Amazon launches Alexa for Hospitality

George Sell By George Sell
20 June 2018 | Updated 20 June 2018

US: Amazon has launched the Alexa for Hospitality program, bringing its voice assistant technology to hotels, serviced apartments and vacation rentals.

The system can be customised to include key guest information, like checkout time or pool hours; allows guests to request services such as housekeeping or room service; and can be configured to control smart hotel room functions, including adjusting the thermostat or air conditioning.

Amazon has partnered with Marriott to launch the new platform - Marriott will introduce the Alexa experience at select properties in Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Hotels, and Autograph Collection Hotels starting this summer.
Marriott says that Alexa for Hospitality will be rolled out to 10 properties across the US this summer. The system will also be available by invitation to other hospitality providers from today.

Alexa for Hospitality works over Echo devices installed in guest rooms which will be customised for the hotel. Supported devices include the Amazon Echo Dot, Echo and Echo Plus.

Via the Echo, guests will be able to ask Alexa for information about the hotel itself and other general information. They'll also be able to contact services like in-room dining, the concierge, the front desk, housekeeping and the spa by speaking to Alexa.

Amazon says the system will also work with existing hotel technology, including DigiValet, Intelity, Nuvola, and Volara. It also works with guest room entertainment providers World Cinema and GuestTek for voice control of TV experiences, and offers in-room control of connected devices using Crestron and Inncom by Honeywell.

Guests will be able to play music and radio over iHeartRadio and TuneIn, which can be set up to play music stations that match the hotel's brand. Guests can also access third-party apps.

The platform will be updated in the future to allow guests to personalise their in-room Echo further by temporarily connecting their own Amazon account for the length of their stay.

Amazon says it's also working with vacation rental companies including RedAwning, and boutique lifestyle properties within the Two Roads Hospitality portfolio including Thompson Hotels, Joie de Vivre, Destination Hotels and Alila to test out the new platform.

The company hasn't announced any pricing information for the system.

"Marriott has a long track record of innovating for our guests, and we're thrilled to be among the first to offer Alexa for Hospitality," said Jennifer Hsieh, vice president customer experience innovation, Marriott International. "So many of our guests use voice technology in their home, and we want to extend that convenience to their travel experience. Guests of Charlotte Marriott City Center and Marriott Irvine Spectrum will be among the first to experience a curated list of Alexa for Hospitality features. We will be evaluating guest feedback and adoption to inform how we expand the skills, features, and functionality offered through Alexa in our hotels."

Next month's Serviced Apartment Summit Europe will include a round table workshop discussion looking at how Amazon, Google and Apple will revolutionise apartment living, from using these devices to capture guest contact and payment information, to delivering innovative services (grocery and restaurant delivery, property guides, local experiences) to help drive incremental revenues. The session will be hosted by Alex Nigg, founder of Properly and Henry Bennett, CEO of Your Welcome. Click here to find out more and buy tickets.

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