If you’re planning on staying at the The Plaza hotel in New York, you have one more thing to look forward to, and that’s iPads in every room and suite. Since January, the five star hotel has put iPads in all guest rooms for a multitude of reasons. One of the coolest? The custom app that the iPad runs. Replacing an older touch panel, the new app allows guests to control lights in the room, change their heat and air conditioning systems, order room service, make restaurant reservations, request wake up calls, communicate with the concierge, and even print boarding passes.
Very cool. Sounds like a perfect job for the iPad. A couple more cool things that the hotel is getting right – the iPads are not replacing the human side of service according to the hotel’s general manager:
"They are not meant to replace our concierge service and the personal touch we are known for," Krige says. "It is to provide more choice. At a five star hotel you should have choices—if you want to use the iPad, you can do so. If you want a butler service, that is available, too. If you want to be left alone, that is a choice, as well. By putting the iPads in the guest rooms, we are bringing a new technology to everyone’s fingertips."
The Plazas’s GM, Shane Krige, also reckons the iPads will lead to costs savings and help make the hotel greener:
The iPads will also help the hotel move away from the guest directory that is found in each room. "It will help us reduce our printing costs and make us a greener company," says Krige.
I imagine a lot of Plaza guests are getting some good use out of those complimentary iPads. Here’s hoping they’re not trying to take one home like a fancy hotel robe.