Best hotels at using tech? Here are the most technologically disruptive business hotel groups

Rockwell Group (Yotel)

The Rockwell Group's most innovative hotel chain is Yotel, with places technology at the centre of everything it does.

Every Yotel aims to make the laborious check in and check out process as simple and automated as possible, allowing guests to use an electronic check in system in the lobby rather than queuing up at a front desk.

Once a guest is in their room, everything can be controlled from a single panel, including the air conditioning, TV and lighting, which was one of the central demands exposed in research by HRS.

Because Yotel is a pod hotel, the rooms are small. As a result, they feature stowaway beds that can be laid out or stored away when not in use again, using the touchscreen panel in the bedroom.

David Rockwell, founder and CEO of Rockwell Group says: "Designing an environment that is transformable from the second you enter a space immediately creates a unique, modern experience for the guest."

Yotel New York is the most technologically advanced location, with occupation sensors that turn on the lighting and air conditioning on only when guests are inside the room.

Additionally, the New York hotel introduced the Yobot - a robot that receives luggage from guests and delivers it to rooms or stores it after checkout. The company has also revealed it has signed an agreement to deliver the luggage via underground passages to airports in the area.

Rockwell Group sees the importance of integrating mobile technologies in its offering, ensuring all guests can check out or order a room extension on their mobile devices rather than using the touchscreens in the lobby or talking to a receptionist.


The Marriot group - which includes its JW Marriot, BVLGARI, Ritz, Edition, Autograph, Renaissance and other brands - is working with the MIT Mobile Experience Lab to improve the way mobile technologies are integrated into its guest experiences.

The company is embracing mobile technologies is in its pre-arrival planning service that allows you to request services such as extra towels before you arrive. It's also making use of tech in its concierge service that gives you all room services in one place when you've arrived.

The technology could be upgraded in the future, to meet whatever its guests want. That could mean unlocking doors with your smartphone after checking in, or setting the climate control before entering.

Rita Cuddihy, senior vice president of marketing, says: "According to our research, more than 80 percent of guests said they'd be more likely to book their next trip with Marriott if they received this type of service."

The company also introduced mobile check-in at the company's JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai, but there are plans to roll it out to all properties in future.

Bill Keffer, general manager of the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, adds: "The introduction of the mobile check-in service allows visitors to save time and access their hotel room quicker than ever before.

"It also simplifies the process for our international guests, as the application is available in English, French, Spanish, German and Mandarin reducing the chance of any language barrier. "

The rooms include a lot of the tech you've probably come to expect from a business hotel, such as LCD TVs, iPod stations, high speed Wi-Fi and a master room control tablet.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.