Hotel and Technology Roundup

From 2004-2007 I logged hundreds of thousands of air miles, countless nights on the road and roughly 30 international trips (and probably the same amount of domestic).  That's all to say, I know a thing or two about staying in hotels.  And while mercifully, I don't travel much any more, it's still with great interest that I notice articles and blog posts about hotel marketing/experiential innovations.  Thanks heavily to Springwise, here then are a few things I've Flagged For Follow Up recently:

Interactive Surface Technology at Sheraton:  Guests at Sheraton hotels in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Seattle can use Microsoft's Surface technology to access entertainment content, local tourist information and information about other Sheraton properties worldwide.  Springwise recently documented the collaboration.

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Westin Chicago Designs Special Rooms to Fight Jet Lag:  Also from Springwise, Westin Hotels and Philips have partnered to design a concept room specially aimed at helping jet-lagged travelers combat sleep troubles.  Amenities include Philips' new blue-light ActiViva lamps, a light therapy box at the work desk station,  a eucalyptus shower fizzer in the room's "Heavenly Shower," a guided-meditation sleep TV program, a special room-service menu and specially designed running local running maps.


New York City's Pod Hotel connects guests with each other before arrival:   Once guests have booked their reservations, they are sent a link to the hotel's PodCulture blog and a  user ID, which allows guests to connect and interact with others who will be there at the same time.

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Sheraton (again) Invites People to Experience Their Brand In An Unconventional Way:  As part of their Global Out of Office Day, Sheraton invited New Yorkers to work from Central Park, where it recreated its new Link@Sheraton lounges [a collaboration with Microsoft to infuse useful technology into its hotels].

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W Hotels Gives Guests a Quiet Place for a Cell Phone Call:  This is something I am particularly proud of since I was Nokia's point person on this project.  Simple concept - a modern take on the phone booth, combining Nokia Nseries technology and great looking design.  Visit PSFK to read a short interview with Carlos Gomez de Llarena [the designer from R/GA with whom we worked on the booth design and interaction].

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Key Learnings:

  1. Make sure it works
  2. Make it simple
  3. Make it additive
  4. Work with the right partners to bring your vision to life
  5. Help people fight the loneliness of business travel
  6. Make it surprising and fun
  7. Understand the context in which the technology exists
  8. Experiment until you find something that really resonates with guests