Recently I was invited to advise on a large local resort renovation project concerning the use of technology in all guest rooms and – as with much of what I write – it inspired this month’s column. It also reminded me of a meeting I had with MGM Resorts in Las Vegas to discuss planning for the City Center project. I was fortunate to have a client in Hawaii whose brother-in-law was the CEO of MGM and made the introduction, which led to the meeting. I am sharing this because that meeting in 2006, and the document I created speaks directly for what is Guestroom Technology.
This brings us to the question: what is Guestroom Technology? Guestroom Tek. With all the innovation and advances in technology, what does this look like in the hotel industry? Although technology changes rapidly, providing an unending list of possible candidates for inclusion, there are a number of key trends that have driven the development of Guestroom Technology.
Some trends, like the shift toward a mobile-first and cashless experience, transcend the hotel industry. Other trends, like mixed-use spaces and vacation rental marketplaces, spotlight the blurring of lines between short-term rentals, hotels, workspace and residential properties – not to mention smartphones, music services, cloud computing and remote work.
Guestroom technology can best be described as any touchpoint where technology can improve or enhance the guest experience before, during and after their stay. These can include, but are not limited to:
Early online engagement. Your stay begins with your booking, setting the stage for your arrival 〝\all made possible via your computer or smartphone.
Contactless check-in. With the benefit of your smartphone, you receive the room confirmation and proceed directly to your room and use your phone to gain access.
Smart in-room technology features. When you scan your phone for entry, the lockset communicates with the room and sets the thermostat, turns on the lights, opens the drapes, a screen on the flat TV displays a welcome greeting with your name and a playlist you selected plays your favorite music.
Personal entertainment options. In addition to your playlist being available there is the ability to BYOD (bring your own device) and connect it to the local system wirelessly.
Seamless connectivity. WiFi6/VPN network topology allows for an always-on connection (if you want it) that is stable, strong and private.
Privacy/service enhancements. No more door tags or phone calls. Push a button on your in-room touchscreen and illuminate the Do Not Disturb or Service light on a panel in the hall next to the door, alerting the front housekeeping department.
Personalized Wow factor. The experience described above concerning entering the room with your smartphone and triggering a series of events that sets the room up just right also allows you to fine tune the room at any given point; you can also check-in on your home, your pets or your family. You can have a My Room App that will allow you to control the room from your smart phone, find your room if you come back from dinner a little fuzzy or send directions to a friend with a code for entry. The possibilities boggle the mind. How would you personalize your guestroom experience?
Thank you for taking time to read my column and if you have a question about technology or would like to suggest a topic for a future column, please reach out to me at email@example.com or just give me a call at (805) 684-3414. I love talking Tek. May the force be with you. Happy Tek Trails.
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