Does it feel like summer is moving too fast? Travel, like summer, is all about savoring the moment. Don’t worry. There is definitely still time to get away to places near and far. This month, we visit Japan, go on a family cruise to the Caribbean, and share why private jet charters are on the rise.
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
These days technology goes hand in hand in delivering the ultimate guest experience. And luxury hoteliers keep raising the bar. We rounded up some of our favorites.
Optimizing Arrivals and Check-In
Remember when a key would open your hotel room? Neither do we. Mobile room keys are the latest popular tech trend. Hyatt, Hilton and Starwood properties are among the major chains featuring the keyless room option. Starwood recently announced that guests can now use the SPG app on their Apple Watch as a room key at more than 150 W Hotels, Aloft, and Element properties around the world.
At the swanky Alma Barcelona in the Gothic Quarter, a mere fingerprint scan serves as your room key.
Higher Tech Amenities
The Peninsula Paris arguably has the most personalized rooms in the world. Interactive digital tablets are preset in one of 11 languages, allowing fully customized control of all in-room needs. This includes restaurant menus, hotel services and TV channels, in addition to touch-screen wall panels for valet calls, temperature control, weather, and privacy options.
The brand new Baccarat Hotel in New York City offers a cool interactive app which allows the ability to control your room from anywhere during your stay. Need an extra pillow or want to crank up the air conditioning before you get back? No problem.
At Hotel Zetta in San Francisco, rooms feature G-Link docking stations to allow streaming video from your smartphone to the room’s TV.
As part of its tech offerings, the Opus Hotel in Vancouver provides a Virtual iPad Concierge service. Guests can select one of five personal lifestyle concierge muses to suit their mood. Visitors can explore the city with their high-tech iPad companion, who will suggest favorite places to shop, dine, exercise, relax and more.
At The Setai Miami Beach eco-chic meets high-tech. Guests have access to a complimentary electronic car charging station. The Knickerbocker in New York City offers diners on-the-go a USB port on its breakfast trays.
Doing laps in the indoor pool at Kulm Hotel St Moritz comes with a high tech upgrade. Music lovers can now program their favorite tunes into their underwater swim.
The Casa Madrona in Sausalito, CA, offers a twist on room service to impress even 007. Guests who order a bucket of champagne on the outdoor deck of the hotel’s Mansion suite can watch it be delivered from the hotel’s wine cellar by high-tech, remote-controlled, octo-copter drones.
Set to open on July 17 in a theme park in Nagasaki, Japan, the Henn-na Hotel plans to introduce three new fembots, called Actroids. These human-like robots, will act as receptionists at check-in, able to engage in intelligent conversation with hotel guests. They’ll be joined on staff by robotic, but very human-like, maids and porters too. Welcome to the future.