Meeting or exceeding the expectations of the some of the most technologically savvy people in the world is no easy task. Business travelers to Silicon Valley spend their days developing innovative uses for technology. They have the latest tech devices in their own homes, so it’s not surprising that, when they travel, they want to stay in a hotel that is at least similar in terms of hospitality technology to their home office.
When designing the new SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn hotels in San Jose, California, the Huntington Hotel Group kept their high-tech business customers at the center of attention. “We had people coming to Silicon Valley to visit innovative startups and tech giants who have incredible technology in their offices, only to come back to their hotel rooms and interact with old TVs and meeting rooms with flip charts,” says Toby Cheng, vice president of sales at the Huntington Hotel Group. “We saw an opportunity to put technology in the hotel that matches or surpasses what they saw during their meetings at Google or eBay headquarters.”
Hotel leadership used a customer-centric approach to the technology it chose and deployed multiple hospitality technology options, including:
- Smart Televisions in Each Guest Room
At the end of a long day, all guests return to a room equipped with 48-inch Samsung 690 Series Smart TVs. If they aren’t interested in watching television shows, guests can stream content from Netflix, Hulu or YouTube from their mobile devices. This is thanks to integration with Guest-Tek that allows screen mirroring to the smart TVs.
- Innovative Meeting Room Technology
Huntington Hotel Group’s goal was to create six meeting rooms that provided the same level of technology found in the Silicon Valley conference rooms their guests are used to presenting in. The hotel leadership installed 75-inch interactive digital whiteboards, on which meeting attendees can watch presentations and work collaboratively in ways not possible with a set of markers and a traditional whiteboard. “The displays essentially become 75-inch tablets for everyone to share in the room,” says Cheng. “Our guests can watch videos, create spreadsheets or charts, and then email it when they’re done. It’s no longer necessary to take pictures of a whiteboard or carry large sheets of paper home with them.”
- Informative Digital Hallway Displays
As guests walk the hallway between the two hotels, they enjoy the work of local artists and photographers. The art is showcased on large 82-inch Samsung displays that allow new art to be presented in crystal clear high definition with the touch of a button. Guests can also use the touch-screen videowall in the SpringHill Suites lobby, which features three 75-inch displays, to browse information about local attractions. And, with the touch of a button, guests can send walking or driving directions straight to their smartphones.
As a result of the customer-centric technology deployed by the hotels, guests provided rave reviews and, even more importantly, the bookings for meeting rooms has increased. “During the grand opening, we had jaw-dropping reactions from everyone who toured the hotel and played with the TVs and displays,” says Cheng. “We had several corporate travel managers who saw the high-tech meeting rooms and the smart hospitality TVs and signed large contracts the next day. They said the high-end tech setting was exactly what they wanted their customers to experience when visiting San Jose. It’s been a huge success.”