What’s the betting that people all over the country had some sort of technological device waiting under the tree for them this Christmas? It can be assumed that a lot of January will be spent getting to grips with these new gadgets, and households across the UK will fall silent as consumers engross themselves in technology.
This isn’t a new trend, but given the developments planned by some of the major corporations for 2015 – the first Apple smartwatch is due for release in Spring and more hoteliers are already considering upgrading to mobile room keys – this year expect to be effected by the changes whether you’re ready for it or not.
While your guests may be used to an advanced technology experience at home, it can be a tricky for hoteliers to decide just how far to go down the gadget garden path. Kit your hotel out to the extreme and you risk compromising on that personal experience, or acknowledge the trend too little and you could face some disgruntled guests. The balance must be weighed up against your brand, its image and the concept it’s been based on from the beginning.
You have to ask, what do your guests really want from their stay at your boutique? Despite the fast-pace of the technology environment right now, there is yet to be a product invented that matches up to the personal interaction between guest and employee. Even with the announcement of Starwood’s newest robotic staff member joining its team; a friendly welcome, menu advice over dinner or simply a smile at breakfast, really is irreplaceable.
So while keeping up with the trends is important, staying true to your roots through personal tweaks, touches and design elements – achieved through exceptional staff service – is integral to the whole concept that the boutique model was built on.
Plus, nothing’s worse than having to contend with a mind-boggling light switch in a hotel room after a long day on the road.