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Aloft Hotels test out iPad concierge

The next time you check into an Aloft Hotel, you won’t have to talk to a real-life concierge to get your restaurant recommendations. All you’ll have to do is tap on an iPad.

Aloft Hotels, part of the Starwood Hotels Resorts Worldwide brand, is piloting a tablet-based concierge program that lets guests research local entertainment options, dining and activities to plan their itineraries.

Each hotel will have two concierge stations near the front desks in the re:mix lounge. Guests will be able to look up directions and phone numbers, make reservations, check on their flight status and print boarding passes on the devices.

READ MORE:  More hotels distribute iPads to guests to access services

So far, the iPads are in place at Aloft Lexington in Massachusetts, Aloft Harlem in New York, Aloft Phoenix Airport, Aloft Tallahassee in Florida and Aloft Chennai in India. Another 11 properties will have them by January and February.

“Our guests tend to be independent and tech-savvy so the tablet-based concierge program allows them to conveniently plan their schedules in a familiar way that enhances their overall experience,” said Brian McGuinness, senior vice president of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood, in a written statement.

Aloft joins a growing number of hotels and airlines, including The Plaza and Mondrian Soho in New York and The Hilton Inn at Penn in Philadelphia, that are distributing iPads and similar devices to digitize services. Many hotels go so far as to outfit guestrooms with the devices. Guests are charged if they take off with them.

Orlando-based Intelity has developed the app used on the device, which allows guests to access all sorts of services. Intelity has said that about 380 hotels nationwide are using it. Those hotels have reported an 18% increase in room service orders as a result, the company said.

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