No matter how nice your room is, the hotel phone, which travelers occasionally need to use to contact staff, is the one area that most of us look at with some level of trepidation. I know that we try to wipe it down, spray it, or simply pray over it in hopes that we don’t end up with a virus left from the previous visitor.
Enter technology.It’s the newest trend in new hotels. Brands like IHG, which now includes the Kimpton Hotels, Delano and Starwoods are all beginning to utilize some form of technology to enhance communications. In some cases, IHG, is using in their Holiday Inns, apps for travelers that will open the door, thereby allowing the guest to bypass the Front Desk. The Kimpton Hotels use IPhone docking stations, with built in surround sound, to ensure that guests get the full quality of their music in their room. The Delano in Las Vegas put in an upgraded phone into its posh hotel, that has a USB port on the side, so that you don’t have to look for a place to “plug in”. Starwoods, in some of its newer properties, is experimenting with apps that can allow the traveler to communicate with the Front Desk, room service, valet, make reservations, and control the TV, and music in the room.
These are all tremendous advances, but don’t look for that phone to disappear quite yet. This is just the start of the trend. So keep your wipes handy.