Marriott International has started a new partnership with Alexa to provide digital assistants in bedrooms at some of the brand’s hotels in the US.
The international hotel chain will install Amazon’s new Echo smart speakers in select properties in America, which include Westin and St Regis brands, to act as a digital butler for guests.
The new partnership has been created as part of Amazon’s new Alexa for Hospitality initiative.
Alexa will be able to order room service, deal with housekeeping requests, contact the concierge or recommend restaurants, meaning guests won’t even have to pick up the phone to get what they want.
Marriott is said to have considered both Alexa and Apple’s Siri for the new service, with Tracey Schroeder, Marriott’s vice-president of global consumer public relations telling the BBC that it was not a ‘direct comparison’ with Siri.
In 2016 Aloft Hotels, which is owned by Marriott, introduced voice-activated hotel rooms controlled via Siri, and a custom-built app on an iPad.
Commenting on the development, Terry Ray, CTO at Imperva said: “It wouldn’t surprise me to find out down the road that Marriott could collect statistics from the what is ordered, when it’s ordered etc, from such a system to better market to customers, staff during high ordering times and optimise their offerings to searches and requests from users. I would expect businesses to already track much of this via their manual systems, so the result may be better for the consumer, as long as the consumer remembers, that Alexa remembers, so don’t ask it things you might consider private.”