August 20, 2019
By Hannah Burks

In 2016, venues are embracing their creativity. Hotels around the world are taking advantage of new trends emerging in the industry. Customizing the event and hotel experience is at the top of planners' lists when optimizing their strategies, and hotel professionals have taken note. See the list below for ideas on how to up your hospitality game and stay current with bleisure travelers.

1. Voice-Activated Hotel Rooms

Aloft Hotels has now launched “Project Jetson,” which provides Siri functionality in its Boston and Santa Clara locations. Aloft Hotels is a proud member of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, using new trends to specifically target “millennial-minded travelers”. Siri allows guests to adjust room temperature and lighting, find nearby restaurants, and more by just asking nicely. This first-of-its-kind technology is just the start for Jetson’s owner, Eric Marlo, who plans on transferring the capability right to users’ smartphones. The technology goes to the heart of what modern travelers are looking for: a unique and customized experience. A voice-activated hotel room is more than just advanced technology – it completely changes the tone of your stay and your memory of the hotel altogether. By allowing guests to control every aspect of their stay, hoteliers can move closer to guaranteeing 100% satisfaction for every guest.

2. Check In and Out Whenever You Want

The Standard Hotels, with properties in NYC, Miami, Downtown L.A., and Hollywood, is now offering Standard Time. According to their website, Standard Time allows guests to come and go as they please, which is a trend that's been long sought-after by travelers of all ages. For an extra fee, the hotel contacts those making reservations to secure their desired check-in and out times. Flexible timing is great for bleisure travelers, who lump professional meetings and events into touristy exploration. Standard Time is a great draw for event planners, who are becoming more focused on providing a customized event experience that trumps everything  guests have encountered in past. Encourage planners to create suggested itineraries for attendees who want to make the most of their time in a new destination.

3. Sandy the Canine Hotel Greeter

It’s great to be a dog in Fort Lauderdale. Sandy, the 40-pound, 6-month-old Labrador retriever is gainfully employed at the Marriot Harbor Beach Resort and Spa. She’s tasked with greeting visitors and spreading cheer among employees and guests alike. Pam Cook, the membership sales director for The Club program, is Sandy’s owner and agent. After working closely with the property, she created a proposal for Harbor Beach that detailed the benefits of bringing Sandy on board. While training to become a certified therapy dog, Sandy uses her exposure to hotel guests as a trial run for her future duties. Having a dog at the hotel sweetens the deal for guests, brightens employees’ days, and creates a hotel experience that isn’t soon forgotten. Many other hotels are venturing into animal-employee terrain, as part of a never-ending challenge to keep up with trends and keep visitors happy and engaged.


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