For the regular traveler, all you need in a hotel is a bed, a shower and something to eat and you’re more than happy. But times change and as technology advanced so did the hotel guests requirements. And when guests didn’t request it, hotels decided to offer all sorts of amenities to attract people from everywhere.
Wireless or wired internet or massive flat screen TVS are already a standard in most hotels, while others, as you will see in this article, offer free iPads, automatic curtains and entertainment system, eye scan or motion detecting technology, to name just a few. Many features we only saw in movies some time ago are now a part of our everyday trips. So here are some of the most technologically advanced hotels in the world:
Blow Up Hall, Poznan, Poland
Perhaps one of the most intriguing hi-tech hotel in the world, the Blow Up Hall hotel in Poznan, Poland, was created by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and it features an amazing video installation. Once you step into the hotel, you are a part of a movie projected on huge LCD displays. The images are taken by no less than 2,400 video cameras installed throughout the hotel.
Another interesting part is that there’s no conventional reception and there are no numbers on the doors. Instead, once you check in, you are given an iPhone and this helps you get to your room and also allows you to enter it through hi-tech recognition system. Inside the rooms, guests can find iPhone docking stations, LCD TVs with Bang and Olufsen surround sound system and amazing power sprinkler showers. So if you’re a tech addict, Blow Up Hall is THE place to stay.
To check out room rates and make a reservation at the Blow Up Hotel in Poznan, Poland, click here.
Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas
Opened on December 16, 2009, the Aria Resort & Casino is located in Las Vegas, on the Strip and is jointly owned by MGM and the Dubai World investment company. The hotel is 600 ft tall, has a surface of 4 million square feet and features 4,004 rooms and suites, 16 restaurants, 10 bars and clubs, three pools with a total surface of 215,000 sq ft, a spa, a 1,800-seat theater and a 150,000 sq ft casino.
Yes, it’s big, but perhaps the most amazing thing about the whole resort are its technological features, most being oriented towards lowering the environmental impact, like the airport shuttles that are fueled by CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). Inside the rooms, a smart automatic system controls the curtains, the windows and the light-colored rooftops to keep the solar heat gain to an optimum level and turns off lights and air conditioning when guests are not in their rooms. All these make the Aria Resort & Casino the largest hotel in the world that was awarded a LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council, which means the hotel is using resources more efficiently.
Through a touchscreen display, guests can control the TV and audio system, wake-up calls, music or call room service, plus a good night button that turns everything off and enables a Do Not Disturb sign. Also, each room has a 42-inch LCD HD TV that can be connected to a laptop, 100 Mbps fiber optic internet connection, iPhone charging hub and, as a guest, you’re not given a regular card, but one that detects when you’re close to your room and opens the door.
To check out room rates and make a reservation at the Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, click here.
Four Seasons, Silicon Valley
Located in Palo Alto, ten minutes away from Stanford University, in the heart of the high tech capital of the world, Silicon Valley, the Four Seasons Palo Alto has a lot of high tech features aimed at making the guests’ stay top class. The hotel features 200 modern rooms, including 27 amazing suites, each one featuring flat-screen TVs, 100 Mbps fiber optic internet, a 5.6-inch display that allows you to see who’s knocking at the door and access to the hotel’s printer where you can print just about everything which can even be delivered to your door by a hotel employee.
Besides these, the Four Seasons Silicon Valley also features a state-of-the-art fitness center, a 50-ft rooftop pool, translation and interpretation service and a marvelous day spa with massage and all sorts of body and facial treatments.
To check out room rates and make a reservation at the Four Seasons Hotel in Palo Alto, click here.
Hi Hotel Nice, France
Perhaps not the most hi-tech hotel on this list, the Hi Hotel Nice is located in the Cote d’Azur in Nice, France only 60-ft away from the beach and it offers an amazing concept, with 38 rooms categorized into 9 different concepts, the Digital and the Techno themed rooms being the most attractive.
These rooms feature folding widescreen TVs, “sofablaster” couches with integrated loudspeakers and earphones or furniture made of computer screen which can display photos or videos.
To check out room rates and make a reservation at the Hi Hotel Nice in France, click here.
Sax Hotel, Chicago
If you’re into technology, then a visit to the Windy City wouldn’t be complete without a stay at the Hotel Sax in downtown Chicago. When you check in, you are given a laptop and a Zune MP3 player to use during your stay there and each room features big flat screen TVs, free Wi-Fi internet and iPod docking and some rooms even have Xbox consoles.
And if that’s too boring, than you can go to the entertainment lounge The Studio, created in cooperation with Microsoft, where you can enjoy the massive TVs or play Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
To check out room rates and make a reservation at the Sax Hotel in Chicago, click here.
Upper House, Hong Kong
The Upper House hotel in Hong Kong was designed by Andre Fu and all 117 rooms feature an amazing design and state-of-the-art technology, available since check-in, which is made through a wireless hand-held terminal. In rooms you can find 43-inch TVs, high-speed internet, a free iPod Touch comes filled with hotel services info, games, apps and tourist information and motion sensors which detect if guests are in their rooms or not so housekeeping can start doing their job.
But the Upper House experience is not limited to rooms only, because guests can also use the hotel’s Lexus hybrid cars which have high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can stay connected even when on the road.
To check out room rates and make a reservation at the Upper House hotel in Hong Kong, click here.
Nine Zero, Boston
Located in the Ladder District in central Boston, the Nine Zero hotel is close to almost every interest point in Boston, including the Financial District or the Broadway Theater. At first sight, their services aren’t different to what other hotels on this list offer: 27-inch flat screen televisions, iHome docking stations, high-speed wireless and wired internet.
But if you want to really feel the Nine Zero’s charm, you must stay in the Cloud Nine Suite. Besides the amenities mentioned above, the suite features iris scan technology for access (yes, no card, no key, no nothing, you just look at a camera and you’re allowed to enter the room), walls made of glass for a splendid view of Boston, a telescope in your room and an interesting little eco-friendly feature, a 25-percent valet parking discount if you come in driving a hybrid car.
To check out room rates and make a reservation at the Nine Zero hotel in Boston, click here.
The Peninsula Hotel, Tokyo
Tokyo is on the list of the most hi-tech cities in the world, so we wouldn’t expect less from the hotels here. And The Peninsula Hotel is one of the best examples. 267 rooms and 47 suites have plenty of hi-tech features such as flat screen TVs, touch screen interactive menus for services and information, in-room internet radio with more than 3,000 stations and Skype compatible phones to use for free throughout the hotel.
Other features include a “Do Not Disturb” light activated by a button next to the bed, and mood lighting controls including a “Spa” button in the bathroom which lowers the light and starts playing relaxing music. And to make sure all these systems work perfectly, the hotel even has its own electronics service department.
To check out room rates and make a reservation at The Peninsula Hotel in Tokyo, click here.
Hotel 1000, Seattle
This multi-awarded hotel in Seattle, United States, has so many hi-tech features that we really don’t know where to start from. Each room features 40-inch flat screen TVs with 60 HD channels and HD video on demand, Microsoft Surface tables that can be controlled with hand gestures and a silent doorbell system which features an infrared scanner that tells housekeeping if you’re in the room or not, so they can clean your room.
Other amenities include media hubs, high-speed wireless and wired internet, ambiance and temperature controls with infrared technology, touch screen VOIP telephones.
To check out room rates and make a reservation at Hotel 1000 in Seattle, click here.
Located in Naples, Florida, the Ritz-Carlton hotel is considered one of the best hotels in the United States. Besides a beautiful view of the Gulf of Mexico, the hotel features 450 rooms, including 35 suites and two presidential suites, all having 32-inch flat-screen televisions, iPod docking stations and Wi-Fi access. But perhaps the most attractive feature is the high-tech entertainment lounge that has 40-inch HD TVs where guests can watch their favorite programs or play on one of the hotel’s PlayStation 3, Wii (there are even bowling tournaments and fitness classes) or Xbox360, a 63-inch LCD with Bang and Olufsen surround sound.
Other amenities include two heated outdoor pools, jacuzzi, access to two 18-hole golf course and a world-class spa with 30 treatment rooms and several water sports choices including kayaks, pedal boats and parasailing.
To check out room rates and make a reservation at the Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida click here.
Pavilion Hotel, California
Located on the beach in Catalina Island, California, the Pavilion Hotel was previously known as the Pavilion Lodge and features 71 classy rooms and two luxury suites with a beautiful ocean view.
The hotel offers a free iPad guests can use during their stay and which also comes loaded with apps, magazines and newspapers, HD flat-screen television and iHome radio streaming device supporting iPod Touch and iPhone and, of course, Wi-Fi connectivity.
To check out room rates and make a reservation at the Pavilion Hotel in Catalina Island, California, click here.
So, what do you think about these hotels? There are plenty of other hotels that maybe deserved a spot on this list, but we think these really feature top class technology. How about you? Did you stay at another hotel that impressed you with all sorts of gadgets and technologies? Please share your experience with us in the comments section below.
I’m Vlad, I’m in my 30, I have traveled a lot in the past 10 years and I share stories with all the experiences I’ve lived. I’m really into writing, so I also talk about stuff that I find interesting and want to see at some point in the future. Also, I’m quite passionate about travel photography and I share my experience as an amateur photographer and videographer. He now writes at Upwind Travel