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Jonathan Toni, CEO of Hotel Technology International gives some tips on things to consider when choosing in-room technology for hospitality

Opening a hotel is exciting and requires meticulous planning from inception to the moment the doors open and your first guests arrive. The technology you choose is an integral part of the customer experience and care in the selection process is essential to ensure your guests can make the most of the facilities that enticed them to book their stay with you.

One of the more recent innovations we are excited about are digital room number signs with door bell facilities, options for check in and room cleaning instructions. This immediately brightens up your corridoors and gives your hotel a more contemporary feel.

Some of the simpler, in-room technologies also have an important role to play in delivering guest satisfaction and are well worth considering. A beautifully crafted in-room alarm clock can provide a more familiar, cosy feel to a hotel guest room, giving guests the chance to wake up as they may do at home, press the snooze button if desired, whilst simultaneously charging their mobile phone (depending on the device). Alarm clocks can also serve a valuable servic function in freeing up the staff resource that would otherwise be dedicated to wake-up calls. When choosing an alarm clock, make sure you consider how easy it is to use, what display options it has and whether it has controls such as a dimmer function to provide a more enjoyable experience. If space saving is a consideration, you will also want to make sure that whatever design you choose is in keeping with the style of your hotel’s suites and guestrooms.

The in-room hospitality phone is also crucial to the overall guest experience. Whilst most guests will undoubtedly have a mobile phone with them, the in-room phone is often the first port of call when guests are looking to phone reception, make a restaurant or spa booking or take advantage of your other facilities. Having a well configured phone that is beautifully styled with branding that shows your hotel to its best advantage and highlights the services you are renowned for is an effective way of ensuring your guests are able to book your facilities with ease. Make sure the phone you choose has faceplates and configuration options that highlight all your services. For many hotels 6 keys (one-touch memory buttons) will suffice, do not be afraid to ask your supplier if you need more or less options as this may have an impact on which type of phone is best for you..

In-room media panels can also transform the guest experience, with the ability to switch the guest room TV to a multimedia power outlet from which guests can stream their own content and listen to their own devices. This is an attractive means of adding value to your hotel’s guest offering and offers hotel owners the flexibility of both off-the-shelf or customised solutions that can be adapted to your hotel environment. When choosing a media panel, style considerations are important but you’ll also want to think about the features you want to offer and whether you want to include things like bluetooth connectivity.

Technology is moving at an incredible pace and there’s a lot of buzz around some of the newer technologies such as robot bus boys that can greet your guests at reception, provide 24/7 room service and perform other tasks depending on how they are configured. Bus boys certainly have the ‘wow’ factor and generate excitement and interest for hotels who have the right infrastructure and a lift that can be configured to take demands from the robot. But for those who don’t some of the simpler solutions outlined above, phones, clocks, media panels and room status doorplates are important technologies to be considered.

Jonathan Toni is CEO of Hotel Technology International Limited, a major supplier of guest technology to hotels. Jonathan has over 30 years’ experience in providing in-room phones and other technologies to major hotels worldwide. Should you be interested in receiving more details of some of the technologies listed – hotel room phones, alarm clocks, media panels, bus boy robots or digital room signs, please do not hesitate to message me or click on the links below to find out more.

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