Accor is set to transform the Ibis Styles London Gloucester Road into its first fully digital hotel, making it the first of the group’s kind in Northern Europe.
Once it reopens following the end of UK lockdown restrictions, the hotel will provide a fully digital experience with contactless technologies “at each step of the guests’ stay” from arrival to departure. This will include an online and mobile check-in, and a fast check-out via the customer’s smartphone which will include a PDF invoice sent via email.
Guests will also be able to open their room door via their smartphone through the use of the digital ‘Accor Key’, a technological solution which was introduced earlier this year in partnership with cloud-based mobile key and access management tool Stay My Way.
The digital keys will also provide access to meeting rooms and floor access from lifts. The hotel previously led the UK in a global pilot scheme for this technology, and the group plans to equip 20,000 doors with this technology in 2021 and at all new hotel openings from this summer.
Additionally, guests will be able to make online payments for their stay through “a quick and secure payment experience by Pay By Link” – guests will need to register and sign in once and can then pay for expenses throughout their stay.
When it comes to the F&B services, Accor partnered with London-based hospitality software provider Bizzon last year to launch a digital ordering service. Guests can order food and drink from their mobile phones, with the choice of either paying upfront or having the items charged to their room.
To further enhance the contactless experience, guests will be able to use Whatsapp to talk to the hotel staff before and during their stay.
Accor plans to roll out the digital hotel initiative to at least 50 per cent of hotels across all brand segments in Europe in the next five years. The group has outlined the various features in the below video:
Carla Milovanov, SVP Customer Technology Services at Accor commented:
“We know that guests increasingly seek contact-light travel and hotel experience that is easy to use, and we want to ensure they can do just that.
“This is not about robots or faceless technology, this is about the smart integration of innovative, customer-facing technology at pace and at scale. Technology is part of our daily lives and is now fully part of our hotel experience – and with this important step, we give our guests the opportunity to adapt their hotel stay according to their preferences.”
Luc Gesvret, SVP Loyalty, Partnership and Guest Relations at Accor Northern Europe, added:
“Technology is an intrinsically important part of our business, but only where it enhances the ability of hotel teams to provide great service and create memorable experiences, which, at the end of the day, is what really matters. Our everyday lived are augmented by technology and today that continues in our hotels. We want to enable guests to get what they want in our hotels in the way that most conveniently fits with their everyday behaviour. We know that in this changing world, our guests want more safety and opportunity to maintain social distancing, so having technology at their fingertips that they can own and manage, comes at a perfect time. It is a technology that has our guests at the heart of it.”
To find out more about how hotels are keeping guests and staff safe amid the Covid-19 pandemic, see our feature: