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

However, the Marquis also features room sensors that know if you're in your room and puts everything in an eco-saving mode when you're not.

IPTV-based television sets give a much smoother experience, allowing access to a range of channels and hotel services that can be controlled from a smartphone app.

Keffer adds: "We are also introducing a Wi-Fi speed of 300Mbps which will allow our guests to download, stream and host video conferences online using super speed connections it is these types of these technological advancements which help us to execute a seamless guest experience."


Starwood Hotels own some of the most exclusive hotel chains around the world, including W Hotels, Airloft, Westin and Sheraton. Being such a large group means the company has to be innovative across the board, not just in a couple of its locations.

"In our business, which is inherently mobile, smartphones and tablets are on track to capture nearly one in five online dollars this year. Given this ever-increasing focus on mobile, Starwood's mobile-first' strategy really helps to set us apart from the competition," says Alyssa Waxenberg, vice president of mobile technology at Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

"Today, more than 40 per cent of our site visits come through mobile devices, up from 13 per cent just two years ago, and shares of bookings through our digital channels our most profitable are at their highest levels ever."

In the last 24-months, the company has introduced the ability for guests to use their smartphone as their room key, use state-aware technology on its mobile applications, integrated user-generated Instagrams into its property pages and was the first in the hotel industry to launch an app for Google Glass.

"We are also adding details such as upgrade preferences [to our SPG loyalty service] so that members can specify if they would prefer the first available room as quickly as possible or alternatively, if view or room size is more important to them," Waxenberg adds.

Aloft Hotels announced the introduction of the brand's first robotic butler A.L.O. the Botlr at Aloft Cupertino in Silicon Valley with plans to introduce him in other Aloft properties around the world.

At the beginning of November, Starwood announced the introduction of SPG Keyless, allowing guests to use their smartphone as a key, with plans to roll out SPG Keyless to all Aloft, Element and W Hotels around the globe, the system is already in place at ten W, Element and Aloft hotels around the world.

"We plan to grow our IT and digital team by 50 per cent globally, recruiting top tech talent around the world from companies like Facebook and Google," explains Waxenberg.

"Over the next two years, we will also be investing $100 million in mobile, R&D, on-property and associate initiatives, further extending our lead in the digital space."

Where to next?

Consumer expectations will continue to grow and evolve. It's incredibly important therefore for these hotel groups to ensure they are at the forefront of tech innovation to ensure they keep ahead of their competitors.

"In uniting hospitality expertise with advanced technologies, our industry has the opportunity to redefine the hotel experience and transform the guest journey like no other," Sloser adds.

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.