Technology That Creates Luxury
By Roger G. Hill Chief Executive Officer & Chairman, The Gettys Group Inc. | May 19, 2010
Traditionally, we define luxury hotels as five-star resorts with sleek design, top-notch amenities, and expensive accommodations. At the most basic level, a hotel or resort experience is most luxurious when it offers indulgences and unexpected touches, and hotels often create lavish environments with sumptuous d'ecor and attentive service.
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, technology, if properly applied, can help a hotel owner take both d'ecor and service to the next level. Every hotel, from an exclusive beachfront resort to a country bed and breakfast can use technology to create luxury.
There are a lot of different reasons people travel; business, vacation, or family. But every traveler has the same thing in common - they all desire to be comfortable on the road. There is more competition with hotels than any other industry, so adding on a "wow factor" to your guest rooms sets you apart from the rest of the pack.
A good interior design and architecture firm knows design should appeal to the senses, while at the same time having a purpose and giving you that "wow" satisfaction. Technology gives us new tools to create sensory experiences for hotel guests. Installing a flat-screen television is a minor upgrade most hotel owners can afford. To create luxury, up the ante by embedding speakers into the wall to provide in-room surround sound. Both appliances are more aesthetically pleasing than a giant television cabinet, and they also provide the higher viewing and sound quality consumers expect from a modern entertainment system. A hotel can go even further by installing a flat-screen television in the bathroom, so guests can watch the morning news while getting ready.
To engage additional senses, add warmth to your guest rooms. We're working on a project now that installs a radiant heat to the bathroom floors, eliminating the shock of cold tile first thing in the morning. Perk up a guest's morning further by providing an iPod docking station rather than a traditional alarm clock. It looks sleek, and travelers will love waking up to the music of their choice, rather than a call from the hotel desk or the screeching of an alarm. Parents especially appreciate a docking station, as music can make a new surrounding feel more familiar. A hotel can even take a cue from Bill Gates by installing systems to automatically adjust the thermostat to a guest's pre-set preferences as they move from room-to-room in a suite-style setup.
New gadgets look good, and they create a more soothing ambience. Simply installing a bedside panel wired to control a room's drapes and lights gives guests effortless control over their surroundings - something most hotels can't offer. No one likes to stumble around a hotel room in the morning searching for light switches and thermostats.