Travel insights from Jenna Buege, contributing editor of The Compass

Matchmaking and Mobile Experiences: How Hotels are Embracing Technology

As technology continues to evolve, hotels are finding ways to simplify processes and make the guest experience more enjoyable. Whether it’s a cool new mobile app or one-of-a-kind room features, hotels are on top of their technology game.

Check-In Changes and Room Features

The Crystalbrook Riley Resort in Cairns, Australia, is saying goodbye to the typical check-in experience and taking a more personalized approach. Instead of visiting the front desk, guests are approached by staff with handheld devices ready to confirm their reservation as they enter the hotel lobby. The room’s air conditioning is automatically triggered upon checking in and the guest’s language is set on the TV and iPad. In another non-traditional twist, Riley Resort uses keycards made of recycled wood instead of the common plastic version. To top it off, each room comes with a smart TV fully equipped with complimentary movies and box sets for travelers to enjoy during their stay.

Sandos Hotels and Resorts are also simplifying the hotel experience with the help of technology, thanks to the release of their new mobile app that allows clients to check-in online. In addition to an easier check-in process, the app also includes hotel maps, points of interest, restaurant info, an event calendar, weather forecasts and an activity time table to ensure that guests never miss out during their stay.

Customized Mobile Experiences

Vail Resorts in Colorado is equipping travelers with the knowledge of a local via their digital mountain assistant, Emma. Emma connects with guests through text message with real-time information such as weather conditions, dining and entertainment options, parking info and personal performance stats. Emma learns to adjust to guest preferences with each use and is available 24/7. 

Meet-Cute Matchmakers

Hotels have always been a place to meet and mingle, but today certain brands are taking their matchmaking status to new heights. Marriott’s Moxy recently rolled out a series of “BumbleSpots” in a partnership with Bumble, a location-based dating and networking app, to help connect guests during their stay.  Generator, a popular chain of boutique hostels, is also encouraging travelers to swipe left with the debut of their mobile app GenFriends that connects guests through their location and shared interests. In addition to creating the spark of a new relationship, many hotels such as Life House and The Standard are creating their own social networks where guests can chat and make plans.

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