The Hotel Inspector 2013 - (Page 128)

T he future is an undiscovered country – according to Star Trek anyway! Perhaps there’s no point trying to discover it rather than just letting it reveal itself when it arrives – but, on the other hand, we can have a lot of fun in the process. So let’s go on a voyage into that undiscovered country to see what lies in store for the hospitality trade in years to come. We might not get it all right – but maybe we won’t get it all wrong either… JESSIE CONSTANTINE Jessie Constantine is a freelance travel writer and hotelier. PHOTOGRAPHY: Getty Images NO staff REQUIRED We don’t have to go too far into the future for our first stop. More and more hotels worldwide are allowing guests to tailor their experiences to an increasing degree via technology: using their own devices to control their room settings, book meals and trips, et cetera. As the use of technology gets embedded deeper and deeper into our expectations, the very fabric of a hotel’s operation will change. Imagine an establishment where guests’ interactions with the hotel are conducted entirely through their smartphones rather than with staff. Ordering dinner? Just choose through the app (and cut the waiter out entirely by having food delivered by a robot!). Booking a spa treatment or a round of golf or a wake-up call – or anything at all? Even running a bath: who needs taps to turn when you can just type in your desired temperature and get the water flowing? Embracing this technology to its fullest extent will allow hoteliers to provide the perfect experience to each guest and cut headcount at the same time. And if that’s not tasty, then I don’t know what is. Up, Up and Away Back in the ‘50s and ‘60s it was taken for granted that before too long we’d be holidaying on the Moon, or Mars, or on the rings of Saturn… OK so things haven’t quite worked out that way yet – but the prospect of heading out into space for some much-needed R&R looks more and more achievable by the day. Space tourism itself is already reality for the handful of extremely wealthy individuals who’ve coughed up for a flight with the Russians to the International Space Station (does it count as the first space hotel?) and will move to a new level with the first flight of Richard Branson’s SpaceShipOne (in… whenever it finally gets off the ground) – although of course that won’t involve an overnight stay. Several dozen companies are currently touting journeys to space (and even stays on the Moon) in the near future; though many of those won’t ever fly, as the private sector comes to dominate space travel it’s unthinkable that a market won’t arise for a genuine space-based hotel experience. And while the first establishments will no doubt orbit Earth like the ISS, who knows where we’ll end up once we really start exploring? Brave Old World We won’t have to leave our own atmosphere to break new ground, though. As our technology advances, previously inaccessible parts of our own planet will open up to tourism. Plans have been mooted for a while for fully underwater hotels in Dubai and on the Great Barrier Reef; within the next decade these or similar schemes will become OUT OF THIS world With the march of technology, what will the hotels of tomorrow be like? We fantasise about robots replacing waiters, virtual-reality holidays and taking leisure trips to the Moon 128 THE HOTEL INSPECTOR 128-129 Future 128 7/1/13 13:00:26

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Hotel Inspector 2013

Alex's welcome
News bulletin
Statement pieces
Series round up
Gym & Spas
Fine dining
Kitchen matters
Energy efficiency
Food management
Cooking equipment
Technology upgrade
App integration
Renewable energy
The Hospitality Show
Hospitality Technology Expo
Business supplies
Hotel management
Global clients
The 10 best hotels
AA interview
Hotels of the future

The Hotel Inspector 2013