The Plaza, the landmark New York City hotel located on Central Park South, began offering iPads in each of its guests rooms and suites in January, taking hotel lodging to a whole new, high tech level.
The move makes the five-star hotel the first hotel in the world to provide not only a tablet for each guest room, but a tablet with Intelity’s ICE (Interactive Customer Experience) software to offer guests services and room controls.
So now the hotel, once best known for housing the young heroine Eloise in the “Eloise” series of books and for cameos in movies like “Home Alone 2,” is better known for offering guest services at the touch of a button.
For instance, want to dim the lights in the room, or adjust the air conditioning? There’s an app for that.
Looking to order room service, make restaurant reservations, reach the concierge, request wake-up calls, explore NYC destination guides, or check your airline schedule and print your boarding pass? Just reach for you iPad.
“Before in the guest rooms, we had another digital panel that controlled the lights, the temperature and some guest services,” explained Shane Krige, the hotel’s general manager. “But it wasn’t sophisticated enough for what we wanted to do.”
“We chose the iPad because it is a great piece of equipment that is here to stay and won’t disappear tomorrow,” adds Krige. “It brings another five star element to the hotel.”
But, showing that technology has not taken over completely, Krige stresses the switch to iPads does not mean the hotel has lost the human touch that even Eloise loved.
“They are not meant to replace our concierge service and the personal touch we are known for,” Krige says. “It is to provide more choice. At a five star hotel you should have choices – if you want to use the iPad, you can do so. If you want a butler service, that is available, too. If you want to be left alone, that is a choice, as well. By putting the iPads in the guest rooms, we are bringing a new technology to everyone’s fingertips.”
So has the 21st century debate in hotel etiquette evolved to, do we have to leave the iPad but can now take home the luxurious robes?
Not in New York but want to see what you’re missing? Click here to view a demo of the iPad.