- Amazon launched a program that lets hotels, vacation rentals and other hospitality locations integrate special audio functions into their services through Echo smart speakers, the company announced in a press release. Guests can ask Alexa to perform tasks like setting alarms, adjusting lights, ordering room service, playing music or calling the front desk.
- The Alexa for Hospitality program is available to hoteliers by invitation only, with Marriott International introducing the new experience this summer at Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Hotels and Autograph Collection Hotels.
- Alexa for Hospitality also works to assist major property managers with ticketing, guest management and streamlining administrative duties like responding to guest inquiries about a hotel stay.
Amazon appears to be demonstrating the range of uses for Alexa, especially as Google gains on the e-commerce giant with its own digital assistant. The new hospitality-focused Alexa functions aim to help hoteliers deepen guest engagement through voice-powered experiences and spark discovery among guests.
Hotels can provide a great way for consumers to discover new products and services. People who haven't considered buying a smart speaker like an Amazon Echo may learn more about voice assistants while staying at a property that offers the devices in-room. By developing hotel-specific functionalities, Amazon is transforming hotels into showrooms for its Echo devices and Alexa digital assistant, which may spur some consumers to browse or buy a device for their personal use at home.
For those who already own an Echo, having one in a hotel room may help them to feel at home with the comfort of knowing that their routine isn't disturbed and that Alexa is there to handle any requests during their stay. Soon, participating hotels will let Amazon customers temporarily connect their account to the in-room Echo to further personalize their experience. Once connected, guests will be able to stream music from their Amazon Music, Spotify or Pandora playlists and enjoy their programed Alexa settings. After checkout, the device will automatically disconnect their Amazon account, making the device ready to use for the next guest.
This move comes six months after Hilton announced a test of a high-tech "connected room" that lets guests control their room preferences like temperature, lighting, window coverings and music from their mobile device. While Hilton is also a major brand name, having an established tech company like Amazon develop the tech at scale may lead to greater adoption among a number of hotel chains down the road.