Seaportals are being
installed in all rooms
at the Seaport Hotel
Imagine a hotel room
that opens by means of a retina scan -- no key necessary. Inside is
an Ammique bed, made of 20,000 spring-loaded pistons, instead of a
traditional mattress. Got work to do? A massage chair/computer
station will ease the tension from your shoulders as you type away.
Artwork not to your liking? No problem: It’s displayed on a LUX-HDA
flat-screen panel that can be changed to suit your style or mood.
And there’s no need to search for light switches or temperature
gauges -- one convenient control panel, the Inncom Guestroom
Digital Assistant, handles phone calls, guest services and room
This futuristic room exists, albeit in
demo form. It’s Guestroom 2010, which debuted at last year’s
Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference and
will reappear at the 2007 HITEC event, to be held next month in
We’ll still need room keys for a while
yet; however, hotel technology is evolving rapidly, incorporating
new conveniences for the discerning guest. Following are a few
innovations being developed and/or installed in properties around
The check-in procedure is one area of
constant tweaking by hotel companies. For now, the lobby kiosk is
the focus, but the process might someday take guests directly to
“Ideally, you will be able to use your
credit card or Gold Passport card as your room key,” says Walter
Brindell, assistant vice president of rooms for Chicago-based Hyatt
Hotels Corp. “If you check in from home, we will know when you are
coming, and your lights will be on and the HVAC will be turned on.
Everything will be tied in to that key lock at the door.”
Meanwhile, holders of Hyatt’s Gold
Passport cards can check in online and use kiosks to grab their
keys. They also can check in using PDAs such as Black-Berries and
Treos. All guests will have this capability by the end of the
Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott
Inter-national successfully tested a similar mobile check-in
service but has not yet announced a rollout for the technology.
“Housekeeping!” is the cry usually
heard through the door. But at hotels featuring technology from
Niantic, Conn.-based Inncom, hotel staff won’t need to knock or
otherwise ruffle guests who have forgotten to hang the
One such property is the 80-suite
Regent South Beach in Miami. Here, body-temperature sensors monitor
whether someone is inside a room. Housekeepers (silently) press a
button outside the door to determine if the room is occupied.
An Inncom motion sensor turns on the
foyer light as guests enter rooms at the 426-room Seaport Hotel in
Boston; a sensor also indicates if someone is in the room.