Hotel News Now editors recap and relay news from across the global hotel industry, with a focus on positive, hopeful and helpful stories our readers might have missed.
REPORT FROM—This week’s roundup of bright spots in the industry focuses on robots, hotel fitness amenities and free legal services for black-owned hospitality startups.
The average hotel stay is likely to evolve from numerous human touchpoints to more forms of a contactless experience. One hotel in California dusted off a mechanical employee to facilitate its contactless deliveries to guests.
Hotel Trio in Healdsburg, California, is racking up the miles on its roomservice robot, Rosé, a 3-foot-tall bot that delivers wine, groceries, towels and more to guestrooms, according to The Drinks Business.
Hotel Trio GM Scott Satterfield said Rosé has become more popular as guests keep social distancing in their rooms but still require amenities delivered.
“For guests who prefer contactless deliveries, Rosé provides them with peace of mind as she can deliver items to their suite,” he said. “Guests are in awe when they see her digital eyes blink and hear her futuristic sci-fi sounds as she shimmies on the elevator flashing a digital message, ‘I’m on a guest delivery.’”
One silver lining to the pandemic is that it’s jump-starting some initiatives at hotels that have been a little slow to gain traction in recent years, but that are very much guest-centric. We’ve seen it in more widespread adoption of mobile check-in, and now we’re seeing it in a faster shift to in-room fitness at hotels.
In-room fitness isn’t new. Many companies like Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group (particularly with the Kimpton and Even Hotels brands) have launched in-room fitness programs and amenities in recent years, but I think we’ll see this movement really take off in the future as guests return to hotels but seek a little less interaction with other people. HNN’s Terence Baker talked to hoteliers and other fitness and wellness experts who said now is an opportune time to incorporate more fitness options in the guestroom.
Hotels are promoting in-room fitness amenities heavily now, as well as options such as outdoor, socially distanced yoga and touch-free spa services, according to a Forbes article.
AXS Law Group has announced a program to provide free legal services to black-owned hospitality start-ups in an effort to boost their prevalence in the industry.
In a news release announcing the Miami-based law firm’s AXS Law Roadmap Initiative, attorney Michelle White said the firm is “committed to fight systemic racism and to support a community that has always supported us.”
“We are working to make changes within Miami and the country at large, and from that introspection, the AXS LAW Roadmap Initiative was born,” she said.
For more information, visit www.axslawgroup.com/axslawblackownedbusinessinitiative.
Most of us are likely to agree we miss traveling through vibrant cities, exploring new cultures or simply talking to new people in hotels. Luckily, we’ve reached that time of year again for Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards survey, which asks readers across the globe to rank cities based on their overall travel experiences.
Leading the list of top 15 urban centers is Charleston, South Carolina, for its history, cuisine, architecture and more. Following behind as a close second is New Orleans, which T+L noted its hotel scene has been growing and cited the Hotel Peter & Paul as a one of the city’s best new hotels in 2019. Chicago ranked fifth best on the list due to its design-forward hotels and innovative dining spots.
I’m looking ahead to the day we all can safely return to absorbing all that these cities have to offer.