What is a Smart Hotel? Definition by Optimize 360

Optimize360 What is a Smart Hotel?

The Smart Hotel (" Hotel Intelligent") seems to be a topic that is very much in vogue today, with the Food Hotel Tech dedicates a dedicated exhibition space

Optimize 360, Digital Agency expert inhotelsHere you can find out exactly what it is, and what you need to understand and remember.

Is this a fundamental trend that is revolutionising things? 

Should independent establishments get on board, or will they fall behind hotel chains such as Louvre Hotel, which have even turned it into a label?

Let's take a closer look at the world of the intelligent hotel. Is it, or will it ever be?

What is a Smart Hotel?

As with any technological advance, everyone will be able to attach their own definition to it. 

But here's what seems to be emerging from the various attempts to introduce this intelligent hotel concept:

The Smart Hotel concept corresponds to the integration of technological tools designed to :

These new technologies are supposed to make it easier to manage things like: 

  • electrical distribution
  • heating
  • air conditioning
  • water consumption
  • IT systems
  • safety systems
  • lifts
  • fridges and mini bars

In short, all installations that can be connected and managed remotely and coupled with connected management systems.

These tools are designed to improve guest comfort while enabling hoteliers to reduce their operating costs and better comply with new environmental regulations.

What is a Smart Hotel?

The Smart Hotel for hotel operators

These tools not only optimise energy consumption, but also improve day-to-day productivity by making it easier for staff to work, reducing maintenance costs and ensuring safer premises and faster service. 

The Smart Hotel Guest side.

The promise of SmartHotel technologies is to promote satisfaction and loyalty, with, for example, the ability to give guests access to all room comfort parameters (lighting, air conditioning, opening of blinds) from their smartphone or a dedicated tablet. 

You can also immediately access a whole range of connected services via the same interface, while saving your preferences for your next stay. 

From check-in to check-out, including online concierge services.

At the Boutique Hotel in Bordeaux, for example, you'll find a Smartphone in every room, allowing foreign guests to wander around Bordeaux with a real online guide to the city, while avoiding roaming costs and the disadvantages of connections (for them) from abroad.

The Smart Hotel: a hot topic

In 2019/2020, the Food Hotel Tech conference will devote a dedicated space to this theme.

Smart hotel at the FHT

Some hotel chains, such as Louvre Hotels have even turned it into a label and a banner, as explained very well by here Nicolas Alquié. 

For this group, Nicolas explains that, in their opinion, the hotel of tomorrow will be :

  • connected,
  • ecological,
  • reassuring and
  • a source of well-being,
  • while encouraging human interaction and experience.

Let's take a look at the Smart Hotel technologies tested to date

For the time being, we are seeing more "Gadgetisation" than real revolutionary advances.

Check in using facial recognition (being tested in 3 hotels in Singapore) or in some Campaniles in the Louvre Hotels group

  • Room keys directly on your smartphone
  • Robots that do the housework (but is it a revolution when you can do the same thing at home?)
  • Room Services" robots being tested 
  • Dedicated Room Service applications 
  • Room Services" tablets or internal service orders (Spa, Restaurant, Gym reservations)
  • Room air purifiers
  • QR codes to generate restaurant menus
  • Smartphone concierge service ( ex Boutique Hotel Bordeaux )

A sort of melting pot of more or less integrated gadgets (and rather less than more, in fact).

And therein lies the big question... will these gadgets be able to live independently without talking to each other? 

What will become of them with programmed obsolescence and the updating of their respective versions?

It's bad enough that all the beautiful Bose speakers that were used en masse in so many hotels were obsolete 6 months later as soon as Apple changed the docking station connections...

It's not hard to imagine that the same will be true of other digital tools, which are in danger of ageing badly. If they have the time... 

As long as it's a matter of ordering breakfast via flat screens... why not... but it remains limited to a certain number of simple tasks 

As far as safety, the environment and savings on purchasing costs are concerned, we are still struggling to see a real revolution in this area.

The Smart Hotel. Real future? False promises?

All we're asking is to see what happens next... and, above all, for feedback from customers to be properly analysed.

Because what counts in the end is not the technology as such... it's the opinion of customers and the added value they can derive from it.

At Optimize 360, we are much more inclined to think that these are also the GAFA who will be able to bring together all the technologies needed to do this, from the moment they get to know their customers from the moment they intend to book to the moment they return home.

Hotels and OTAs provide a fairly comprehensive range of information. The hotel's own website completes the picture.

What's to stop Apple or Android from creating a Category Killer application that encapsulates all the hotel's internal services and is therefore able to offer 'La Totale', including digital room keys and room service?

Undoubtedly, only the will ...  

Smart hotel by GoogleOptimize 360's opinion on the Smart Hotel concept

When we see room service robots and machines that are supposed to replace the human interaction that is so crucial to customer relations, we have every right to wonder about gimmickry and dehumanisation.

Paradoxically, the technology that is supposed to "bring us closer together" has already meant that people are no longer talking to each other at the dinner table, as they are all glued to their mobile phones... 

So-called "social" networks give us 100s of friends or family. Followers we've never met in real life.

The hotel industry is already struggling to ensure that guests have access to proper wifi throughout their establishment. And we'd like to speed things up with a little more digital technology at every level... 

What will happen to the grandparents who don't need a smartphone when they check into their hotel? What will they do if digital restaurant menus only appear when a Flashcode is scanned?

We saw On the customer side, in any case, technology can be a disappointment and a source of digital divide for part of the population.

As a result, Optimize 360 is betting more on the advent of the Smart Hotel in terms of logistics, security and the environment, than on so-called 'consumer' technologies adapted to the hotel industry in terms of the consumer experience.

The millennials For example, will they connect to the hotels' internal applications, or will they prefer to get more general information about what there is to do around the hotel from Google or Tripadvisor? Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat?  

If chains such as Marriott and Louvre Hotel try it... why not, but let's bet on the fact that these Gafa companies will get to grips with Best Practices and services that are peripheral (and sometimes even internal) to traveller satisfaction long before they do.

Who knows the intentions of Internet users before anyone else, including before the OTAs (Online Travel Agencies)?

Who knows in advance what the customer intends to do during their business or tourist stay?

It's... Google... Not even Marriott and Louvre Hotels... Not even Booking and Expedia... 

So let's bet on the advent of the 'logistical and ecological' Smart Hotel... certainly not the 'customer service' Smart Hotel, even if a few exceptions will undoubtedly emerge.

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