Marriott has announced a new partnership with Amazon. Together, the companies will work to install its Alexa technology in Marriott hotel rooms. Marriott hopes this will improve guest experiences, and Amazon is hoping that this could be a foray into the hospitality industry. The technology will be rolled out at select Marriott locations to start, and will eventually expand from there. Additionally, after the trial run “the service will be available by invitation to other hotel chains.”
The hotel chain is betting that Alexa will allow guests to make requests more easily. In theory, things like ordering room service and contacting the concierge or housekeeping could be done through Alexa. This means guests wouldn’t need to leave their rooms, and wouldn’t have to wait if the phone lines at the front desk are busy. Additionally, updated technology is just one of many ways hotels have been trying to entice millennial guests in recent years.
Marriott isn’t the only hotel chain to make a big tech decision recently. Viceroy hotels recently announced that their staff will be issued Samsung Gear S3 smart watches. Staff receive all guest requests on these watches, and the VP for tech at Viceroy, Darren Clark, says they’ve already noticed an improvement. “On average, it takes three to four minutes for employees to receive and respond to a request, but now with the smartwatch it’s only 60 seconds on average to get the request,” he said. “It’s a big improvement on response times.”
Some people have expressed concern that staff looking at watches won’t come across as very hospitable, but Viceroy has countered that phones or tablets would be even less so. Like Marriott, the program is starting at just one Viceroy location, and will expand throughout their chain depending on the results of the trial.
With the rate at which technology is becoming an integral part of our lives, it’s likely we’ll see more and more hotel chains get on board and get ‘smart’.