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Micro-hotels usher in next-generation of hotel technology
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

From funky new approaches to interior design to “thinking green” about plastic toiletries, many established hotel brands are going to great lengths to appeal to a new generation of travelers who put “experiences” (read: Instagrammable moments) ahead of material when it comes to spending.

But the biggest and most impactful changes that hotel brands are instituting lately go beyond edgy branding and superficial tweaks. From the size of the hotel rooms to the interactions with staff to – most importantly – the technology that makes both these factors possible, several new hotels are breaking the mold when it comes to what’s considered “luxury lodging.”

Take the recently-opened Moxy hotel in Boston’s Theater District. Part of the Marriott portfolio of brands, the Moxy is a new-construction project that aims to appeal to digital-first students in the area as well as “influencers” looking for a unique hotel experience in a highly-competitive regional market. The lobby itself is staged as a series of photo opps, including a non-functioning truck that has been outfitted as a photobooth, complete with digital accessories that guests can use to take the perfect snap.

But once guests have finished taking selfies, they’ll soon realize that there are surprisingly few noticeable staff on hand, and in place of a check-in counter, there’s a series of self-serve kiosks that double as the hotel’s lobby bar.

Features like this that let guests leverage their digital ingenuity to guide their stay are on display throughout the Moxy and similar “micro hotels.” The rooms at this hotel and similar ones, which have been popular in New York and overseas for roughly a decade, are designed for individual travelers or couples – not families. As a result, designers focus on optimizing the common areas at these accommodations, which tend to resemble WeWork spaces more than traditional hotel lobbies.

In fact, at the citizenM, another micro hotel that recently opened in Boston after making waves overseas, the public is welcome to come work in the lobby as well as the rooftop bar, both of which feature high speed internet connectivity and individualized work stations.

But the real digital transformation is on display in the guest rooms.

Upon entering a room at citizenM, the smart television and iPad each greet guests by name, having synced up with the check-in kiosks at the front desk to ensure all of the smart technology has access to each guest profile. The iPad is the command center, remotely controlling the mood lighting in the room as well as all of the entertainment options.

At the Moxy, guests similarly rely on tablets and smart media to collect data on user preferences and ensure that the hotel can get ahead of accomodating a guests needs and catering to their preferences, from recommending travel discounts via the hotel’s app to facilitating the cheapest car service.

At the heart of the next breed of micro-hotels is an extremely agile and scalable network infrastructure that can orchestrate all of the connected technologies and data collection that make these unique accommodations livable. From coordinating with third-party reservation services, to having quick-access to user profiles and aligning a guest’s social media channels with the devices in their room, hotel IT need clear network visibility between a bevy of stakeholders for these hotels to succeed.

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Filed Under: industry insights, performance monitoring

Tags: digital transformation, digital first, selfie, network technology, citizenM, moxy, hospitality industry, cloud computing, Boston, hospitality, hotel industry, microhotel, micro hotel, network performance monitoring

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