Summer is on its way and that can only mean one thing- Spring Break craziness! Celebrate those body-shots in style at a hotel equipped with the latest in gadgety goodness, from intelligent room service carts which alert staff when they need collecting to fibre optic showers and smart rooms. OK, the price required for the room may cost more than your college tuition, but who cares when you have every console going and a TV in the bathroom?
Paris is the home of all things chic, but who knew the French had so much tech nous up their stylish cap sleeves? The Seven Hotel features all the usual bells and whistles, from 24 hour room service to loungebars on offer, but also offers some very unusual rooms for the guests. My favourite is the Levitation room (pictured) which features fibre optics installed throughout the suite, a levitating bed and a transparent shower. They also have a Bond themed 007 suite which features gold toilets and a Hammam function.
Rates start from 157 Euros per night, dependent on which room you choose.
Las Vegas is known for being the forefront in everything glitzy and glamorous and the Aria Hotel fits this bill perfectly. The suites have been created to be urban luxury retreats, filled with goodies such as Egyptian Cotton sheets and wet bars. They’ve spared no expense on the techie additions, as each room is outfitted with wireless network which they’ve promised is 8x faster than the average guestroom, and a 7 inch bedside touchscreen that lets you control the rooms amenities. They have given guests the option of customizing the room to their preferred setting and a one touch control lets you alter the lights, temperature and TV/Video systems, as well as summon room service and create wake up calls. The room is a designated ‘smart room’, and will greet you when you enter it, as well as turn light on, open curtains and change temperature based on your preferences- which are all stored for your return. The perfect virtual butler!
The Blow Up Hotel in Poland is a fairly new addition to the boutique hotel market, opening its doors in 2009. It takes tech hotels to the next level, being completely devoid of keys, a reception and numbers on the doors of the rooms! When you check in you’re given an iPhone which opens the bedroom door and alerts you to the location through recognition technology. The hotel revolves around an interactive art installation in the lobby that has been created by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, which takes images of the guests and fragments them into 2400 images on a giant screen. There are 22 rooms in total, and the hotel offers fine Polish cuisine as well as a steam rooms and massage areas. Rooms are also equipped with iPhone docks and large Bang and Olufsen TV’s.
The Hotel Sax in Chicago is a veritable playground for technology junkies, featuring an all inclusive Technology Lounge. This lounge is a 600 foot square space equipped with 5 High Definition flat screen TVs hanging on the walls, each connected to a Xbox 360 game system. In the rooms you have a LCD TV and iPod dock and the Presidential Suites come with multiple flat-screen TV’s, a surround sound audio system, an XBox 360 Elite gaming system, a Microsoft Zune MP3 player and a laptop! If you ever leave, you can also enjoy the celebrated restaurants and luxurious ten pin bowling complex- all under the same roof!
The Zetter Hotel in London
London plays host to some of the coolest hotels in the world, and the Zetter is a cheeky upstart with a friendly attitude. Guests at the Zetter control everything by their personalized room cards, from making the lift work to turning on the lights in the room. There are no minibars available- instead your card releases products from vending machines located on the floors. Each room features a 32 inch Samsung LCD TV and a hard drive that holds 4000 tunes and 20 on demand movies. You can also enjoy a Pico Revo digital radio and an Altec Lansing iPod dock,and WiFi is free. The bathroom features a rain dance shower (think natural music when you bathe) and it’s all energy efficient, as the aircon is powered by water gathered from its borehole.
Propeller Island takes what you would normally think about hotels and does a 180 turn. Created by German artist Lars Stroschen, every single room in the hotel is themed, so you are ‘living in a work of art’, rather than a hotel. They might not be the most high tech rooms around but their innovation and creativity makes them a welcome inclusion to this list. Each room has its own unique character, from the Coffin room were you can sleep vampire style, or enjoy a rest in the included labyrinth. Other options include a guillotine positioned over the bed, which works as an illuminated barrier if you argue with your partner and glows an eerie blue throughout the glass. You can opt to sleep in a cage, bathe in a plastic bag bath or sleep in a bed suspended by ropes. There is no reception for guests, but you can check it at an office from 8-12.
The Jefferson Hotel is an extremely tasteful venue that masks the lashings of gadgetry with oak panels and 300 threadcount sheets. Rooms feature two 32 inch TV’s, a 17 inch TV in the bathroom, a Bose Wave Radio and an iPod Dock. You can also get consoles like the PS3, XBox 360 or Wii on request and they have a very cool room service feature. The room service carts they use are equipped with a microchip that alerts the staff when you’re done- once you place the tray outside your room it sends a message asking to be collected!
What could be more wonderful than holidaying Little Mermaid style and living 40 foot below the surface of the ocean? This is what Poseidon aims to do, by giving people the chance to have a luxury stay below the sea. The holiday includes trips in the Triton 100 submarine and the chance to explore the local coral reefs. Each room has a 270 degree view of the locality and there is an underwater restaurant to enjoy. You don’t need a diving license though, as access is through elevators and the resort is kept at 1 atmosphere of pressure, so decompression sickness is not a concern. Visitors can also learn to pilot the submarine during their stay and there is above shore accommodation for when you want some sunlight. Sadly this isn’t available yet as the building work is still going on (for about three years now) but as prices are approx $30,000 a week that’s not such a bad thing.
The Citizen M hotel aims to give travellers all the technology they need in one small package. Rooms are small, but optimized for maximum comfort and each comes with a flatscreen TV, power rainshower and full length mirror. The accessories really make the space, as the rooms are equipped with Philips mood controls to let you change the colours of the room, a phone which includes a list of Skype call rates and a plug socket system which includes global adapters. The Philips Moodpad can be programmed to wake you up (with colour if you wish!), turns lights on and off and plays music and open the blinds. Settings are saved to your room key which you should keep as you can replicate them when you next visit.
The Upper House Hong Kong hotel is full of stylish Asian adornments from marble hallways to pale oak hallways. They have 117 rooms which are full of pampering products, from top toiletries to a complimentary bar. Each guest gets an iPod Touch which lets you learn about the local amenities and special motion sensors make sure you don’t get interrupted by the housekeeping service. There’s unlimited WiFi throughout the hotel and you get a 42 inch LCD TV in your bedroom and a 19 inch TV in the bathroom.