If you didn’t already love to stay at a Marriott hotel. They are giving you one more reason to. Soon, visitors will be able to use Amazon’s Alexa to make their stays more enjoyable. “Alexa for Hospitality” lets guests ask Alexa (through an in-room Amazon Echo) for help with hotel information, booking guest services, playing music and even managing room controls like lighting and temperatures. While we’ve seen this kind of perk in hotel rooms before, Marriott is taking this partnership a little bit further. By installing these devices, the hotels will have the option to customize voice-first features based on the specific property and guest offerings.
For example – you can use Alexa to book a massage if the hotel has a spa. Or you can ask Alexa where the gym is located – if it has a fitness center. Hotels can also choose to give their guests access to thousands of Alexa skills, that can help them with different aspects of traveling, such as checking flight times or local public transit systems. All of this sounds great, doesn’t it? I don’t know how many times I’m in a hotel room and I need to figure something out. Often, I’m in a city that I’m not overly familiar with, so my options are – head to the internet, or call the front desk. Both of which, I’ve done, but neither of these is always the most convenient. If the hotel is busy, for example, it’s sometimes hard to get someone on the phone. Given that I’m in an unfamiliar city, I don’t necessarily know where the best restaurants are located.
The other cool thing about this is that Alexa for Hospitality will eventually allow guests to temporarily connect their Amazon account to the Echo in their room, so they can play their own music from services like Amazon Music and Spotify. Not only that, but this feature would allow you to listen to audiobooks via Audible. The great part about this is that when you check out, your account will automatically be disconnected from the device. I think it’s great that Marriott has considered this as I think people will worry, and/or try to disconnect themselves, which could take up additional time – especially if you don’t know how to do it properly.
The system has been built to work with existing hotel technology, so locations won’t need to retrofit or upgrade anything, but whether or not you’ll get to try it out during your summer holidays will depend on where you’re heading. It’s arriving at Marriott hotels in Charlotte, NC, and Irvine, CA, first, with other hotel locations “by invitation” from today, before rolling out internationally later this season. I will be sure to look for this the next time I travel and stay in a Marriott hotel. I’m kind of excited to see this technology being offered in hotels. When I’m traveling, I try to keep some of my routines as closely as possible. As a person who benefits from routines, I find this important, so being able to listen to a podcast in the morning, or rock out to Spotify at the end of a long day, would make me feel more like I’m at home. That said, a hotel is far nicer than my house, so please don’t get confused as to what a hotel means to me.