Would you book a stay at these high-tech hotels?

| August 28, 2013

CNN just published a list of nine hotels that break the traditional mold. From going paperless to using heat and motion sensors, these accommodations are certainly advanced, but whether they really make life easier is debatable. We’ve taken the list and ranked the high-tech hotels from most to least useful, taking into consideration the problems that can arise whenever robots are involved and things start to get just a bit too futuristic. It’s safe to say, some of these picks may not the best for “getting away from it all.”

1. theWit, Chicago
Futuristic touches: In-room sensors automatically adjust the ambient temperature to your body temperature, you can send messages directly to the mobile device of the nearest member of the housekeeping staff, and in communal areas you’ll hear sounds based on the time of the day, like chirping birds in the morning and crickets at night.
Pros: As someone who is frequently chilly even when outdoor temperatures and indoor AC dictate that I shouldn’t be, theWit’s temperature controls are a major boon.
Cons: None. This high-tech hotel seems to have crafted a perfectly pleasant environment.

high-tech hotel

The Honk Kong Peninsula Hotel puts tablets in every room. From PRNewswire Asia.

2. Hong Kong Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong
Futuristic touches: The Hong Kong Peninsula is the only hotel on the list—and the only one in the world, they claim—with its own research and development facility. Thanks to the R&D team, the hotel has custom-made tablets in every room, pre-programmed in the guest’s language. Plus, touchscreen panels on the wall and next to the bed let guests call housekeeping, activate electronic “Do Not Disturb” signs and adjust lighting.
Pros: Guests at Hong Kong Peninsula have control over much of their stay right at their fingertips.
Cons: While tablets tend to be pretty user-friendly, if you aren’t as into 21st-century technology, this might not be your optimal hotel experience.

3. The Magdalen Chapter, Exeter, UK
Futuristic touches: This hotel, located in a historic building, has gone almost completely paper-free. Guests check in, order room service and can play music and video content from hubs in the room on iPads they receive upon arrival.
Pros: The technology set-up at the Magdalen Chapter has the potential to provide some peace of mind for the environmentally friendly and a great deal of entertainment for everyone else.
Cons: This is likely not the place for those looking for a digital detox, despite the building’s 19th century looks.

4. Yotel New York
Futuristic touches: Room keys are dispensed at electronic check-in terminals and a robot (Yobot, as he’s called) stores the luggage. Inside the soundproofed rooms, motorized, moving beds help save space and the AC is activated by motion sensors. At DohYO, the hotel restaurant, diners can raise and lower tables with the flick of a switch.
Pros: Soundproofed rooms are a major plus as anyone who has ever stayed in a busy hotel can attest, and we love that motion-activated AC units make the hotel greener.
Cons: A robot can’t really help you out if you forget your luggage tag, and it’s rare that most find their dining tables too low or too high.

high-tech hotels

Yotel’s Yobot. From Yotel.

5. Hotel Blow Up Hall 50 50, Pozań, Poland
Futuristic touches: Guests locate and open their rooms with iPhones that use digital recognition technology to unlock the number-less doors. The hotel is also filled with digital art installation, including one piece that creates “an enormous stylized image of guests using surveillance-style shots.”
Pros: Here’s to never forgetting your room number, or your hotel key for that matter.
Cons: We can’t tell how creepy that art installation is.

6. Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel, Ibiza, Spain
Futuristic touches: Instead of registering a credit card, you’ll register your fingerprints. Then, by simply touching screens on portable biometric scanners, you can pay for everything from room service to your bar tab.
Pros: This is convenient, certainly.
Cons: But also kind of creepy.

7. Hotel 1000, Seattle
Futuristic touches: Infrared sensors detect body heat to let staff know whether or not your room is occupied. In the lobby, a virtual golf course with infrared tracking allows guests to play (virtually) 50 international golf courses.
Pros: Never again will housekeeping walk in when you’re in the shower.
Cons: The high-tech appeal of this hotel is limited if you’re not a fan of golf.

high-tech hotels

Woobar at the W at Singapore Sentosa Cove has touchscreens in the tables and a mirror that can take your picture. From W Singapore Sentosa Cove.

8. W Hotel Sentosa Cove, Singapore
Futuristic touches: In the hotel bar, guests can play games at touchscreen tables, and a mirror that doubles as a camera lets them upload photos to Facebook in real time.
Pros: As mentioned before, having entertainment at your fingertips is a fun touch.
Cons: The bar’s camera-mirror may encourage Facebook uploads guests will regret the next day.

9. QT Sydney, Australia
Futuristic touches: The elevator plays songs based on the number of passengers. For example, if the elevator senses that there is just one person on-board, Elvis’s “Are You Lonesome Tonight” might play, while two people might hear Bill Withers’ “Just the Two of Us.”
Pros: There’s something to be said for doing away with generic elevator music.
Cons: But this isn’t really all that useful.

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