The Hotel Concord offers Alexa technology in guestrooms

The Amazon Echo Dot powered by Volara is a system that is continually evolving to meet the ever-changing demands of hotel guests. Photo credit: Volara

When Concord, N.H-based Hotel Concord opened its doors in August, it equipped every room in the boutique hotel with a custom branded Volara-powered Amazon Echo Dot. Guests are speaking requests in their rooms and staff are acting on those requests instantly. 
 
“It was important to our team that we embrace best practices in guest service, including using  guest-facing technology that would appeal to business and leisure travelers alike,” said Michael Simchik, managing partner of New Hampshire-based 100 Market Group, owner and developer of the six-story, mixed-use building, in a statement. “My son, Jamie, who is spearheading this hotel project, is an avid user of smart home technology,” Simchik said. “He read an article about Amazon’s desire to bring voice technology into hotels with ‘Alexa for Hospitality.’ We gave Amazon a call, and they directed us to Volara. Since deploying this technology, we have had overwhelming success, interest and utilization.”
 
GM Sue O’Donnell said finding in-room technology that delivers an exceptional experience while also being attractive, having a small footprint and complementing the room design was a top priority.  
 
"While the rooms are big, we wanted to make sure the amenities don’t clutter the room or nightstands; we don’t even offer alarm clocks for that reason," O’Donnell said. With the Amazon Echo Dots, we don’t need alarm clocks. When I bring guests to their rooms and show them around, I make a point to ask ‘Alexa, what time is it?’ That’s when the fun begins. We explain to guests that they can simply say ‘Alexa, ask the hotel for more towels,’ or ‘Alexa, tell the hotel I forgot my shampoo,’ and guest services will respond to their request. With Volara powering this device, it makes our customer service better, quicker and more efficient. It keeps us on top of things, and our guests really appreciate it.”
 
Unlike a smart speaker in the home environment, O’Donnell said the Amazon Echo Dot is a “system” that is continually evolving to meet the ever-changing demands of hotel guests. The Hotel Concord serves as a corporate hub during the week for business travelers and is a leisure destination on the weekends. Different questions have been programmed to accommodate this diversity.
 
Simchik said he is considering expanding Volara’s functionality from in-room service requests to back of house interdepartmental communication, controlling the room environment (including lights and temperature), and taking music channels from the TV and playing them through Alexa’s iHeartRadio component.

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