The High-Tech Hotel on The Horizon

ITH Room Xperience

In the last 10 years we have witnessed many exciting technological revolutions that have changed the way we interact with the world, changes in the tourism industry in general where hotels in particular have embraced it with varying degrees of enthusiasm. But for any organization, innovation is sometimes a fuzzy concept, which creates uncertainty and confusion. But in tourism, the change is in the DNA of the industry, although companies sometimes find it hard to accept it. 

Translate these changes to the hotel language greatly facilitates the process of adopting new technology in hotel management, and allows the client to experience different things, simpler and more striking. Reducing this “lost in translation”effect, in which the technical terminology disguises the true utility of each tool is the challenge working with many hotels in our country, large and small, and something in which we have also embarked on at the Instituto Tecnológico Hotelero (ITH) through the HotelGen3 program.

Some real high-tech hotels 

Weeks ago, in an infographic, compiled some of the most technological hotels in the world, and some of the technologies that are being applied. Let’s review some of these examples (which are worth revisiting), along with other spectacular cases in which hotels are capable of technological soul and personality:

1. Self check-in, a utopia technologically possible: The Hyatt chain (especially their brand Andaz by Hyatt) and The Upper House in Hong Kong, are testing automatic check-in systems that streamline this tedious process, using mobile devices that can even function as an access key to the room. A twist on this idea is offered by the Blow Up Hall 5050 (Poznan, Poland): Each guest has a key on their smartphone, and you can play guess your room.  

2. Rooms that “know you”: internet of things that allow you to get experiences like the one offered at the Aria Hotel Las Vegas through RFID keys. It not only allows guests to open the door of their room, but it reacts to the guest, lighting, opening the curtains and turning on certain devices that greet you. 

3. Creative Technology: The Blow Up Hall 5050 welcomes its customers, making it a great work of art consisting of 2,400,000 images that capture several distributed miniature cameras in public areas, which the guest adapts and changes when interacting with it. In the CitizenM Amsterdam, customers can create a suitable atmosphere to their mood and emotions, thanks to MoodPad that controls lighting, air conditioning, TV and curtains. 

4. Green Technology: The Hotel Helix (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), still in process, will make monitoring and intelligent control systems capable of controlling the temperature and humidity in any of its 208 rooms, and incorporates natural elements such as an indoor waterfall, wall spiral and a wall of sliding glass that lets in the sea breeze, which helps save consumption. Also Wit Double Tree Hotel in Chicago is an intelligent building capable of controlling their energy consumption in air conditioning, lighting and other equipment. 

Another creative example in applying technology to improve efficiency is the concept of EcoMeetings at NH Hoteles. An initiative launched in 2009, which allows personal events and corporate professionals to hold meetings in rooms that have efficient HVAC and lighting systems, powered by clean energy, insulated and equipped according to sustainable criteria. Users can even request a CO2 certificate that offsets their carbon footprint, ensuring minimal environmental impact generated by the celebration of this event will be offset by the sustainable solidarity action. 

5. Social Hotels: One of the pioneers in Spain is the Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel, Playa d’en Bossa in Ibiza, that for nearly three years now, has offered totems connected to Facebook which allow guests to share their experience and stay in the hotel by simply scanning their wrist band through the sensor . It also has LED lights that controls the guest’s mood (chromotherapy), a payment system by fingerprint (PayTouch), and even underwater pool music available in superior rooms. Also Melia Sol Wave House has incorporated the idea of grasping conversation through social networks: guests can chat, make friends and even ask staff to replenish the contents of the minibar in the room by Twitter. Axel Hotels offers its customers the opportunity to register with a social network ephemeral, Axel People, which lets you know the events held at the hotel and at the destination, make friends with other guests and arrange plans with other members of network. 

ITH Room Xperience

Technology is not an ornament, it’s based on value and expertise

In many cases the technology resources are a pretext to justify a wrong idea of “being trendy”, or “having technology, just for the alibi of having it”, because technology should always improve the user experience, never ruin it.

But addressing innovation from a business perspective requires understanding the cost-benefit rolls after innovation: If it doesn’t add value to the customer and the company, this change may become an obstacle for business and an intimate enemy. 

Reconciling hotel management and customer satisfaction is the basis of the program HotelGen3 that, beyond the development of a prototype (the ITH Room Xperience by SerranoBrothers) seeks to provoke reflection on how to make sense of innovation and technology in the hotel management, creating an experience created from the point of view of enjoyment and comfort of the client (Well-being) and profit for hotel management (Hotel GOP). 

After this work there is only one aim: Show the ability of technology to connect the customer with their environment and to the extent that it wishes, and secondly, to establish a more fluid relationship between the guest and the hotel to manage it better and increase profits. 

From our point of view, Hotel Gen3 is integrated in all dimensions of business, is socially and environmentally responsible, environmentally sustainable and hyper efficient, because it provides maximum value to its customers and therefore its facilities and equipment that it operates, are able to take advantage of every technological resources at its disposal. 

Ana María Márquez

Head of Communications 

Instituto Tecnológico Hotelero

@AnaMariaMB – @ithotelero

Photo credits: ithotelero 


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