1. A woman in a business suit handing a man a tablet.

The Oxford English Dictionary (via Google) provides three definitions of the word “hospitality.” One is what you’d expect Crestron to be primarily concerned with, that is, “the business of providing food, drink, and accommodation for customers,” including hotel guests and those patronizing bars and restaurants.

But there’s another definition that’s just as important: “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.”

As Crestron has with other segments of its business, the focus on the latter — the experience, that is — should inform the technology that’s being deployed. A hotel visitor doesn’t care about the cool black boxes that are creating The Perfect Guestroom — they’re after the end result. In a modern hospitality setting, that result is evolving to adapt to new expectations of what a luxury guest experience looks and feels like.

The Fundamentals of Modern Hospitality

It all starts with the fundamental needs of both the guest and the operator. Some of these may include solutions for the following:

For the Guest

  • Contactless booking and check-in
  • Simple access to hotel space and amenities
  • “Bring your own device” (BYOD) integration with hotel room and services
  • Technology that helps bring a sense of wellness throughout the hotel experience

For the Operator

  • Efficient operational processes
  • Managed energy savings
  • Intelligently controlled environments
  • Improved guest experience

Going Beyond the Fundamentals

Meeting the basic needs of guests and operators is only the first part of a great hospitality experience today. There are many variables that can elevate that experience and create a sense of luxury that leaves an impression on guests long after they check out. 

Imagine that when a visitor first unlocks their door, motorized shades or drapery are triggered to open or shut, depending on the time of day or the view, as the lights automatically adjust to the perfect level. The thermostat is already set to a guest’s preference at check-in, so the room’s the perfect temperature. The TV is powered up and displays the hotel’s welcome message. If it’s a luxury suite that has audio, that guest may have been asked for a specific genre of music or playlist — or even natural sounds such as water or wildlife — that begins to play in the background the moment the door swings open.

And once the guest is inside the room, their control options are flexible. For guests who want a bit more info or feedback than a keypad, a touch screen can provide supplemental control and information. No matter the guests’ preferences, we can use technology to meet the needs of every type of guest in the hotel.

Changes at Home and Work are Driving the Modern Hotel Experience

In the past, guests would visit hotels and draw inspiration from the luxurious designs and amenities they experienced throughout their stay. The hotel experience left such an impression that many guests wanted to recreate some of those details in their own homes to get that same sense of comfort, luxury, and excitement in their daily lives.

Now, the script has flipped. With remote work and health and wellness trends influencing homeowners to adopt modern designs and technologies into the home, a new standard of living has emerged. When homeowners travel and stay at a hotel, they expect the same comforts and conveniences of these “smart homes” to extend into hospitality spaces.

Remote Workers

At home, remote workers have dialed in technologies and systems for productivity and efficiency. When it’s time to travel, hotels must provide these same workers with simple, intuitive, and secure technologies. We refer to these as BYOD solutions. The expectation for hotels is that no matter what type of device a guest brings, there is a solution that is easy for anyone to connect to and operate without any training or prior knowledge of the technology.

With so many guests regularly working in these spaces and using these BYOD solutions, data privacy and network security are supremely important.

Health and Wellness

Wellness trends are also spreading across the globe, driven by emerging scientific research and awareness from modern influencers such as Dr. Andrew Huberman. His podcast, Huberman Labs Podcast, has amassed over five million YouTube subscribers adopting his advice on daily sunlight exposure and the benefits of ice baths as a regular part of their home routines.

Of course, when people travel, it’s important to maintain these routines. So many hotels are beginning to incorporate technologies such as circadian lighting and even spa facilities equipped with cold plunges and steam saunas to ensure guests can maintain their health and wellness regimes while away from home.

Creating this level of hospitality takes an immense amount of collaboration between manufacturers like Crestron, designers, builders, and professional hoteliers. Ultimately, it’s up to all of us to spend time truly understanding the needs and expectations of travelers as the world continues to evolve and change.

It’s a big responsibility for our industry to ensure that we each do our part to make those changes for the better.

About the author

Michelle Guss headshot

Michelle Guss
Vice President, Hospitality

Michelle Guss joined Crestron in 2007 and has grown to become the Global Vice President of Hospitality. She currently works closely with Hoteliers, Hospitality Design Build professionals, Integrators, and Hotel brands providing resources and education on Crestron technology solutions. Working with the global team of sales, product development, and marketing, Michelle and her team deliver the most comprehensive technology solutions for hospitality projects around the world.

During her career with Crestron, Michelle has held roles of increasing responsibility. Her analysis of key market segments has helped her team acquire millions of dollars in new sales opportunities for Crestron. She was part of the inaugural Crestron Professional Development Academy (CPDA) at SMU Cox School of Business. Michelle is a 2021 Women in Consumer Technology Legacy Award honoree and a member of Chief, a private network for women executives to strengthen leadership and pave the way to bring others with them.