Traveling can be an unforgettable experience whether you are vacationing within the U.S. or accumulating passport stamps abroad. One of the most important details that I find goes into trip planning is the hotel – this becomes a person’s home away from home. The obvious reasons for a person’s satisfaction from a hotel stay coincide with four major factors: the friendliness of staff, amenities, cleanliness, and comfort of the room. When these factors come together a relaxing environment is created which sometimes causes a guest to debate extending their stay or, on a more extreme level, returning home.
Before we all start reminiscing about those treasured travel memories, I’m sure many of us can also recall an experience gone awry. Take the dreaded too hot or too cold room dilemma. This one little annoyance can, without a doubt, cause a great deal of discomfort. The lost room key has probably been an issue a time or two. What if you could prevent these types of situations before they actually occur by setting your personal preferences ahead of time? This idea sounds too good to be true, right?
It appears to be here. The Guestroom 20X made an appearance at HITEC, an annual lodging and hospitality conference for financial and technology professionals on June 22. This room of the future appears to be truly redefining the meaning of mi casa es su casa — and could potentially help to resolve a lot of public relations problems that the hotel industry faces on a daily basis. Let’s be honest, a less than spectacular stay can be grounds for concern, especially if the problem is not remedied. However, problem solving appears to be shifting into new hands: consumers.
After reading Rob Lovitt's MSNBC article, “Early check in: Tomorrow’s hotel room today,” I learned that there are quite a few amenities that the Guestroom 20X offers. My personal favorite is the no key card. What do I mean by this? These high tech rooms would use Crypto Acoustic technology so that a cell phone would emit an encrypted audio code. The bonus of this invention is the fact that you can receive the code before check-in. Pretty cool, huh? No more waiting in line at the front desk to receive keys, just head straight to your temporary abode. How does the hotel benefit from this? Fewer complaints about the wait time to check in.
There are also a number of other additions in this innovative room to please guests. A room remote, for instance, would allow for individuals to keep their preferences on file including settings from scheduling your in-room music to when your drapes open and close. On top of that, the SmartTouch system would permit full access to hotel services. With the press of a button, room service or the spa could immediately attend to inquiries. This customizable technology would lead to a decrease in the amount of issues with phoning down to the desk and waiting for a reply.
So, are all of these technological changes going to make a difference in PR for hospitality? You bet. While I’m sure unforeseen issues will arise that can not be answered with the press of a button, I do believe consumers are going to enjoy having more freedom in this new digital escape. Let’s just hope the novelty of this experience doesn’t wear off too soon.
-Contributed by Michelle Hacunda. Follow her @Michelle_Belle6