London - Travellers can now book a stay at the first of Premier Inn's new high-tech "hub" hotels, which opens in Covent Garden next month.
At the centre of the concept is a new app, which was made available to download this week. Customers can use it to book a room, and to check-in - limiting interaction with staff. Once unpacked, they will also be able to use the app to change the temperature of their room or the television channel, order breakfast, or dim the lights.
The app will also provide customers with a list of things to see and do, as well as places to eat and drink, in the surrounding area. The guide is enhanced by an in-room "augmented reality experience".
“Whether it's for business or pleasure, the way we choose to travel and experience a city is changing," said Simon Ewins, business development director for Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants, Premier Inn's parent company. "Apps are already revolutionising the way we order our groceries, book taxis, and check-in at airports, it was only a matter of time before the hotel experience followed suit.”
Eleven of the hotels are due to open over the next three years - nine in London (Covent Garden, Tottenham Court Road, Tower Hill, Spitalfields, Kings Cross, Shoreditch, Bank, Farringdon and Westminster) and two in Edinburgh (Rose Street and Caltongate).
Telegraph Travel recently reported that technology-focused hotels are becoming increasingly common.
The first "hub" hotel opens next month.
An HRS ‘Hotel of the Future’ survey also revealed that smartphones, tablets and corresponding apps are becoming increasingly important when planning a holiday.
The findings showed that 42 per cent of guests from the UK would rather operate their hotel room’s lighting, air conditioning and television via a display instead of using a separate remote control or switch.
Jon West, managing director for HRS UK and Ireland, said: “As the fast-paced high-tech world finds its way into hotels with tablets instead of guest folders, smartphones instead of room keys, and apps instead of remote controls, the findings show that the hotel industry quickly needs to adapt to the new user behaviour of many of their guests or risk falling behind.”
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