Friday Finds: 16 Hospitality In-Room Technology Trends
If you’ve ever dreamed of your property reaching the same level as the ones listed on Forbes’ roundup of best hotel rooms around the world, this list is for you.
In-room hospitality technology trends, such as the ones listed here, can help you save money, attract more guests, and give guests more of what they want to ensure they come back time and again. Consider incorporating the latest technology into your experience as you revamp your hotel strategy for the year ahead.
Discover the Latest In-Room Hospitality Technology Trends & Ideas to Impress Guests
1. Room Service Apps
Goodbye bulky menus and awkward phone calls, hello ordering room service exactly how I order all my other delivery food. Hotels are now offering web-based room service apps for both laptops and mobile devices. Guests have the option to type in the web address or, to make the whole process even easier, scan a QR code located on their nightstand. From there, all they have to do is check out the up-to-date menu, hit a few buttons, and track their delivery.
Luxury hotel brands have recently installed wine units stocked with local, award-winning pours from an electronic dispenser reminiscent of water and ice machines on smart fridges. Because most travelers like to indulge in a single glass as opposed to a bottle, the dispenser allows the user to select the amount they want. It’s a great way to make guests feel more at home and encourage them to truly enjoy their rooms rather than just use them as a place to sleep.
3. Personalized Experiences From Social Media Messages
Direct messaging isn’t a new marketing strategy. But now guests can connect to their hotel service staff without downloading any extra apps or picking up the phone. Through popular platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, guests can complete automated surveys before their stay, answering questions that allow hotels to then cater to their requests and provide a more intimate service experience.
4. HD Voice Controlled & Touch Screen Thermostats
Brands like Angie are stepping the room temperature game up a notch with interactive voice and touchscreen interfaces that add a sleek, futuristic feel to one of the most important features of any hotel space. Built in sensors detect when someone has left the room for an extended period of time, which prompts the device to dim lights, regulate the temperature, and save more energy. Plus it’s pretty nice not having to get up to adjust the thermostat in the middle of the night – just shout out your request and these smart tools will take care of it for you.
5. Appless Hotel Staff Video Chat
Experts say that customer support videos (both recorded and live) are the key to happier guests. Which is why we expect this interactive mobile feature to really take off soon. All guests have to do is scan a QR code and they’ll be directly connected to the front desk or customer service team who can help them solve their problems in real time. It’s a nice way to loop the human element back into our increasingly tech-obsessed culture while still taking advantage of the latest and greatest tools.
6. Service Robots
Truth be told, 56% of hotel guests don’t really like the idea of a physical robot roaming the halls while they sleep. But they might be persuaded once they see that the reality is so much more helpful (and less creepy) than that. Products like Relay look like rolling bins or smiling drawer sets like Techmetics and are being used to help with basic laundry transportation and snack delivery – really anything else that would normally force a skilled employee to push things around when they could do something more productive with their time.
7. Smart Bathrooms
These amazing, Jetson-worthy shower features include:
- Voice assistant capabilities (syncing up with devices provided by you or the guests’ personal ones)
- Automatic software updates so the latest features and capabilities will always be made immediately available to users
- Water and energy usage reduction subtle enough that guest’s won’t really notice it but powerful enough that it could cut down as much as 30% of your normal consumption per room
- Systematically sanitized pipes to ensure absolute cleanliness
- Automatic temperature controls for children and sensitive bathers
8. Interactive TVs
Now that you’ve got your guests all set up with the most popular streaming services it’s time to upgrade your display monitors too. Even the average AirBnB guest has come to expect the best when it comes to in-room televisions. If you plan to include newer TV models in your immediate hotel amenities plan, look for hot features like Ultra HD, Wide Color Gamut, and HDR.
9. In-Room Tablets
Why make your guests break out their laptops and iPads when they can conveniently borrow yours? Not only does it add wow factor to your in-room amenities list, it’s also a great way to reach an already captive audience. Use tablets to promote events, re-booking specials, and loyalty programs with tools like pre downloaded apps and locked screen background images.
10. Smart Energy Management
The average hotel spends $2,196 on energy expenses per room. That, in addition to a movement to decrease environmental impact, has led to including in-room hospitality technology that focuses on sustainability. In the long run, it’s an investment towards a good cause and a great way to cut down on everyday costs of doing business.
11. Maintenance AI
Not every hotel stay will be perfect but you can make the experience pretty close to it if you add tools like these. IoT analytics offers predictive measurements that notify hoteliers of things like how frequently you can expect to receive maintenance requests from certain guest demographics, remote electronics issues, and routine equipment servicing.
12. Showers Customized to Your Body Temperature
Experts predict smart showers with keypads and displays will become the norm over the next 15 years. Luxury brands have already begun offering bathroom features like shower keypads and display screens for adjustable settings. And, pretty soon, showers that automatically assess your body temperature and adjust water temperature accordingly will be old news.
13. Greener Linens
Did you know that it takes a surprising 2,800 gallons of water to launder a single queen-sized bed sheet? Statistics like these have led to in-room hospitality tech like the new polyester linens designed to simulate cotton, provide hypoallergenic benefits guests love, and save water. How do they do it? Developments in polyester have created a never-before-seen type of fabric than can be remelted and shaped back into a fresh sheet, which means that guests will enjoy a brand new linen set every single time.
14. Air Filter Systems
Pollen, pollution, and pets are a concern for most allergy sufferers but as our understanding (and appreciation of) air quality continues to grow, advanced air filter systems will become a modern in-room hospitality tech feature that no one will be able to live without. Whether you standardize these devices across all your properties or selectively offer them in upgraded suites, anyone who has read the recent World Health Organization’s alarming publication on environmental pollution (which says that nine out of ten people around the entire world breathe in polluted air on a regular basis) will really appreciate it.
15. In-Room Exercise
Whether it’s at-home gym equipment or on-demand workout videos, in-room exercise is becoming just as standard as hotel workout facilities. The response from travelers has been overwhelmingly positive (which is probably why Hilton went as far as adding in-room fitness centric suites to their portfolio in 2017 but is just now being made available in 2020). From technologically enhanced equipment to pre-loaded mind/body morning routines, wellness in any form should be a top priority for hotels interested in upgrading their in-room hospitality technology.
16. Location-Based Recommendations
Although location-based services are useful at every step of the guest experience, having in-room sources for local events, entertainment, sightseeing, and dining is one way to empower customers when they visit a city, whether it’s their first or one-hundredth time visiting. Things like push-notifications with local coupons and predictive service opportunities like a call from room service when the guest comes back after a long day at work go a long way towards providing a magical experience for your clientele. In addition to helping guests choose their breakfast spot every morning, tools like 3D location can actually help hotel managers keep their employees safe.
Now you’re ready to advance your in-room hotel strategy and book more business!
For more on creating a great hotel sales strategy, check out these helpful hospitality podcasts, consider joining forces with a hospitality agency for your upcoming rebrand, and read more about our predictions for how technology like robotics will impact the event industry.
Or get started with the Sales & Catering CRM for creating a better group business experience from first hello to in-room personalization.