The eight best tech hotels in the world
Eight Best: Tech Hotels
2017 has witnessed a surprising amount of new tech innovation in the hotel world. The jury is out on whether there is a real guest benefit to the Yotel New York’s 15-foot robotic arm that functions as a concierge, the Botlr robotic butler at the Aloft Cupertino, or the automated luggage carts that show you to your room at the Henn-Na Hotel in Sasebo, Japan.
High-tech innovations don’t have to resemble these statement projects to enhance the guest experience. In fact, we much prefer it when tech is used to augment service and offer luxury guest amenities rather than to grab headlines.
So here’s Travel Counsellors’ pick of eight great unobtrusively techy high-tech hotels.
1. Nest Hotel, Palo Alto
This stylish boutique hotel two miles from Stanford University and six miles from Silicon Valley aims to “reflect the natural beauty and forward-thinking technology of the Palo Alto community”. With complimentary lightning-fast 100 Mbps Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and rooms equipped with 55″ LG flat screen televisions with Apple TV, a 15” in-room laptop safe to secure your valuables, and table-top charging stations on both sides of the bed it is certainly delivers on its tech promises. Plus, Californian cuisine, wine and craft beer are served in the laid-back but stylish patio and bar.
2. Eccleston Square Hotel, London
This London boutique hotel lies behind the doors of a striking 19th Century Grade II listed historical façade located in the heart of central London, on the border of Belgravia, Victoria and Westminster SW1. Rooms are equipped with some pleasing technology, including 46” HD 3D Neo Plasma Panasonic TVs with complimentary 3D DVD library and SKY TV, an iPad2 which acts as your in-room concierge, a Smart-glass wall between the bathroom and the bedroom, and smartphones offering free phone calls to five international countries. These tech luxuries are supplemented with Swedish Hästens electronically adjustable beds, fine Italian linen, and l’Occitane aromatherapy products. And the neighbourhood is quintessentially British; Winston Churchill used to live just two doors down!
3. The Establishment, Sydney
The Establishment Hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel that sits among trendy bars and restaurants, a short stroll from Circular Quay, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Located in a converted warehouse in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, its heritage industrial facade hides stylish contemporary interiors. Rooms are equipped with touch screen controls for lighting and climate control, a Bose entertainment system, large flat-screen TVs with Apple TV and an iPad beside each bed. Free Wi-Fi is complimentary of course and guests also receive digital editions of international newspapers direct to their bedside iPad.
4. Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris
Located on the beautiful avenue Montaigne and recognised as one of the best five-star luxury hotels in Paris, Hôtel Plaza Athénée combines impeccable service, fine furnishings with a fair bit of in-room tech. Rooms include complimentary high-speed internet access, interactive Television, an in-room iPad with room service ordering capacity and work desks with an integrated media hub. Stay over Christmas and you can also enjoy the winter fun gliding around the ice rink in the hotel’s charming courtyard.
5. Hotel Metropole, Geneve
This beautiful hotel enjoys an impressive setting on the shores of Lake Geneva and overlooking the Rue du Rhône. It might not have quite the glamour of Hôtel Plaza Athénée but its luxurious bedrooms feature every technology and refinement of a world-class property, including ergonomic workplaces, modern entertainment systems, complimentary high speed Internet and flat-screen TVs in the bedrooms and bathrooms. Impeccable service and a rooftop bar with views across downtown Geneva and the lake add to its charms.
6. Hotel 1000, Seattle
This upscale hotel in downtown Seattle aims to offer a high-tech experience for guests, including complimentary lightning-fast fibre-optic Internet throughout the hotel. Rooms are equipped with dual-line VOIP phones with cordless handsets, on which guests can make all calls free of charge, as well as heat-detecting sensors, so staff know when the room is occupied and never need disturb you. Elsewhere in the hotel, you can visit the “golf club” – a holodeck-type room with infrared tracking system where you can virtually play on one of 50 different courses – or play virtual chess on the Microsoft Surface table in the lobby.
7. The Palace Hotel, Tokyo
This modern hotel in the Marunouchi district in the centre of the city is surrounded by leafy green trees and the sparkling waters of its own moat. Views south over the Imperial gardens, the rooftop of the emperor’s palace and the silhouette of futuristic skyscrapers lining the horizon place you firmly in Tokyo but unusually for hotels in this city, more than half of its rooms have spacious balconies. Rooms are also equipped with luxurious tech amenities, such as LCD televisions in the bathroom, bedroom and living areas, Blu-ray and DVD players, international power outlets, technology kit, complimentary high speed Wi-Fi and VoIP telephones. And, when you’re ready from a break, you can choose from any of the ten restaurants and bars dotted around the hotel.
8. AKA Wall Street, New York
Not so much hotel as short-stay apartments, the AKA brand is making a name for itself with chic, elegant one and two-bedroom suites and penthouses with hotel-style service. AKA Wall Street is AKA's first downtown New York location, in the Financial District of lower Manhattan. Suites are equipped with Sony televisions with premium cable package, complimentary high speed Wi-Fi and free local calls, plus high-spec kitchens and individually controlled thermostats. The landscaped rooftop offers spectacular city views – and a cinema, where residents can enjoy films on a deluxe outdoor screen. There is also a business and media centre with apple computers, work areas and a conference room.
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