Hotels Tackling the Technology Issue

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Last week I brought up the idea that young travelers are shaping the hospitality industry by demanding easier access to wifi and outlets along with acting as trendsetters for lobby design and hotel activities.

This week I came across a round up of the 10 best tech saavy hotels country. There's no mention of guest ages but it's pretty clear that moving forward with digital offerings is a necessity. So where does that leave hotel managers and owners?

How is your hotel tackling the technology issue? What advice do you have to share with others in the hospitality industry?


From: Successful Meetings

1. Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center, Atlanta

All 252 guestrooms have free wired Internet and Wi-Fi powered by multiple Cogent T-3s. The hotel says wireless service hums at 20 Mbps and wired rages from 50 to 80 Mbps, and it is expandable in meeting rooms at up to 100 Mbps. The guestrooms also have 37-inch LCD TVs with high-definition programming from DirectTV and a MP3 dock with an alarm clock.

2. JW Marriott Marquis Miami

In the guestrooms, you can order room service without human intervention-other than your own, that is-through an IP desk phone with touchscreen ordering capabilities. The guestrooms have ergonomically comfy work spaces, and 52-inch high-definition TVs. And for those who want to watch the morning news while they shave, there’s even a TV embedded in the bathroom mirror.

3. theWit, Chicago

A DoubleTree hotel located in the Loop just a half block from the Chicago River, theWit offers wired and wireless Internet, jack packs with a multiport connectivity dashboard, 42-inch HDTVs, and Wolfgang Puck coffeemakers for the caffeine-addicted.

4. The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui

With partner PSAV, the hotel offers iMeeting services, enabling meeting organizers to share content from a single laptop across 10 to 100 iPads, which are provided to attendees. After a day in meetings or trekking through the rainforest, the hotel also supplies Club Level guests with iPads to unwind in the lounge.

5. Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston

The property management system, cued by the front desk, activates a "welcome scene" in the room at check-in. The system warms or cools your room, depending on the season, and the system remembers your settings. Everything fires things up (or down) upon your entrance.

6. Hilton-Americas Houston

The Hilton-Americas Houston uses behind-the-scenes surveillance technology from 3VR Security, which should put guests at ease. The system can use color, directional, and object-based search to find your lost bag, tracing your luggage from the moment it arrived to its final resting spot. Guestrooms have MSN TV, local cable, Pay Per View, and video games.

7. Four Seasons, Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto

In the 200 guestrooms, you can kick back and enjoy NXTV HD digital movies, and there’s an iPod dock in the bathrooms. The hotel’s 27 suites are equipped with PlayStation 3s and XBoxes- choose your weapon- and a Digital Door Security Viewer makes peepholes virtually obsolete.

8. Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas

Among the Aria’s high-tech offerings is a system that "remembers" your preferred lighting and temperature settings, along with your music of choice. All of these preferences-plus control of the TV/video systems and the curtains-can be punched in via the remote control.

9. The Plaza New York

There’s room entry via RFID-enabled cards, and once you’re inside, you’ll find a wireless control unit for managing the temperature, lights, and entertainment systems (including an HD video-on-demand system on flat-panel TVs).

10. Hotel 1,000, Seattle

Hotel 1000, located near the waterfront and the business district, offers everything from a Microsoft Surface table (in Studio 1000) to a silent doorbell for staff which sets off an infrared scan to determine if you are still sprawled in bed or if the room is ready for tidying up.

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