Technology: is Alexa welcome in the hotel industry?

    In-room software
    750 370 Hamish Kilburn
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    In our technology feature this month, we’re discussing how tech, placed thoughtfully, can help to create a relevant and modern in-room experience. With 73 per cent of travellers wanting in-room voice commands, should hotels offer Alexa in guestrooms? One company believes so…

    Imagine a world where guests can use the power of their voice to order hotel service directly from their room without lifting a finger.

    • Request an item:  “Alexa, bring an extra pillow up to my hotel room.”
    • Schedule a service: “Alexa, ask the hotel to schedule turndown service for 5PM.”
    • Check on the status of a request:  “Alexa, when will that coffee arrive in my hotel room.”

    Whether that is terrifying or exciting, we are now living this reality. Guest requests, simply spoken in the hotel room, can now be seamlessly routed through ALICE, a company on a mission to improve the delivery of hospitality through customer-driven technology, and Volara, said to be the hospitality industry’s premier voice-based engagement software.

    In a recent report, 73 per cent of travellers noted they want in-room voice controls when they stay at hotels. With the ALICE-Volara integration, when the guest gives an “Alexa” voice command, the guest’s request automatically syncs with the ALICE task management platform.  Guests’ commands can be simple, like asking for the WiFi password, or more complex, like asking for someone to bring fresh towels to your room. All commands can be configured to the hotel’s brand, ensuring guest satisfaction and enhanced staff operations.

    “When you look at trends in our industry, voice is clearly the future for how hotels will communicate with their guests,” says ALICE’s Co-Founder and President Alex Shashou. “As the the only hotel technology with the Alexa for Business Service Delivery Designation from Amazon, Volara’s focus on innovation and dedication to elevate the guest experience aligns with ALICE’s values. Volara’s voice-interface for ALICE will enable new efficiencies in guest service, reduce the friction guests face getting what they need in hotels, and simply put a smile on everyone’s face.”

    “ALICE has been disrupting the hotel industry with its fresh, open, and collaborative approach.  Volara’s mission to create a more engaging, frictionless, and seamless experience for hotel guests and staff aligns well with that of ALICE.” said David Berger, CEO of Volara. “Hotels that use ALICE to streamline their operations will now see immediate measurable benefits from the addition of this new voice interface for their technology.”

    The benefits of the ALICE and Volara integration include:

    • Decreased friction – The Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker controlled by a human’s voice, meaning guests no longer need to pick up the phone or wait on hold to get the service they want.
    • Increased efficiency – Volara’s software runs atop of the Amazon Echo and integrates with your ALICE operations platform. Guest requests are routed immediately from the guest’s voice to the appropriate member of your staff, with no manual entry.
    • An enhanced guest experience – With ALICE and Volara, you can measurably reduce the wait time for guests to receive amenities and hotel information – even enabling them to check on the status of their request by voice – resulting in happier guests.

    A video example of the software in use can be accessed here.

    HAVE YOUR SAY: As Hotel Designs readers, we want your opinion. With voice-enabled technology growing in popularity – and consumer behaviour continuing to evolve – will guests ever expect hotel services to be seamlessly voice-enabled? Email:

    Hamish Kilburn / 05.06.2018


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