High-end hotel brands jump on high-tech trend

Keyless guestrooms, robot butlers, virtual reality experiences
More hotel companies are investing in new technologies, CBS reports. Starwood Hotels & Resorts, for example, is testing keyless guestrooms with entry by smartphone, robot butlers and virtual reality experiences.
“Competition within the hospitality market continues to grow, specifically in hotels, and that technology element is really important to setting yourself apart, not only that you’re incorporating technology but that you incorporate it well,” explains Mona Anita Olsen, professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.
Virtual reality experiences may soon be part of Starwood hotels’ entertainment facilities. The company’s ideas incubator is already rolling out smartphone and smartwatch room access and is working on the best ways to set personal preferences and control lighting, temperature and special requests.
“It’s 6:59 in the morning, you’re gonna hear the music come on, you’re gonna see the lights come on and the coffee is brewing,” says Brian McGuinness, head of Starwood’s tech-driven hotels.
In the bathroom, the mirror will be an information centre, screening the weather and the news.
Robot butlers are already in action at the Aloft hotel in Cupertino, California. A robot bellhop stores luggage at New York City’s Yotel. Robot bartenders shake the cocktails on some Royal Caribbean cruise ships. And multilingual human-like robots will staff the soon-to-open Henn-na Hotel in Japan.