Hotels Partner with Tech Companies
Sheraton, for example, teamed with Microsoft to create its new Link@Sheraton lounges where guests can surf the Internet, email loved ones, review local favorite attractions, and print boarding passes. The PCs in these lounges have Web cams and Microsoft applications that walk guests through recording and sending a video clip. In turn, Microsoft hopes to encourage users to try a task they wouldn’t attempt at home, such as using a Web cam to say goodnight to the kiddos back home.
Westin went the Nintendo route, by adding Wii consoles and games like the Wii Fit to some of its fitness centers.
The big-name hotels aren’t the only ones getting in on this tech action: The Gansevoort Hotel Group is working with Sony to develop a lounge at its new Gansevoort South property in Miami Beach. The goal here is to move the traditional business center and make it a more social setting near the lobby. Guests will find Sony computers and PlayStation 3 game consoles as well as digital book readers and cameras in the lounge.
Hotels are hoping these tech amenities will help improve the bottom line: “It’s an integral part of not only the success of an operation, but also what makes one brand better than another or more interesting to travelers than other brands,” Elon Kenchington, Gansevoort’s chief operating officer, said.
Adding tech is an interesting marketing technique for both hotels and tech companies, that’s for sure. The downside is that tech gadgets quickly age, leaving these hotels with equipment that some could care less about. On the flip side, technology companies such as Microsoft and Sony have a prime opportunity to show off their latest products in front of a very desirable audience.
What do you think? Would you choose one hotel over another if it offered PS3 consoles or public access computers?