iPod docking stations are so last year. Today, hotels are making a more concerted effort to upgrade their guest rooms and common areas with the newest technology that keeps guests connected, educated, and often times inspired, during their stay. While many hotels bring in iPads to keep their guests entertained, other hotels are getting super-sexy with some unique high-tech initiatives.
Check out the Royal Mansour in Marrakech. The property was created completely by Moroccan artisans and craftsman trained in the traditional arts of carving, silk weaving, and mosaics, but the hotel added cutting-edge technology throughout. For example, every guest room has a touch screen wall that enables guests to control lighting and temperature levels (tres chic!) and in case you tire of the personal butler service (although we can’t imagine why you would,) there is a ‘Do Not Disturb’ button on your wall for ultimate privacy.
Guest rooms at Pavillon des Lettres in Paris are perfect for the aspiring storyteller. Opening this autumn, Pavillon des Lettres is a small 26-room upscale hotel with a novel idea: guest rooms that are devoted to a letter of the alphabet that corresponds with a famous writer. (Think: H for Hugo or B for Balzac.) Passages from the writer’s books will appear above the bed and a hard copy of the book can be found on the nightstand. C’est magnifique! Closer to home, the quaint New England island of Nantucket is getting into the high-tech crazy. Nantucket Island Resorts offers Flip Video Camcorders for guests to use at each property, so you can record the sunsets, the hikes, the storms and the endless display of Nantucket baskets that parade around the island every summer. (Hint from this New Englander: Grab a seat at the White Elephant at sunset and capture the boats coming into the dock – it’s one of the best, and most unique, New England moments). You can enter a one-minute video clip in the Flip Out on Nantucket Sweepstakes for the chance to win a grand prize Nantucket vacation worth $15,000.
We couldn’t do a post about high-tech hotels without mentioning one of the newest and techiest hotels to hit the New York scene: Andaz Wall Street and the newly opened Andaz 5th Avenue. Thanks to technology, guests skip the front-desk altogether and use mobile tablets to check in with the hotel’s floating ‘hosts’. Have a rough day? Enjoy a glass of wine while you check-in. In a hurry? Check-in from the elevator on the way to your room. Guests just swipe their credit cards and a room key is created on the spot. Genius!
Gadling readers: What new technology would you like to see in hotels?