Hotel properties and CVBs across the country are enlisting the help of digital innovations to deliver convenience to groups in the ballroom and the guest room. Smart Meetings rounded up some examples you might see in your travels and what that means for your next meeting.
Miami Beach and Aira
Miami Beach is leading the way in using tech to bolster inclusivity. The city recently partnered with Aira, an app-based service connecting trained, remotely located agents with people who are blind or have low vision. The service allows remote agents to communicate with people who are seeing impaired to help them find directions, read street signs and freely discover the city through a video-call. The app works on Android or iOS platforms and video calls can be made through smartphones or video-enabled glasses. The Mayor of Miami Beach, Dan Gelber commented on his excitement at the partnership with Aira: “We’re excited to partner with Aira to continue that commitment and grant individuals in our city the freedom and confidence to roam by covering the cost for travel-related inquiries within the urban-island.”
Viceroy Hotels & Resorts is also taking advantage of advancements in tech to improve the experience of guests. One property, Hotel Zetta in San Francisco, boasts ultra-modern guest rooms with cutting-edge technology and guest amenities. In addition to access to Alexa technology, those staying in suites will be wowed by the Atari Pong Table; a retro style with modern technology coffee table that boasts built-in speakers, USB charging points and a glass covered air hockey table. In the lobby, guests can experience a virtual reality (VR) booth featuring action, underwater and adventure games, OCULUS GO VR headsets and Nintendo Switch gaming consoles. The hotel is also home to a Playroom with pinball machines.
Yotel New York
Japanese-inspired Yotel hotel brand reimagined small-space hotel rooms in 2011 when they opened their first city property in downtown Manhattan. Yotel offers rooms for travelers that have everything they need in a small, well-curated space. From self-service check-in kiosks to a luggage robot storing service, a ‘smart box’ 24/7 food service and a fully adjustable ‘smart bed,’ Yotel is leading the way in tech-forward hotels. YotelAir is the brands’ airport division and has all the amenities a weary traveler might need, at the press of a button or the swipe of a card.
Virgin Hotels Chicago
Lucy runs the show at Virgin Hotels Chicago. Who is Lucy you ask? Lucy is an app that can book your stay at Virgin Hotels in Chicago and help you through your entire visit. From allowing you to check in to controlling the thermostat in your room and ordering room service, Lucy has your back. She will also give you recommendations of things to do and can even put you in contact with fellow guests should you want to chat or connect.
JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort
A new adult-only expansion at JW Marriott Marco Island on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico, known as Paradise by Serine in Lanai tower is a hotel within a hotel that includes a bespoke registration process, pairing Champagne and a personalized wrist band that grants access to the exclusive wing of the resort. Guests of Serine can use the chip-enabled bands to access the rooftop pool and private beach complete with a beach butler.
International Tech Hotels
If you’re traveling abroad and want to check out some international tech-advancements these hotels truly are technological havens. Henn na Hotel Maihama Tokyo Bay is entirely staffed by robots for a real futuristic feel. Dinosaur robots will check you in and an in-room robot is available for any needs you may have. W Sentosa at Singapore Cove is a millennial tech paradise. With 24 underwater speakers pumping techno music underwater at the pool to Bose surround systems in every room and colorful lights everywhere, this hotel merges luxury, technology and youthful fun perfectly. City Hub has hotels in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. It is a hostel-esque property with ‘pods’ for guests to sleep in which are accessed by wristbands that are attached to guests’ credit cards. Guests pick up their wristbands from a kiosk in the lobby after downloading the City Hub app and are provided with a portable WiFi box so they can be connected when exploring the city. Folks, the future is here.