Which Hotels Have the Best High-Tech Amenities?

May 19, 2014
Outside Magazine

The Roof at The Wit, Chicago.    Photo: The Wit Hotel Chicago


I could care less about luggage-sorting robots or Facebook kiosks. But high-tech bells and whistles that actually elevate my hotel stay? Yes, please. Be sure to book the following forward-looking lodgings whose amenities go well beyond the usual gimmickry. 

Stanford Court San Francisco Hotel

OutsideOnline San Francisco Stanford Court Renaissance hotels Hotel best high-tech technology amenity Google Glass explorer package Google glasses
  Photo: Ted Eytan/Flickr

The Gist: A sleek and pretty hotel in the posh Nob Hill neighborhood.

Game-Changing Amenity: Stanford’s just-launched Google Glass Explorer Package gives guests a tutorial on its headline-grabbing eyewear, then sends them out with a pair to see the world the way Steve Jobs wanted us to (i.e., as living, breathing search engines). The package starts at $199 and runs through December 31, 2014.   

The Peninsula Hong Kong

OutsideOnline The Peninsula Hong Kong China hotel high-tech luxury technology amenity best hotels
  Photo: Jack Rosenfeld/Flickr

The Gist: This ultraluxe Peninsula outpost might be the oldest hotel in Hong Kong, but it’s obsessed with the latest and greatest in tech—so much so that it installed an on-site R&D center for dreaming up new ways to surprise and delight its guests.   

Game-Changing Amenities: It’s all about the screens: each room has a 3-D TV (outfitted with goggles) and a proprietary tablet loaded with tourist-friendly guides to Hong Kong. The tablet also let you control room temperature, lighting, and more.

The Marlin Hotel, Miami Beach

OutsideOnline Miami Beach Marlin Hotel beach best high-tech technology amenity hotels Miami Florida
  Photo: Dan Queiroz/Flickr

The Gist: Located in a late-1930s art deco building designed by architect Laurence Murray Dixon, this 15-room Miami Beach hideaway is mere steps away from the sand. 

Game-Changing Amenities: The hotel’s state-of-the-art recording studio will appeal to pros in the biz (Prince, Jay-Z, and Weezer have laid down tracks here), while the rest of us can sit back and enjoy the music-centric rooms, outfitted with fancy Tannoy Surround stereo systems and iPods preloaded with our favorite tunes. Oh, and look behind the mirror: there’s a 60-inch LED TV hidden there. 

theWit Hotel, Chicago

  Photo: The Wit Hotel Chicago

The Gist: A stylish downtown hotel with one of the best rooftop bars in Chicago.

Game-Changing Amenity: Guest suites are wired with sensors that note your location and automatically change the room temp based on your body heat. It’s a little creepy—and a lot of amazing.   

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel

  Photo: Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel

The Gist: This party-starting hotel near the beach turned heads a few years ago by giving guests the option of paying for food and drink via biometric fingerprint scanners. 

Game-Changing Amenity: For its latest trick, Ushuaïa ditched its room–key cards in favor of the more convenient VIB (very important bracelet), which doubles as a payment device for purchases at the hotel. Ushuaïa’s sister property, Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza, opening on May 18, offers the same wearable-key technology.

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