Marriott today announced a pilot of allowing guests to check themselves into a hotel using kiosks and having grand-and-go vending machines at select hotels.
Neither of these is genuinely new. There were pilots already in the 2000s with automated check-in kiosks (never worked well), and some hotels already have vending machines for food purchases.
You can access Marriott here.
Here’s the release from Marriott:
Less Hassle, More to Explore: Marriott International Continues to Deliver on Consumer Desire for Enhanced Contactless Technology
New Pilot Programs Roll Out at Select Hotels, Evolving Seamless Guest Experience and Furthering ‘Commitment to Clean’
Marriott International, Inc. today announced the debut of a pilot program for contactless arrival kiosks at several select-service hotels, as well as the launch of a proof-of-concept for contactless grab-and-go marketplaces at two Fairfield by Marriott hotels. Both concepts build upon ongoing measures to boost traveler confidence while reinforcing the company’s Commitment to Clean initiative. Marriott’s contactless experience continues to evolve, further enhancing features such as mobile check-in and checkout, mobile key, mobile dining, and mobile requests – which enable members to make special requests for service and amenities through real-time messaging – all available through the Marriott Bonvoy app when members book direct.
“We are excited to unveil innovative new technologies to support our guests as travel continues to return,” said Stephanie Linnartz, President of Marriott International. “The pandemic has accelerated the demand for contactless services and we continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of our guests. The new offerings are an added benefit to the personalized hospitality we are known for, and we look forward to enhancing our customer experience by blending contactless services with dedicated in-person interactions.”
More than ever, travelers are seeking to have more control over their trips. According to a recent report published by The Travel Technology Association, 65 percent of travelers say that accommodations will need to use the latest technologies to make them feel safe. In another report from Medallia Zingle, 87 percent of U.S. customers said they would like to see companies continue to offer options that limit in-person service. Additionally, social media posts including the phrase “self-service” increased by 170 percent year-over-year from 2019 to 2020, based on a social media analysis conducted on behalf of Marriott.
Smart, contactless arrival kiosks have made their pilot debut at the Moxy NYC Times Square, Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown East, TownePlace Suites Monroe (Louisiana), and will soon be available at Moxy Miami South Beach, to provide an expedited arrival experience and help give guests peace of mind once they enter the hotel. Upon arrival, guests who prefer low-contact interactions can skip the traditional check-in altogether and complete an easy three-step process at the kiosk to check in for a single reservation, with room keys created on the spot. The kiosks employ antimicrobial technology baked into the touchscreen glass, powered by UV light to kill bacteria and viruses. Before departure, guests can use the kiosks for contactless check-out and to view their folio, or enroll in the Marriott Bonvoy travel program at any time.
The Rise of Grab-and-Go
Founded on the principles of warm hospitality and trusted service, Fairfield by Marriott is poised to be an industry disruptor with its testing of a new grab-and-go marketplace concept that is inventive, yet familiar. The Fairfield Inn & Suites Frederick and Fairfield Inn & Suites Arundel Mills BWI Airport, both located in Maryland, have introduced wall-to-wall kiosks that offer a centralized marketplace where guests can select snacks, beverages, lite bites and sundries. The brand’s complimentary daily breakfast offering has been incorporated into the design during breakfast hours with a selection of hot breakfast sandwiches, sweet indulgences, yogurt, cereal, and fruit every morning. Specialty coffee and expanded a-la-carte items will also be available for purchase at the kiosks with contact-free Bluetooth payment. The individually packaged items are replenished throughout the day. Guests can choose to eat in the lobby, in the comfort of their own room, or on the go.
Both new technologies will help streamline operations with increased efficiency, allowing hotel staff to engage with guests in more meaningful, personalized ways. Exemplifying the art of modern hospitality, they provide thoughtful conveniences to better serve guests throughout their stays.
I would rephrase this “Commitment to Clean” to “Commitment to Fatten Profits” by reducing the number of employees and force more self-service on guests. What is the better time to push this trough than the pandemic?
I can see some of the concepts working at select-service hotels, where Marriott is piloting them, but if these are pushed to full-service ones, what is the difference between select and full-service hotels?