From Business Insider, here is a ranking of the Top 10 Hotels for the Tech-Obsessed:
– Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas: The hotel offers radio frequency keys with sensors that turn on lights and greet guests. The hotel also allows guests to check in at the front desk, via phone, or via the TV screen in guests’ rooms.
– The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas: The futuristic hotel uses an iPad to check in guests, and the EA Sports Bar boasts big-screen TVs and video games. The sleek hotel also houses a 24-hour fitness center with air-conditioned treadmills and a boxing ring.
– W Hotel, Boston: The hotel’s charging center has jacks for nearly every kind of cell phone, as well as power strips with AV jacks so you can hook computers up to the TV.
– The Eliot Hotel, Boston: The Eliot Hotel’s rooms come equipped with a touch-screen for guests to use to order room service, extra amenities, or basically anything else they might require. You can even use ICE, the touch-screen system, to schedule your nightly turn down for a precise time.
– The Jefferson, Washington, D.C.: Rooms at The Jefferson have flat-screen TVs embedded in the bathroom mirror and smartchip room-service carts. When guests put the room-service carts in the hallway, the cart’s microchip lets housekeeping know to come collect it.
– Ritz-Carlton, Battery Park, NYC: The Ritz’s plush bathrooms also include a powerful audio feed from the TV into the bathroom. The Harbor View rooms also come equipped with a telescope so you can always keep an eye on Lady Liberty.
– Setai Fifth Avenue, NYC: All rooms at the Setai Fifth Avenue include iPod docks and TVs in the bathroom mirrors, as well as a separate 52-inch flat-screen TV.
– Hotel Beaux Arts, Miami: Much like The Eliot Hotel, rooms at Hotel Beaux Arts Miami come equipped with iPads with digital concierge services.
– Four Seasons, Maui: The hotel loans out Kindles — complete with waterproof sleeves and 40 pre-loaded books — to guests.
– Geejam, Jamaica: The rooms come standard with 42-inch flat-screen AppleTVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. As an added bonus, all rooms include a free cellphone preprogrammed with the hotel’s customer service numbers.
(The italicized descriptions come from Business Insider.)
Obviously, this is another very subjective list. Since all but one are in the U.S., a lot of foreign hotels were left out–no matter how technologically advanced. Looking past the seemingly arbitrary selection process, it’s worth considering how hotels are evolving. Like my recent post about automated parking garages, this list explores the ways in which technological innovation has converged with real estate, this time in the hospitality sector.
Note that none of these hotels offer anything as far-fetched as personal elevators or robot butlers. In fact, I’ll admit I was a little disappointed by this list (perhaps I was hoping to see a robot butler). Considering the enormous amounts of income these hotels generate annually, the amenities described above actually seem fairly affordable. For example, consider the Four Seasons Maui, which loans Kindle e-readers to its guests. To buy a Kindle for every one of its 380 rooms, the hotel may have paid roughly $30, 000-$40,000–just a fraction of the $50 million it recently spent on renovations.
With that comparatively small expenditure, though, it’s gained a unique image as “the only hotel that gives out Kindles” –some excellent PR for a relatively low price.