We live in a technologically-advanced world overrun with smartphones, smart homes, and even self-driving cars. However, the hotel experience has remained largely low-tech. Las Vegas hotels are now beginning to embrace the possibilities of an advanced technological guest experience.
What’s New with Hotels in Las Vegas
A trip to Las Vegas is often synonymous with excitement, whether the visit is for business or pleasure. Between bright lights, unique shows, exceptional restaurants, and the ever-frequent clang of a winning slot machine, there is a certain expectation of delight in the other city that never sleeps. That’s why it shouldn’t be surprising that Las Vegas hotels are beginning to implement cutting-edge, new tech approaches to amplify the guest experience.
Hotels are adding AI features, which can address questions and concerns without having to call the front desk, stand in line, or even speak aloud. Now, guests at certain Las Vegas hotels, including Caesar’s Palace, can text questions to a designated service named Ivy. Their questions can range from things like Where is the gym located? to May I get a late checkout? and more. Guests will receive a quick answer from the automated service. (If their request is more involved, a trained guest services specialist will respond instead.)
This ensures that concerns and inquiries are addressed in a timely manner. Plus, guests can avoid the inconvenience of picking up a phone and dialing the front desk. The latter is increasingly more important with societal shifts and the preferences of younger generations, who have forgone regular use of phone calls in favor of texting. As Michael Marino, Senior vice president of Caesar’s Entertainment, points out, “It’s not like [guests] have less needs, it’s just that something has happened over the last couple of years where people just don’t like to call people anymore.”
At the Mandarin Oriental hotel, incoming guests are assisted by a friendly robot named Pepper, placed conveniently in the lobby. Pepper can answer a number of predetermined questions to assist guests with their stay. These include inquiries about checkout time, using the hotel’s WiFi, and finding amenities like an ATM.
If you’re looking for a truly high-tech stay, there are quite a few hotels on the strip that have adopted advanced, in-room options for creating a unique experience.
For example, a stay at the Vdara or Aria hotels includes a room equipped with a tablet. This allows guests to request towels, schedule their morning meal in advance (no more forgetting to put the hang tag on the door in time!), read the news, and even adjust the lights from the comfort of their bed. Room service no longer involves calling a busy kitchen attendant, potentially waiting on hold, and repeating your group’s order; now, a few simple taps on a tablet are all you need to easily (and accurately) request what you want.
At the MGM Grand and Mirage hotels, there are rooms available with internal clock-sensitive lights. These help guests improve their sleep and stress levels, enjoying their stay even more. Showers are taken up a notch, too. Many rooms offer an option to infuse your water with skin- and immune system-boosting vitamin C.
Why the Shift to High-Tech?
According to Robert Rippee, who is the director of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s Hospitality Lab, hotels are “trying to make themselves evolve to become more relevant to a younger audience that is highly technologically enabled.” Such high-tech upgrades can already be seen at select properties in Beverly Hills and Chicago, but are being implemented on a much larger scale in Las Vegas.
This allows hotels to test the systems with a larger, high-turnover population. In turn, they’ll gain insight into the systems’ successes (or shortcomings) even faster. Plus, Las Vegas hotels are also incredibly competitive with one another. The added perk of a high-tech stay could be the difference between increased property occupancy.
We are likely still a few years out from robot-delivered meals at 4 am and voice-activated bubble baths. However, the addition of features like Alexa devices, room service-by-tablet, and even vitamin-infused showers can take an exciting Vegas trip to the next level.
For the past 20 years, Johnny Jet averaged 150,000 miles and 20 countries a year. He has been featured in many major publications and have appeared on ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NBC and PBS.