7 Pieces of Hotel Technology Guests Want Right Now

By: 365 Retail Markets

Want to add revenue, inspire repeat stays, and generate positive reviews for your hotel? Improving your hotel technology could be the answer. The tech available to hotels extends from touchpoints at the guests’ arrival to the moment they leave. From self-serving at the point of check in to digital displays, Bluetooth environmental controls, and smart vending and food solutions, here’s a list of the hotel technology guests want (if not expect), right now.

1. Automated Self Check-in
It’s no fun for your guest to travel for hours and finally arrive at your hotel only to find that there’s a long line at the front desk or the front desk staff are nowhere to be found. Employing hotel technology like an all-online check in system with app-based or keycode door entry, or a kiosk-based check in process with keycard dispenser could be the answer. You can also make this process more personable by texting your guest before arrival with directions to your location and a friendly “Your room is ready!” announcement.

2. Interactive Displays
Your guest is here, but do they know what to do next? Adding interactive wall displays and kiosks answering travelers’ most commonly asked questions can save your staff a lot of time and give your customer a memorable way to get help.

The options are virtually endless, but interactive display menus could include answers to questions like these:

  • How do I get to my room?
  • What hours is the lobby staffed?
  • How do I get help if staff aren’t available?
  • Is food available in the hotel, what is available, and where?
  • Where’s the closest drug store?
  • Where are the closest restaurants?
  • Which restaurants deliver to the hotel?
  • Best things to do in town?
  • How can I call a taxi?
  • Is there an easy way to rent a car?
  • Where can I access public transportation?
  • How do I get the shuttle back to the airport when I leave?

3. Tech-based Food and Beverage Access
Not every hotel has a restaurant, but that doesn’t mean your hotel can’t offer a range of food and drink options to guests. What’s more, thanks to the wide range of hotel technology-friendly options available, you may even be able to offer food and beverages to your guests at no cost and without adding responsibilities to your staff.

We have operators nationwide who are ready to set up and manage unattended micro markets, a hotel pantry, food kiosks, and smart vending machines at your location. You supply the Wi-Fi, and they do the rest. You can leave it to your operator to plan and stock inventory, service equipment, and fully-manage the service from end to end, giving your guests access to a wide range of fresh foods, snacks, and even full meals right at your location.

A few of the best options include:

Grab and Go with PicoCooler Breeze
These grab-and-go markets look like vending machines, but they are comprised of smart, sensor-based technology. Your guest inputs a debit or credit card, or scans their mobile wallet, takes something out of inventory, and built-in technology completes the transaction. This can be a frictionless way to access food, beverages, sundries, gift items and more.

Micro Market Pantries
Micro Market Pantries allow the guest to explore the shop area like they would any convenience store. Once they select a product, they scan their items at the self-checkout kiosk, pay and be on their way. Many hotels using micro markets appreciate having the flexibility of having staff available to help in the mini-market during high traffic hours with the ability to let guests self-scan otherwise.

PicoCooler or Traditional Vending

These ‘vending machines’ can be placed in the lobby, near conference and meeting rooms, in guest recreational areas like pools and fitness centers, and throughout your hotel. With the PicoCooler, the items stocked in each can be highly tailored to the location and allow you to offer guests a wider variety of items. Because of open shelving options, items do not have to fit into traditional vending slots, further widening product variety from protein shakes to swim caps.

Of course, you can always opt for traditional vending machines; cashless vending offers the added convenience of not having guests search for loose change just to get a snack or bottle of water.

4. Eco-friendly, Smart Lighting & Atmosphere Controls
In recent years, some hotels have adopted eco-friendly, energy-saving hotel technology. For example, some require guests to place the keycard into a slot in order to turn lights on in the room. Smart tech can also be used to automatically turn off lights and reset heating and cooling systems when a guest leaves the room or checks out at the end of their stay.

Keep in mind that while many guests appreciate the eco-friendly features, there’s a fine line between saving energy and being guest-un-friendly. As you incorporate features like these into your hotel’s common areas and rooms, make sure it’s easy for guests to understand how to turn things on and provide a way for them to do so manually in the rare event the tech fails.

5. Wi-Fi and an App for Everything
In most cases, your guests are probably using their smartphones for many different purposes. They want access to wi-fi while at your hotel (and fast wi-fi, at that). This includes when they’re in common areas, whether they are guests of your hotel or attending a meeting, wedding, or some other event.

Likewise, guests staying at your hotel don’t want to struggle with how to access TV controls, open their room safe, figure out how to turn up the heat and AC, order room service and so on. Wouldn’t it be great for your staff to be able to say “there’s an app for that!” and give your guests access to everything!

6. Cashless Transactions (But Access to Cash)
Guests want cashless transactions when it comes to your hotel and even when it comes to the smart vending and micro markets at your facility. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need access to cash. Having an ATM offers guests the ability to withdraw money they may need for tips, establishments like casinos, entertainment venues like sport stadiums, and so on.

7. Charging & Power Stations
If your hotel has common areas or conference and meeting rooms, it also needs ample device-charging and power outlets. This can be easily accomplished with tables, desks, chairs, and other furnishings with built-in stations. And as an aside, your hotel’s grab and go (or scan and go) micro markets and pantries are a great place for you to stock and sell smartphone chargers and cords.

Hotel technology has evolved tremendously over the past few years. Taking action on the items listed above can help you boost revenues while providing an exceptional guest experience. Want to improve your food and beverage technology, specifically? We can help with that! Request information below and see how our unattended technology can help your hotel business grow.