Constant connectivity, guest-driven content and seamless transactions are top trends in high-tech hotels as savvy operators capitalize on the appeal of high-touch service to millennials and Gen Z guests.
“‘Bring your own content’ is the trend of today,” says Kirk Pederson, president of Kokua Hospitality, which manages San Francisco’s tech-forward Axiom Hotel. “Additionally, more people travel with multiple devices requiring increased bandwidth, and today’s traveler does not want buffering.”
Addressing these needs, Axiom equips each of its 152 guest rooms with a 48-inch Smart TV allowing guests to mirror their device, streaming content directly into their room. Each room also has an individual router providing up to 15 Mbps of bandwidth to maximize productivity on multiple devices.
Similarly, the 242-room Godfrey Hotel in Boston introduced InnSpire, a sophisticated guest media-streaming technology, upon opening last year. InnSpire allows guests to use mobile devices to stream photos, email, videos and music directly to their 55-inch Samsung HDTV without downloading any special app. “We believe well thought-out and executed technology within the hotel enhances the personal touch and service our guests look for,” says Paul Sauceda, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.
Guests at Aloft New Orleans Downtown take advantage of similar content-streaming technology through Google Chromecast’s RoomCast technology. “Our guests are tech-driven, travel with three to five devices and want high-speed Wi-Fi in all public spaces,” says Kristi Taglauer, general manager of the 188-room hotel. “RoomCast makes use of a room-specific private IP address and is easy to use.”
Another tech amenity making inroads is the ability to bypass the front desk altogether and check in remotely through a mobile device. The Godfrey offers this feature with OpenKey. “Guests use the app to check in and select or upgrade rooms based upon availability,” explains Sauceda, who likened the experience to mobile airline check-in.