How Modern Technology Plays a Role in Developing and Managing Hotels
By Craig Strickler U.S. Managing Director, Valor Hospitality | April 19, 2020
Walking through the front door, your lights are set precisely how you want them, so you can immediately get to where you need to be and set your items down easily, assuming your hands are full and in use. The temperature is set exactly how you like it, depending on the weather. Even your favorite music or television channel is playing softly in the background.
The "smart home" is becoming more and more popular these days, but this isn't your smart home. This is your "home away from home." This is your favorite hotel guestroom.
A hotel's goal today is to make your stay feel like you're in your own home, customizing it as if you had selected every setting yourself. And while design plays an important role in this goal, technology is just as important – possibly more so. Simple to connect, fast, free WiFi is not an amenity any longer in hotels. It's an expectation. Having multiple devices automatically connect to the hotel's guest network is commonplace with hotels…not only specific hotels…but across brands as well.
The process should be seamless. The network recognizes your phone, your laptop, your watch, or any other device that has connected to any of that brands networks across the globe and immediately say "Welcome Back!" These days, this network is the start of so much more than just connecting to the internet to check emails. It's the backbone to a converged network that enables so many more customized amenities and settings to treat you as if you were in the comfort of your own home…and pamper you even more.
Mobile technology in hotels today allows a guest's experience to begin before arrival, prompting the guest to check in the day before they arrive. The guest can then choose the location of their room – a high floor for a great view; away from the elevator for a quiet room; or near the gym for those fitness enthusiasts. Upon arrival, (as mentioned above) the hotel's network welcomes your mobile device back and sends it your mobile key, allowing you to go straight there and bypass any lines in the lobby using your phone to access your guest room. Most hotels and major brands have this technology implemented or are in the process of implementing it soon. But that's only the beginning.
Using a frequent guest program, the next step in this process will be interfacing the guestroom lighting, HVAC system, in-room entertainment system, blinds, and other items that can be customized to your specific liking. These "guest room controls" will link to your preferences in your frequent guest account, and once your guest room is blocked and you are checked in, the automated settings adjust to accommodate your requests, so your guest room looks the same if you're in Miami, Florida or Seattle, Washington.