DIGITAL HOTELS – FROM THE GROOVY EAST END TO VEGAS

This week we explore: What’s new with digital hotels?

 Millennial hipsters only please: While business rates Armageddon is playing out in the West End, hoteliers are getting their thinking caps on to figure out how to lure millennials out of start-up dens and into new, more expensive but funkier locations. Jo&Jo is a new experience-hotel launched by French Accor Group’s Hotel Lab (yes, you read it right, not just retailers can have Labs these days) from the Accor stable.The concept will hit hard three core needs – to work around the clock even on holidays, to share commune-like spaces with a whole bunch of other bearded hipsters, and to eat fusion food at strange hours of the day. What could possibly go wrong? Wired up to the nines, the hotel has great connectivity and works well as a venue for even the biggest digital meet-ups.

London to NYC to Amsterdam: Hoxton Hotel is not just a hotel – during the daytime it offers a collab workspace to local millennials, then as the day turns into the evening, venue hire or tele-meetings with other Hoxton hotels in Amsterdam or Williamsburg take over the loosely designed benches. Focused around multi-taskers, the Ennismore project pushes the boundaries of space identity. With solid broadband, every space is flexible, can be re-shaped at a moment’s notice and can accommodate even the most whimsical of digerati.

A greener London is Ace: Redchurch Street in London’s Shoreditch is the new red-hot shopping mecca for discerning locals. With its delicious funky boutiques like Kit and Ace, Miista and camo-mad Versus Versace, the area is attracting buyers from far away. To accommodate this newly emerged shopping destination, Ace Hotel has opened nearby, offering a mix of well-wired workspaces, hi-tech fitness facilities, decent bedrooms that you can hire for the day as an office for a meeting and a solid restaurant. Groovy but not pretentious, the space is constantly re-shaping, depending on the needs of the visitors but also testing new concepts, layouts and features. Our favourite? Bikes for hire straight from the hotel. 1+ for greener London!

Happy stay in the appy hotel: App-y hotel anyone? The Hub by Premier Inn in Covent Garden runs entirely off a dedicated app – we started by checking in with a quick scan of the QR code on our smartphone to locate the booking. The Hub has a machine dispensing a plastic room card with near field communication (NFC) for opening guests’ allocated room doors with just one touch. In the rooms’ walls, Augmented Reality mapping is provided with a map of London. And the app provides one of the coolest Hub features: intelligent AR integration, known as Explore. After you open the camera from within the Hub app, overlaid area bubbles appear on the map on your handset’s screen, which provides more detail when tapped. Fun and useful, not to mention decent-size rooms and as much tech as a well-wired coder can cope with.

Vegas baby! Venturing beyond the confines of East London, the Aria hotel in Vegas caught our eye on a recent outing (don’t ask), with their top credentials for being a super green hotel.

Nominated for a LEED award, Aria controls its 4000 rooms’ electricity use and can ‘sense’ if the guest has left, turning off the lights as well as minimising loss on heating. Sensors control the curtains, which can be adjusted automatically and also act as sunscreen when the rooms are on the southern side. You can also check in without talking to humans, what an achievement! Everyone is talking about it, Aria is doing it. Featured in Jason Bourne (2016) with Matt Damon, Aria is on top of our list. Check it out.