hotels go high-tech

July 29th, 2010

Admittedly, no one can keep the innovative pace of Steve Jobs.  But hotels, in their pursuit to give guests an ever-richer experience, delivered ever more quickly, are helping to push technology to its limit. We aren’t speaking of iPod docking stations in every room – those seem as de rigueur as the VCR was in the 1990s.  Here’s what’s next…


Royal Mansour Marrakech 

 Royal Mansour Marrakech

This property might be made completely by hand, by Moroccan artisans and craftsman trained in the traditional arts of carving, silk weaving, and mosaics, but there is cutting-edge technology embedded into the nooks and crannies.  Every room in one’s private riad has a touch screen wall to control lighting and temperature levels throughout the riad.  And in case the personal butler service gets tiresome (though they come and go so quietly via a network of underground pathways), there is a ‘Do Not Disturb’ button. 

Tweetables: #Marakkech #traveltech


Crystal Cruises


A floating five-star hotel, Crystal Cruises helps guests stay as connected as they want to be.  This September, Crystal’s Computer University@Sea will feature state-of-the-art iMac workstations with 32 inch LED screens, operating on both Windows 7 and Mac OSX 10.6 platforms.  In addition to the existing Windows 7 classes, new introductory Microsoft Office and iPhoto classes for Mac will be offered.  The new systems and curriculum offer guests an ideal opportunity to work with systems that they are most familiar with while traveling, or to try something new with the helpful instruction of CU@Sea instructors. And for those flummoxed with how to upload their photos of the Arctic Sea, the tech concierge assists with all manner of hi-tech items from digital cameras to iPhone applications. 

Tweetables: @crystalcruises #Cruise #traveltech


Anantara Hotels & Resorts

 Anantara Phuket

Anantara Phuket Resort and spa

This spring, while New Yorkers waited in line at Apple, guests at Anantara Phuket Villas read The New York Times on the resort’s own iPads and gazed out on Thailand’s Andaman Sea.   Now, sister property Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa on Koh Samui has joined in on the fun.  Guests can check out the iPad to read the newspaper, schedule resort activities, or book treatments at the Anantara Spas. And soon all Anantara properties in Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives and the UAE will be plugged in, too. 

Tweetables: #Thailand #traveltech


Nantucket Island Resorts


The East Coast island, over thirty miles out at sea and preserved in quaint 19thcentury style, is the spot to enjoy technology at its most fun and leisurely.  Nantucket Island Resorts offers Flip Video Camcorders for guests to use at each property.  Record the sunset over Nantucket Bay at The Wauwinet, or borrow a Flip Cam from the White Elephant and capture footage of the beautiful boats arriving in Nantucket Harbor.  Even cooler, 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.

Tweetables: @WauwinetInn @WhiteElephantMA #Nantucket #traveltech



Pavillon des Lettres

 Pavillon des Lettres

Opening this autumn, Pavillon des Lettres, sister hotel to the beloved Pavillon de la Reine, is located in the 8th arrondissement. The small upscale hotel has 26 rooms each devoted to a letter of the alphabet and an international writer corresponding to that letter. Think H for Hugo or B for Balzac. Text from the corresponding author’s book will be painted above the bed and a hard copy of the book can be found on the nightstand. Though themed with books and literature, this hotel is not stuck in the past – each room will come equipped with an iPad loaded with international best-sellers and all of the info one would find in the in-room compendium. Website will be launching this summer and room rates begin at €300 per night.

Tweetables: #Paris #traveltech


Andaz Wall Street and Andaz 5th Avenue

 Andaz Wall Street

New York City loves to be on the cutting edge and Andaz Wall Street and the newly opened Andaz 5th Avenue are no different! Skipping the front-desk notion altogether, Andaz properties have floating ‘hosts’ who check guests in using mobile tablets. Check-in while sitting on the sofa in the Andaz Lounge, with complimentary glass of wine or, if you’re in a rush, in the elevator on their way to your room.  The tablets can swipe credit cards and also create room key cards on the spot. 

Tweetables: #NYC #traveltech

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