Guestroom technology wows HITEC attendees
Advancements in hotel technology were on display at the annual Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference, held in Austin, Texas in early June. GUESTROOM 2010 (to be called G2X going forward) is a model hotel room that exhibits emerging technologies.
This year's exhibit featured more than 40 innovations, including a voice recognition alarm clock set by speaking to it instead of punching buttons, a virtual library of best-selling books, a bed without a mattress, a closet that generates electricity, a shower that massages to the beat of one's favorite music and a high-definition art gallery that changes to suit a guest's mood.
Each year, the group that sponsors HITEC, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, conducts a global search for the industry's existing, cutting-edge and future guestroom innovations. A panel of hospitality technology executives selects the technologies to be displayed. Go to http://www.guestroom20x.org/ for more information about the project and how to submit a technology for the 2009 version.
Best Western embraces green
Best Western has hitched its future to the green bandwagon. The first Best Western hotel to be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification recently broke ground in Golden, Colo. The 86-room Best Western Inn and Suites at Dinosaur Ridge is slated for completion in May 2009.
Other Best Western properties are becoming more eco-friendly as well.
- The Best Western Inn Kelowna in British Columbia is heated and cooled with a state-of-the-art geothermal and solar system, with extra energy donated back into the city's power grid.
- The Best Western Tuscan Inn, San Francisco, has been certified as green by the city of San Francisco, with paperless checkouts for guests and rooms cleaned with non-toxic supplies. All minibars feature organic products, such as chocolate bars, health bars and organic chips.
- Housekeepers at the Best Western Fernie (British Columbia) Mountain Lodge use natural light when cleaning guestrooms. The hotel also uses high-efficiency boilers and water heaters.