One of the most important technological trends within the hotel industry today is the rise of smart hotel technology. This technology has the capacity to benefit both hotel owners and guests alike, potentially improving financial results, as well as the customer experience itself. In this article, you will learn more about what a smart hotel actually is, why the technology is becoming so important, and what the various plus points are.
What is a Smart Hotel?
Essentially, a smart hotel is a hotel which makes use of internet-connected devices, which are capable of communicating or interacting with one another. This is sometimes referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT) and means that even ordinary devices or appliances can send or receive data, making them ‘smart’.
The ability for these devices to communicate with one another can allow users to control multiple devices from a single control point, such as a remote control, smart phone, tablet or smart speaker. Moreover, devices are often able to find and use information from the internet, allowing them to respond intelligently to user requests.
Why Every Hotel Should Become a Smart Hotel
Hilton, Marriott and other major hotel brands have been quick on the uptake when it comes to smart room technology. However, in reality, everyone in the hotel industry should be prioritising turning their hotel into a smart hotel, because it can significantly improve the customer experience, make life easier for staff, and save owners money.
Using a smart room, guests are able to control the various components and get their room exactly how they like it. They also find it both faster and easier to obtain important information. Meanwhile, as you will find out in the next section, creating a smart hotel can also reduce a number of operational costs.
5 Ways Smart Hotels Benefit Hotel Owners and Guests
1. More Sustainable Hotel Rooms
One of the biggest advantages of a smart hotel room, from the perspective of a hotel owner, is the improved sustainability available. This is primarily linked to energy saving possibilities within the rooms, which can be aided by the automation that the Internet of Things offers.
For instance, light bulbs can be set up to automatically increase or decrease in power, based on the levels of light in the room at the time. Similarly, heating can be configured to automatically maintain a certain temperature, with radiators cutting out once that temperature is achieved. All of this then leads to lower energy bills.
2. Improved Levels of Personalisation
A smart hotel also offers excellent opportunities to deliver personalisation. As an example, TVs can be remotely set up to refer to guests by their own name, while a central control point can be used by guests to set conditions within the room. Through IoT technology, the various devices can then automatically create those conditions.
Additionally, smart TVs and smart speakers can provide guests with the ability to access their own accounts on services like Netflix and Spotify. In fact, the Alexa for Hospitality service is aiming to introduce a feature in the near future, where guests can sign in with their Amazon account and access their own audio books and music files.
3. Easier Access to Information
For customers, another major benefit of smart hotel technology is the ability to gain access to information. With devices like Amazon Alexa speakers, this could mean a guest using their voice to ask a question and then receiving an intelligent answer. However, devices can also be connected up to other hotel services.
So, for instance, a customer may be able to use a smart hub to access information about restaurant availability. This can be connected to the hotel restaurant’s booking system, providing live data. Some within the hotel industry have taken this a step further still, connecting wall maps up to the internet, allowing guests to find information and reviews for local bars, restaurants and tourist attractions.
4. Data-Driven Decision Making
It is essential that those in the hotel industry take care with smart hotel room technology, especially when it comes to protecting customer privacy. With that being said, as long as hotels are transparent and adhere to data protection legislation, some customer information obtained from smart room technology can be useful.
While it will be necessary to securely delete customer voice commands and other data from devices like Amazon Echo, certain information can be collected, including basic usage data. This can allow hotels to find out what the most popular TV channels or radio stations are, allowing for data-driven decisions on what to set as default options.
5. Pre-emptive Maintenance and Repairs
Finally, both customers and hotel owners can benefit from the ability that a smart hotel provides for pre-emptive maintenance and repairs. In simple terms, this can be achieved because the IoT allows hotel staff to see performance information and operational data for specific devices, in real-time.
This enables hotel staff to spot problems quickly, or even before they happen, allowing repairs to be made earlier. As a result, fewer guests will encounter disruption, early repairs may allow hotel owners to save money on replacement devices, and much less money will be lost because of rooms being out of service.
5 Ways to Transform Your Hotel Into a Smart Hotel
In the article “5 Ways to Transform Your Hotel Into a Smart Hotel” you will find out ways you can transform your standard hotel room offering into a cutting-edge smart room.
Video: Example of a smart hotel
Video: Smart hotel; the hotel of the future
The entire smart hotel concept has emerged precisely because it offers benefits to both hotel owners and guests. In particular, it can save hotel owners money on energy and maintenance costs, while it can provide guests with an improved customer experience and a far greater degree of personalisation.