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Hotel Services Today’s Guests Expect at the Touch of a Button

Contactless technologies top the list of services most desired by post-pandemic guests.

Today’s hotel guests want technologies that provide them with more control of their room environment and hotel services such as room service, housekeeping and more, according to “Hotels’ Digital Divide,” a report from hospitality technology platform Alice.

“Guests’ preferred devices vary, but their core concern doesn’t: They want their hotel at their fingertips,” says the Alice report.

From the ability to check in and check out, message staff, order room service to being able to unlock the room door with their smartphone, guests now expect contactless options as part of their guest experience.

“The consumerization of IT has passed the inflection point, and it’s not going back to normal,” said Scott Strickland, executive vice president and chief information officer at Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, in “Hospitality 2025: Automated, Intelligent and More Personal,” a report from Oracle Hospitality. “There’s a new baseline to satisfy a guest.”

“Contactless, mobile messaging, artificial intelligence, voice activation — these technologies didn’t just pop up out of nowhere, and none of them would be described as particularly “futuristic” at this point,” says the Oracle report.

“Tech systems and service models that have become urgent and essential for hoteliers represent the culmination of a long buildup that surpassed a tipping point during the pandemic, and the imperative to implement them is now past the point of no return.”

According to the Oracle survey, the top technologies or services popularized during the pandemic that guests would like to see permanently adopted over the next three years include:

  • Contactless check-in and check-out: 53 percent
  • Contactless payments: 49 percent
  • Mobile guest services: 39 percent

The technologies voted most popular among travelers in the Oracle survey allow guests to personalize customer service throughout their journey, according to the Oracle report. Entertainment on demand is also high on the list of what guests want.

“Travelers worldwide said that on-demand entertainment access — defined in the survey as ‘an in-room entertainment set-up that allows me to seamlessly access personal streaming or gaming accounts’ — was the number one ‘must-have’ to create an amazing hotel stay in the future,” says the Oracle report.

Whatever guests want, they want it “at the touch of a button,” says the Alice report on hospitality technologies and guest preferences. Some guests prefer that touch of a button to be on a hotel device, but others want to message staff or interact with hotel devices by using their own personal devices.

Below are survey respondents’ preferences when it comes to accessing hotel services with their own devices vs. through hotel devices, according to the “Hotels’ Digital Divide” report:

Check-in and Check-out

  • Hotel-provided smart devices: 40 percent
  • Personal devices: 60 percent

In-room technology

  • Hotel-provided smart devices: 69 percent
  • Personal devices: 31 percent

Room service orders and housekeeping services

  • Hotel-provided smart devices: 63 percent
  • Personal devices: 37 percent

Reservations for dining and spa services

  • Hotel-provided smart devices: 41 percent
  • Personal devices: 59 percent

The Oracle survey found that guests also have a strong interest in personalized hotel and room features, including voice-activated controls for TVs, lights, curtains, sinks and showers. Additionally, 43 percent would like to use their own mobile devices throughout the hotel.

“What sounds like a relatively simple amenity — and not a terribly flashy one — can make or break a stay,” says the Oracle report. “While the delivery of these services may look different than in the past, ultimately, travelers still simply want the comforts and convenience they enjoy at home (or that they can get at short-term rentals, which may be someone else’s home).

“Hotels have to give guests the ability to control their own environments and give them a smooth transition from their everyday lives.”