The Future of Amenities in Hotel Rooms
What amenity do you want?
Recently, the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University undertook a project called “Tomorrow’s Guestrooms.” Dr. Basak Denizci Guillet, the Associate Professor who coordinated the project, invited suppliers to submit new technology and new products that could play a significant role in the design of the future guest room.
A panel of expert judges evaluated each submission and then 8 winners were selected. Each winning submission provided a unique amenity that had the promise and potential of making the future guest experience even better than it is today.
SHTM is considered to be one of the world’s leading providers of hospitality and tourism education. Integral to the understanding of the industry, the School incorporates its teaching and research hotel, Hotel ICON, in the development of its curriculum and special projects.
All of the winners of the “Tomorrow’s Guestrooms” project get to incorporate their technology and fresh designs into three dedicated guest rooms in the Hotel ICON. Real paying guests, over a six month period, will be asked for feedback on each amenity that was added to their “special” hi-tech room.
Each of the winners did something that involved new technology and improved on an amenity that is already being used, in some form, at small and large properties around the world. While they are not completely new ideas, the innovative new products developed by each company offer such features as energy and cost savings, added convenience and a modern design that makes the guest room more appealing.
Neobar and E-Tray
Bartech created a better minibar by using an energy-efficient compressor and eco-friendly refrigerant in its self-serve beverage and snack centers. The incorporation of detection technology allows the minibar to communicate with the people who refill the minibars and let them know when more Snickers bars need to be stocked.
High Definition (HD) Weave Carpet
Brintons Carpets Limited introduced a superior product that allows carpeting to be produced in a rainbow of colors, patterns and designs. Their patented carpet loom has attracted the attention of hoteliers and the industry as a whole. Custom carpeting, that once was a very expensive proposition, can now be done quickly and at an affordable cost. By finding a better way to meet the needs of their biggest potential customers, the future of Brintons Carpets Limited looks very bright.
SuperDock DN 7000
DNet Solution (HK) Company Limited has created a multi-functional docking port that can support all types of smart devices that have built-in speakers. Using electo-magnetic induction technology, guests can charge their smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices. The SuperDock DN also comes with USB ports, making it even more versatile and convenient for guests who don’t go anywhere without at least one device that allows them to keep in touch with friends and access the Internet.
Guest Communication Center (GCC)
Fingi Inc. has developed a stylish charging station with a small footprint so it can fit on the corner of a nightstand or any other convenient flat surface in the room. This amenity can charge all types of electronic devices and can be the source of access to the Internet. Slip your smartphone into the docking station and it becomes an IP speakerphone.
Salto Systems Asia Pte Ltd. uses a wireless locking system that eliminates the need for keys or magnet cards to enter the guest room. Doors can be locked or unlocked by using a cell phone. This new system provides the convenience of not needing to carry a separate card or key. Another feature that enhances the value of this system is safety and security. When guests check-in, instead of giving them an envelope with a key that could be lost, the staff at the front desk can program the guest’s cell phone to open the door. Authorized personnel have the advantage of real-time control over the guest room.
Service Technology Partners Limited has come up with a way for hoteliers to communicate visually with guests by placing a TV screen that can send messages in real-time to entice the guest to use or purchase more services offered by the hotel. The possibilities for this push-type information and advertising system includes letting the guest know what is on the dinner menu, offering information about purchasing tickets to local attractions, and anything else that management thinks will help create a better guest experience.
Spicy Innovations Limited has solved the problem of where to put your smartphone or tablet when you do not want to hold it in your hands. Your phone or tablet can attach to walls, desks, the back of a seat on an airplane and countless other possibilities. You can turn, tilt and position this helpful, and completely portable, product in many different directions to get the best viewing angle.
VDA Asia Pacific Limited has introduced a cloud-based television system that makes it easy for guests to find out all types of information about the amenities of the property as well as the best attractions, restaurants and shopping in the local area. The innovative new wireless system also makes it possible for people to stream their own music, videos and pictures to the television.
In a very competitive industry, management must always keep up with the latest trends and new ideas if they do not want to fall behind their competition. Many innovative and cutting edge new products are being developed by suppliers from all around the world. As these products are tested and introduced, travelers will get more value and a better hotel experience in the future.
- PolyU Launches Tomorrow’s Guestrooms at Hotel ICON (seaofinfo.com)
- Are Hotels Charging Too Many Fees? Not Really (pizzainmotion.com)
- Hit by a surprise fee on your hotel bill? You’re not alone (theglobeandmail.com)