel like home in their suite. We don’t know about you, but this is definitely one hotel technology trend we can get on board with.
3 – Communicate with your guests more personally
Instead of calling a guest to be able to communicate with them, utilize your social media channels to do so. This gets rid of an extra touchpoint and your guest is more likely to respond directly through social media channels like Whatsapp or Facebook messenger. By personalizing your communication outlet to what your guests are already using regularly, guests can complete automated surveys before and after their stay, that allow hotels to create a better experience and cater to their requests in a more personalized way.
4 – Smart thermostats
Have you ever had a terrible night’s sleep at a hotel because of temperature issues? No we’re not talking about the tropical climate outside, but rather the finicky air conditioning that you just can’t get right. It’s 2am and feels like you’re on vacation at the north pole, so you wake up, and toy around with the thermostat (that looks like your great, grandparent’s thermostat) and go back to bed hoping you’ve clicked the right buttons. Nope. You wake back up an hour later because you’ve now turned the room into an oven and you try playing around with the buttons a few more times, hoping you get it right this time. Rinse and repeat for the rest of the night. Well – it really shouldn’t have to be like this. Introducing the sleek, new smart thermostats that guests can simply just voice their desired settings and boom – it’s done. No more getting up in the night and fighting with a thermostat or tripping over shoes to get to the light switch. Also, smart thermostats now have the capability to detect when someone’s not in the room and automatically dims lights and regulates room temperature which saves big on energy costs! Trust us when we say this is worth the investment because your guests will love you for it.
5 – Live stream support
Research has found that video support makes happier guests so incorporate your customer support strategy with technology trends. This interactive mobile experience will be able to tie in that personal human touch with the ever evolving technology stack at a hotel. All the guest has to do is scan in a QR code which will connect them directly to a support agent or front desk team member who will help them with resolving any issue in real-time.
6 – Robot butler
Free up your hotel staff by recruiting a little robotic helper. Chains like Yotel, Hilton and Aloft have robot service butlers that have become the main attraction, attracting new customers and keeping customers coming back. They are able to deliver room service, bring snacks and toiletries and other amenities, while freeing up your hotel staff. They are also able to work 24/7, cutting down on labor costs and those unwanted graveyard shifts. It’s a win-win for guests and staff here.
7 – Smart bathrooms
Smart bathrooms elevate your guests experience by taking it one step further. The ultimate luxury experience will make them love their stay more than being in their own home. Smart bathrooms have self-sanitizing capabilities, automatic software updates, voice-assistant, automatic temperature control and systemized water and energy usage controls, reducing energy and water consumption per room which lowers your bills.
8 – Smart showers
Speaking of smart bathrooms, smart showers go hand in hand. The ability for a shower to automatically assess your body temperature and then adjust water temperature accordingly is something customer’s didn’t know they needed, and will be impressive enough to warrant repeat stays. Some showers have display screens right in the shower to manage different settings and also provide entertainment for those super, strenuous showers. Tough life, am I right?
9 – Interactive TVs
It’s become an expectation that hotel room TVs have Netflix, Hulu, and AppleTV installed for your guest’s entertainment enjoyment. But it’s almost become an expectation that the TV is also integrated with the room’s smart functions. Ensure your TV monitor is up to speed with the demand of the times and upgrade to the latest in interactive technology. Ultra HD, wide color gamut and HDR are a few the latest TV technologies to consider when considering an upgrade.
10 – In-room iPads
An in-room tablet really is the cherry on top to tie in all your smart devices and new technological touches. It acts as a service control center to manage the different settings in the room. Your guest can also use it as a one stop shop to order their room service, or to live-stream a support agent for help – instead of using their own mobile device. The tablet can also be used as a marketing tool to promote events, re-booking specials, different social media channels and and capture client emails for communications. We don’t remember the last time we travelled and there wasn’t a tablet in the room.
11 – Maintenance AI
Adding a tool like maintenance AI will give you the data and reporting you need to be able to get it right – almost every single time. This hotel technology trend gives you predictive data that notifies hoteliers of things like remote electronics issues, how often you can expect to receive maintenance requests from specific guest demographics, and routine equipment servicing.
12 – Environmentally conscious linens
It takes a staggering 2800 gallons of water to launder a queen sized bed sheet. The amount of water consumption in a hotel really adds up. Guests are intrigued by green and sustainability initiatives from hotels and new-age developments in polyester have produced a new type of fabric that can be remelted and shaped back into a fresh sheet. What does this mean? Guests can enjoy a brand new set of sheets – every single stay, while hotel’s can cut down on energy and water consumption.
13 – Air filtration system
This has most likely happened to you before: you land at your vacation destination and you feel off for the first few days of your trip. Why? The change in climate, weather, quality of air and allergens all hit you differently and you are reacting to it. The world health organization has found that 9 in 10 people breathe in polluted air on a regular basis! As our understanding of air pollution and quality grows, so do travellers’ concerns. Advanced air filtration systems can be implemented at your hotel as a standard tech amenity or as an upgrade in selected suites.
14 – In-room exercise options
Ensuite health and wellness has become increasingly popular in hotel technology trends. The Hilton brand has already added in-room fitness centered suites to their portfolio and response has been overwhelmingly positive. Providing “at-home” work out equipment and on-demand fitness videos are becoming just as standard as the hotel gym.
Whether or not you’re looking to upgrade your tech stack at your hotel, impressing your guests with an amazing experience should always be the focus of your business. What’s available out there can be overwhelming to start but first analyze what you currently have, and few things you can start to drive at your hotel to make the biggest difference. Remember: you don’t have to do it all. A few key, powerful technology components that work seamlessly together and unify the entire experience is much more impactful than overly accessorized hotel rooms. Technology is an investment and an integral part of innovating and staying competitive in the landscape. Read more on budgeting for the future of your hotel here.