I’ve been following innovation in the hotel industry for some time, and I’ve put together a list of ideas that are circulating in the industry and some that are my own.
Website / Booking
Let guests select the specific room # they’re getting
Let guests select room layout they need
VR tour of the hotel and room
Areal drone photography in listings
Promo video in listings
Curated rich hotel listing
About the chef, restaurant, bar
About the design and architecture
About the history, owners
About the location, the activities and the views
Mobile app requirements
Must be able to use basic functionality also on bad networks
Download booking information to be accessed offline
Must be able to copy/paste address and booking info from app
Must be able to see full listing also after booking
Lobby / Reception
Remembering and greeting guests by using facial recognition technology
Robots to guide guests by providing recorded voice messages and accompanying them during their stay
Robots to carry luggage
Robots to do room deliveries
Robotic arm for self storage of luggage
Have one! Coin-operated or free
Notify when ready
Get it delivered finished wash to room by a robot
Making working poolside possible
Outdoor charging stations
Cover for laptop and tablet screens so you can see also in bright sunlight
Cooling/covers to prevent overheated laptops
Available to all or rent by the hour
Beacons on gym equipment
Screens to follow a class or workout program
Integration with fitness apps
Nike running club
Digital maps for local running paths
Smart watering system that knows if it’s going to rain or not
Autonomous lawn mowers
Autonomous vacuum cleaners
Autonomous window cleaners
Guest can configure layout of room
Bed arrangement and number of beds needed
Shelving and hooks
Keyless locks / digital locks / Smart locks
Get room key via mobile app
Open door with facial recognition
Voice-activated room assistant
Control temperature, lights, TV, music, curtains etc in room
Speak in your preferred language
Occupancy sensors would allow the hotel to adjust the temperature when the room is unoccupied and mobile apps tied into that same energy management system could allow guests to set their preferred temperature for the room prior to arrival.
Change color and brightness of room lights
Light and oxygen setting to help you get adjusted from jet-lag
LED lighting with footboard motion sensors to help moving at night
The mini-fridge could come stocked with items guests select or preset items they want at every hotel they stay at.
Big enough to keep personal items
Let guests order their own groceries to stock the fridge
Mattress that adjust firmness to guest preferences
Adjustable bed heights
Option to tilt the headboard
Sleep & Relaxation Aids
Nightingale (www.meetnightingale.com ), a smart sleep system that helps drown out common sleep-interfering sounds
Dodow https://www.mydodow.com/dodow/en-us/home , a luminous metronome that gets you to fall asleep more quickly.
Dreem https://dreem.com/en , a headband that promotes better sleep
Sensorwake https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sensorwaketrio/sensorwake-wake-up-happy-with-the-smell-based-alar which helps you wake up to a certain aroma, like coffee, tea, or a sea breeze.
NuCalm (www.nucalm.com ), drug-free relaxation technology designed to help people de-stress and sleep better. The machine interrupts the brain’s stress response and guides the person to a relaxed state.
Automatic coffee makers with built-in WiFi to provide weather and news updates
Somabar (http://somabar.com ), a personal mixologist that guests can program to make their favorite cocktails. $4,995
Steamer to freshen up clothes in the room
Wardrobe utilizing sliding shelves and rods for easy access to clothes
Start a yoga routine on a full-length mirror
A “smart mirror” that doubles as a TV, a virtual concierge platform and, when turned off, a traditional mirror.
In-room tablets and smartphones
Guests can access hotel information, receive digital wake-up calls, read a variety of newspapers, and stream international radio stations.
Allow guests to make requests, place room service orders and manage their stay with features such as maps, menus and transportation information.
Mobile App Controls
Apps and systems that remember a visitor’s preferences and past behaviors.
Allowing guests to set their preferences before they arrive. That way guests can have everything as they want it when they arrive in the room: the temperature, brightness, even whether the drapes are open
TV / Displays
Allow guests to hook up their iPads
Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, HBO
Chromecast - provides a convenient way for guests to broadcast their music through the TV speakers
Televisions will become large in-room screens that guests use exclusively for casting content from their own personal devices
Greeting guests with a welcome video and interactive program guide
Displaying guest services, room service menus, hotel amenities, folio review and even offering a video check out.
Guest rewards integration
Interactive map of the city with search capabilities for bars, restaurants etc
Let guests upload their own artwork and photos to be displayed in electronic frames
A virtual-reality concept where guests can design their own room and then get it furnished in real-life.
Letting guests project a rainforest, a starry sky or art on the walls and the ceiling of their room
Biometric bathroom tiles that report on a guest’s health
Skinjay shower capsules that contain essential oils
Ask to start the shower at the desired temperature
Stored in their customer profile
Shower Door Shareable Canvas technology. The touch-sensitive technology, built into the shower door, allows guests to “screenshot” what they’ve written or drawn within the steam and email it to themselves for future reference.
IoT-powered smart glass windows that transition through multiple tint states automatically to provide the right amount of natural light, while increasing building sustainability and maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature.
View Dynamic Glass (https://viewglass.com ) is one such provider of this technology. Hotel staff members manually control the tint state from an app on an iOS device to optimize comfort levels.
Shopping / Services
The furniture and other items in the hotel can be purchased merely by taking photos through a designated app or from a website
Purchase souvenirs (from curated local partners) from an online catalog, get it delivered to your door or shipped directly home
Upload photos and get it delivered to your room as physical postcards you can send home
Get take-out delivered to your room
Get dry-cleaning picked up and returned to your room
Order massage , physical therapy etc
Shuttle to nearest subway station
Give guests a metro pass (ICE, Rabbit etc)
Bicycles to borrow or rent
Scooters for rent
Drivers available for day trips
Hotel operated local tours
Outlets and charging
Wireless charging pads
Wireless charging in furniture
Outdoor charging stations for poolside working
Hotel VIA (www.hotelviasf.com ) installed highly secure Ethernet Internet with 5 Gbps service from Comcast Business (https://business.comcast.com) and a FiberLAN solution from DASAN Zhone Solutions (http://dasanzhone.com) that leverages GPON (gigabyte passive optical network) to offer guests unlimited devices and 100% connectivity across the property.
Wired data access points that deliver high-speed connections to the network Alcatel Lucent Enterprise’s OmniAccess Stellar Access Points (www.al-enterprise.com)
Low voltage power and Power over Ethernet (PoE)
Nearly everything in a guest room can be powered and managed using PoE, including the TVs and minibars. It also has the added benefit of having additional safety measures against shocking and
Restaurants, bar, dining
Mobile dining - https://intelitycorp.com/main/platform/ice/mobile-dining/
Minimize the staff needed for your outdoor restaurant, cabana, or bar by using Mobile Dining to help manage orders that need to be placed, all the way to fulfillment and delivery.
Reserve table in the restaurant from the room/app.
Pre-order menu that is ready when guest arrive in the restaurant
Provide cutlery, cups and plates for takeout in the room
Self-service station somewhere in the hotel
Order to be delivered to room via app or TV
Water stations to re-fill bottles
Front desk available via Messenger, Line, WhatsApp
Send individualized messages to guests to personalize their experience
Digital User Satisfaction survey in room
Respond to feedback instantly to ensure guest satisfaction
New revenue streams
Get away for focused work time
Packages to draw local crowd in off season
Sleepovers in public places
Museum, aquarium - http://sleepover.aquarium.com.tw/, glamping, warehouse, sleep o the roof, tents on the beach, first class airplane seats in a movie theater..
On-demand sleeping pods near universities, airport, railway stations
Option to rent hotel rooms by the hour
Option to rent conference rooms by the hour
Serviced apartments / long stay
Help the residents with renting out their apartments when they are traveling
List hotel rooms on Airbnb
Loyalty Reward Members or community members can get access to underutilized hotel facilities or services without being a guest for a monthly fee, by the hour or per visit
Design your own hotel experience
Nomadic lifestyle where members of a hotel chain can freely roam between hotels paying an annual fee
Crowd-funded new hotels
Membership perks or X nights “free”