Darren

Hotels get geek chic!

With the prolific use of smartphones with technology such as NFC, Passbook and the impending launch of Apple Watch, the use of technology in the hotel industry is becoming a very interesting area.

Virgin Limited Edition introduced iPad Concierge back in 2011

You can now book via your iPhone, the app knows when you arrive and it checks you in, assigns you a room key and you can go straight to your room wave your phone or watch at the door and ”Hey Presto”, it opens.

A few years back the team made a concierge iPad app for Virgin that allowed guests to check itinerary, find out more about where they were staying, it even allowed guests to play games and send virtual postcards back home to loved ones.

It makes us keen to explore how the future of digital within the hotel industry should include all of these great things combined.

Imagine an app that knows what hotel you are at and therefore supplies you with all the information you need about that hotel, the restaurant / menus / order room service / check facilities, Gym, Pool etc.

It should also act as a personal concierge throughout your stay, allowing you to find out about great nearby restaurants, theatres — what shows are on, tourist attractions, all of which you should be either be able to book direct, or via the app select to have the hotel concierge book seats, tables, trips etc.

If you asked the concierge to arrange tickets for a nearby theatre show, the hotel should be able to gently notify you that the tickets are in the lobby via a tap on the wrist through your Apple Watch.

The important part of this all being that if you as a guest still require Human to Human interaction — you should still be able to. Hotel staff still need to be able to be there for people if they need help, or in the hopefully rare case when the tech fails.

All this technology shouldn’t however disregard the personal touch — it should enhance it, allowing the hotel to provide a better and indeed more personal service. By using such technologies, hotels can build customer loyalty and further engage with the guests, catering more specifically to their tastes, needs and requirements by building data on each future visit.

This doesn’t simply apply to hotels, think Cruise ships, festivals, resorts and more.

Whether this all happens via one platform for travellers, bespoke apps for individual chains or a combination of the two will remain to be seen.

The team in the Gourmet Pixel studio are excited by the possibilities and keen to explore them further.