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24 September 2018 by Patrick Davis

Checking in to an AI hotel - could this happen?

Checking in to an AI hotel - could this happen?

We’ve seen the rise of the smart home and digital assistant. But what about a smart hotel? Hear me out...

It’s not often that people describe their time at a hotel as smooth and consistent - there’s usually some sort of mishap to make the experience less perfect. Whether it’s for business, leisure or travelling - we believe that AI could streamline the hotel experience from start to finish. This would aim to make the classic situations such as; “I missed dinner because they overbooked the hotel’s restaurant,” or “I booked a double room and have been given a twin!” much less likely: there’d be minimal or no human error margin.

For starters let’s talk about service. Currently you usually visit reception in person - but what if a chatbot or some sort of voice assistant integration could streamline this? If it was good enough, could it even relieve those who tirelessly guard hotel receptions overnight? AI designed to deal with these requests can also learn over time due to the autonomous nature of machine learning and natural language processing.

A good idea would be that customers can freely reserve and book things on the fly, be it via a chatbot or voice assistant for their room. Meeting rooms could be booked or a taxi reservation made - any time anywhere. Not only this, but consensual data collection over time can yield very useful statistics that could improve all sorts of areas. For example, a particular dish that’s most popular at certain times of year for the kitchens, or their most popular meeting rooms, even the most common times of day for baggage service etc.

Exploring more about comfort, we believe that hotel rooms will see the adoption of “smart-home-like" interactivity. A mirror with built-in news feeds and weather reports, lighting and heating controlled by an application or chatbot, recommendations and even offers/vouchers for the local area straight from the digital assistant and more. This leads nicely into customer retention. Hotel AI would have access to an overwhelming amount of customer information. It is nice to be personally recognised by hotel staff if you’re a repeat visitor but it would be even nicer if your room had been pre-set to your usual temperature at that time of the year, personalised recommendations given instead of the regular ones, your favourite music queued and perhaps your usual meals booked in. The amount of retention and loyalty potential here is just staggering. So, I'm looking at all those hotels out there - how can you impress the industry via adaption?