Providing free Internet access has become the norm for many hotels. But some properties are taking their guests’ technological needs to the next level. From offering complimentary tablets to delivering high-tech multi-media experiences, more hotels are rethinking the way guests are consuming digital information. Here are strategies that some hotels, according to a recent SmartBrief report sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, are implementing to attract tech savvy guests:
1. Inviting guests to stay connected to the Internet while also browsing through hotel amenities, Ocean House in Westerly, RI, provides iPads in each guestroom. Introduced to the hotel in April 2013, the guestroom iPads allow guests to also order room service or schedule luggage pick up.
The iPad program also caters to the news needs of the Ocean House guests by offering apps for The Wall Street Journal and other news sites. Guests who are not as digitally inclined still have the option of reading a print version of the newspaper at the historic hotel.
2. In addition to the digital consumption of news, hotels are offering high-tech multi-media experiences in screening rooms, which are becoming a hot amenity across the country. Miami Beach’s Delano, for example, offers theater-quality media rooms for business presentations and social events. The hotel’s 20-person, 800-sq.-ft. Media Room features an 85-in. screen and cutting-edge audiovisual equipment.
“It’s very productive for us and a great amenity,” said JP Oliver, regional VP for Morgans Hotel Group. “It’s been a very good ROI on the project so far.” The room is in use about 75% of the time, he said, an increase over the typical industry average of 60%. Guests have been creative with its use. Directors have screened films for potential investors, and a sports agent hosted an NFL draft-day party for three of his clients last year.
3. theWit, a DoubleTree Hotel, in Chicago has a private, luxury theater that offers seating for 40 on seven levels, along with cocktail tables throughout and an adjoining reception area. The hotel invested in projection and content-security measures that meet Hollywood and Digital Cinema Initiative standards, and it has succeeded in attracting high-profile corporate groups.
Recent bookings include the Chicago Blackhawks, which hosted screenings of playoff games for Wirtz Beverage VIPs when the team played away games. Warner Bros. also used the room for a sneak preview screening of Sherlock Holmes.
About The Wall Street Journal
More than two million people read The Wall Street Journal every day, including travelers staying at your properties. With surprisingly affordable options, The Wall Street Journal, available in both print and digital editions, keeps your guests up-to-date on everything from global news to sports, travel, fashion and entertainment. To request more information, click here.