Made to measure


Hospitality technology and the benefits it provides to select-, full-, and luxury-service properties

Hospital technology comprises a wide range of tools and solutions, spanning from back-of-house systems like property-management software and accounting tools to front-of-house technologies like in-room tablets, self-check-in apps, and kiosks. The continuous growth of this technology is driven by pioneering startups that are taking the lead in innovating and transforming hotel operations. Front-of-house technology and its impact on staff and guests is one of the hottest topics in the hospitality sector today.

Within the hospitality industry, there are three main categories of properties: selectservice, full-service, and luxury.

select serviceSelect-service. These properties often are found along highways, near airports and popular tourist attractions, catering to budget-conscious travelers who primarily need a place to rest. These properties typically operate on tight margins and offer the amenities necessary for a comfortable stay. These typically include a clean and comfortable room, a private bathroom, Wi-Fi access, and basic guest services. While they may lack certain luxury amenities like full-service restaurants, spas, or extensive room service options, select-service hotels focus on providing a convenient and efficient experience.

Self-check-in kiosks and apps can play an important role in these types of properties by facilitating a convenient and expeditious guest experience, especially for late-night arrivals when staff availability may be limited. (If you’ve ever had to stand in line to check in at a hotel at 2 a.m. while jetlagged, self-check-in kiosks and apps can specifically help shorten wait times to get guests to their rooms faster.)

full service

Full-service. Full-service hotels offer a wider array of amenities, like onsite restaurants, pools, and valet services. They’re also typically strategically located in popular tourist destinations, city centers, and scenic areas, offering guests easy access to local attractions, shopping districts, and business hubs. Many provide dining options as they aim for convenience combined with a modicum of luxury. Full-service hotels target business travelers and tourists willing to pay higher rates for enhanced experiences. In-room tablets and mobile apps are important tools for guests to access amenities, receive personalized offers, and place orders without the need to call for staff assistance. These technologies not only improve guest satisfaction but also remedy staffing pressures, allowing employees to focus more on direct guest interactions that might require time and thought to complete. By implementing the right hospitality technology, both select-service and full-service hotels are enhancing their operations, offering elevated guest experiences, and are maintaining their competitive edge in the ever-evolving hospitality industry.

luxury level service Luxury-level service. Luxury properties represent the ultimate vacation destinations we all dream of experiencing. These hotels offer unparalleled experiences, from chauffeur-driven airport pickups to exquisite décor, gourmet cuisine, luxurious bedding, extensive amenities, and top-notch service. Unlike select-service hotels, luxury properties cater more to vacationers seeking personalized attention rather than business travelers or budget-conscious families. They’re located in the most exclusive locations, such as on beaches, in other scenic areas such as the mountains, or near iconic city landmarks, providing guests with stunning views and easy access to top attractions.

At first, the idea of using a mobile checkin app or kiosk in such luxurious settings might be met with skepticism. However, consider the true essence of luxury: the ability to effortlessly proceed straight to your room without any check-in hassle. Why not have the check-in process completed beforehand, providing a seamless arrival experience? Even for those guests who prefer physical key cards, check-in kiosks can still be used to create a more personable interaction, as staff can engage with the guests during the process, just as they would behind a traditional front desk. This approach opens numerous possibilities and allows luxury properties to cater to each guest’s unique preferences.

Of course, amenities are paramount in luxury properties as they help differentiate a property in guests’ minds and create an experience that they may recommend to someone or wish to repeat in the future. Amenities are also an important revenue stream for luxury properties and being up to date on the most convenient and modern features is paramount at this level of hospitality. In-room tablets and mobile apps can play a key role in guiding guests through the extensive array of offerings with just a touch of their fingertips. Educating guests on what’s available – and even providing incentives to engage with special offers based on guest information – can provide an extra level of targeted service while creating an additional revenue stream. Similarly, having direct access to property amenities gives the hotel guest the control, where they can order food or schedule a manicure without having to interact with hotel staff.

You may wonder why there are three property categories that are increasingly less similar that can all benefit from hospitality technology deployed in each. The distinction lies not in the technology itself but in its implementation and messaging.

While select-service properties may direct guests firmly toward mobile check-in to address staffing limitations, full-service properties may utilize it to appeal to an increasingly technology-focused patron, and luxury properties may offer and encourage it as a means to elevate the guest experience. The key lies in how these technologies are presented to guests and the messages conveyed to them about why they should engage with the technology. Ultimately, every type of property can implement hospitality technology to gain a competitive advantage and elevate the guest experience. It all comes down to how it’s delivered.

branigan mulcahy

Prior to co-founding Virdee, Branigan Mulcahy was the head of real estate at The Guild, where he led expansion into new locations and markets. Throughout his career, he has spent 10+ years investing in and developing commercial real estate. In a previous life, Branigan was a captain in the Marines where he deployed twice to the Middle East. Branigan holds an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and a BA from Texas A&M University. In his free time, Branigan enjoys running marathons with his wife, Christine, and fostering dogs from local rescue shelters in Austin.



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