IT Leaders Discuss the Changing Nature of the Guestroom

Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
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Today’s consumers are used to having technology at their fingertips and using it to make their daily lives easier. Guests accustomed to a certain level of digital creature comforts in their own homes may find a guestroom without Alexa, a Nest thermostat or smart lighting inhibiting. Technology has ushered in an era of hyper-convenience and automation that is impacting guestroom design. Customizable technologies that allow guests to truly feel at home while on property are becoming table stakes for the on-demand generation. 

Here, IT leaders from a variety of hospitality brands ranging from small boutiques to large corporate properties weigh in on how their properties are implementing technology to improve guest stays with convenience and customization.

HT: How can smart hotel rooms remove friction and improve a guest’s stay?

John Padgett, Chief Experience and Innovation Officer, Carnival Corporation & plc: A high-tech, guest-centric ecosystem delivers enormous operational efficiencies like streamlining in-room cleaning, overall labor, eliminating paper, and many other benefits. Because Carnival’s OceanMedallion wearable IoT device connects to Carnival’s Guest Experience Ecosystem, many of the guest’s needs, wants and desires can be anticipated. Most guests get OceanReady before departing, including providing their security photo, so the crew is able to recognize a guest upon arrival and greet them by name upon first interaction. Smart technology provides the crew with relevant information to enhance service delivery and enable all aspects of a vacation. This approach works because it’s focused on the human dynamic — how crew interacts with guests, how guests interact with each other and how every experience takes place.