5 top tech hotels from around the world
Check out these tech-savvy retreats that will tickle any travel-wise technophile.EDGAR staff April 15, 2015
Eccleston Square, London
Classy, high-end hotels that are steeped in prestige are a dime a dozen in London, but it is often the smaller, boutique hotels that offer up something a bit special. Cue the Eccleston Square Hotel. From the outside, this Belgravia-based townhouse looks like any of the capital’s thousands of Georgian terrace houses, but the unassuming façade hides an ultra-modern city hideaway. The smooth monochrome flooring and decadent black crystal chandeliers is evidence of the hotel’s contemporary approach, and that’s before you realise that the floor is being warmed by under-floor water heaters, and the rooms are kitted out with sleep-inducing technologies including Hastens massage beds.
Speaking of the rooms, each of the 39 rooms come equipped with touch sensitive keypads that control the music and lighting. There is also an in-room iPad which doubles as your personal concierge and perhaps our favourite tech quirk, the glass shower walls that turn from clear to frosted at the touch of a button and flat screen televisions concealed within bathroom mirrors. Details: ecclestonsquarehotel.com
Upper House, Hong Kong
As you can imagine, space is somewhat at a premium in Hong Kong, which is why ultra-spacious rooms at The Upper House are so highly sought after for luxury travellers. Starting from 730 sqft, the rooms at this fantastically forward-thinking hotel are bigger than most average Hong Kong apartments. The boutique property – designed by architectural wunderkind André Fu – is the epitome of understated uberstyle crammed with snazzy tech features. Check-ins for the boutique’s 117 rooms are paperless, with iPad-toting staff going through the process with robot-like taps and swipes.
There are no confusing tutorials, meaning that everything you need to know about the hotel and its facilities – as well as games and music – are loaded onto the iPod touch found in every room. As you'd expect, there's free and unlimited broadband access and even the hotel's cars – hybrid Lexus RX450H, naturally – are equipped with Wi-Fi. The sleek, high-style interiors are the stuff of fantasy for any fans of urban modernism, while the location – on the upper floors of the Marriott hotel – means that the rooms have fantastic views over Kowloon, Hong Kong harbour and the hills. Details: upperhouse.com
W Doha Hotel, Qatar
There was a time when picking up the telephone and negotiating with the front desk was the only way to book a hotel room with a view. Nowadays though, all you need is 140 characters. The W Hotel in Doha 'tweeps' service allows guests to make reservations through Twitter, offering various discounted rates in return. Tweeting the hotel’s handle @wdoha along with the hashtag #bookwdoha starts an online conversation with the W’s resident social media guru, and leads to a confirmed reservation. In fact, once you've downloaded the Starwood mobile app to your mobile, there's very little cause to ever meet one of the W's staff face-to-face.
Use the app to check-in online as you arrive and find out what room number you're in. Go straight to your room and swipe your phone against the door to unlock it. The hotel's Whatever/Whenever service takes the sometimes laborious processes of ordering room service, calling laundry or making a reservation at one of the hotel's restaurants, and simplifies them into a Whatsapp service. Simply message the number you're given on arrival for any service you require; consider it a personal assistant for the entirety of your stay at the other end of a Whatsapp message. EDGAR stayed at the W Hotel Doha last year and we were extremely impressed with the mobile app features and the Whatever/Whenever service. Details: whoteldoha.com
Hotel 1000, Seattle
Perhaps taking inspiration from nearby tech behemoths Amazon and Microsoft, Seattle-based Hotel 1000 has put technology at the very forefront of what it does. From superfast Internet (two separate 100MB broadband lines), to in-room body heat detectors that alert housekeeping staff that someone is in the room, there are plenty of helpful quirks that have gone into this centrally-based hotel. But that is not all, Hotel 1000 also has a fully converged IP infrastructure that makes every person’s stay customisable with guests options to set their own in-room temperature, artwork and music.
International phone calls are free as is the Wi-Fi, and should the notorious Seattle weather threaten to dampen your stay, you can visit the hotel’s Golf Club, a Star Trek-like holodeck room with an infrared tracking system that provides golf enthusiasts with real-time ball flight, interactive practice situations and a choice of up to 50 different virtual courses to play on. Details: hotel1000seattle.com
Montage Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
Nowhere on earth is glitz and glamour emblemised more than Beverly Hills – and the Montage is one of the most notable hotels to share the 90210 post code. Located just off the famous Rodeo Drive, the beautiful, Spanish colonial style property is magnificent with its terra-cotta roofs, fountains, and surrounding garden. That level of luxury is not exclusive to the outside either, with the interiors reminiscent of Hollywood's Golden Age, but with some very modern touches.
The hotel’s 201 rooms each come with remote controlled lights and curtains, the bathroom mirrors are made from fog-free glass, and the beds boast luxurious 500-thread count Filli d'Oro sheets. Recently the Montage has not only become one of the first hotels in the world to receive Gold level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for its use of energy efficient heating, lighting and air conditioning systems, but it has installed new elevators that use 50 per cent less energy compared to conventional types. It is Hollywood with a conscious. Details: montagehotels.com/beverlyhills