The Truth about Guest In-Room Entertainment: What Really Works?

In-Room Entertainment (IRE) has become more and more complex in recent years. From free Wi-Fi and smart TVs to wireless screen sharing devices and gaming consoles, technology has revolutionised the way hotels provide top level hospitality and has become a necessity for every hotel. In times when 94% of guests find free Wi-Fi to be the most important hotel service and carry an average of 3 devices per short-term travel, technology has become hoteliers’ best friend. Nevertheless, the latest gadgets on the market may not always be the best solution. In fact, hoteliers are usually found to evaluate most entertainment services higher than guests do. Hence the question lies in what is it that can best fit your hotel? 

Free Wi-Fi

When considering in-room entertainment, Wi-Fi is one of the essentials every hotel should provide. Needless to say that free Wi-Fi is not just a luxury anymore and can be a deal breaker for the majority of travelers.

Did you know that 65% of guests start using the hotel Wi-Fi within 7 minutes of checking-in?

High-speed Internet is a must for every hotel, large or small, and needs to be on the top of your list when considering technological upgrades. By simply improving your Wi-Fi connection and bandwidth, you can drastically improve your guests’ experience.

If your hotel struggles to provide high-speed internet to each room and the cost of re-cabling and re-decorating is discouraging, Ethernet-over-Coax can be the best way to go! These discrete devices allow for Internet to run over your existing coaxial cabling providing enough bandwidth for each room without any disruption or re-cabling costs.

However, if your internet is good enough, Wi-Fi doesn’t have to be just another cost in the books. Wi-Fi platforms can be a great way to gather data and increase sales. Such platforms can capture guest information and provide hoteliers with insights into visit frequency and duration onsite. Allow guests to login with their social media credentials or email address to capture valuable contact details for SMS and e-mail marketing.

Video on Demand

Video on demand (VoD) is seen as one of the classic forms of Hotel entertainment, whether it’s watching BBC iPlayer or streaming movies, there is always something for your guests to enjoy from the comfort of their hotel room. Furthermore, when it comes to implementation and on-going costs, there are a number of payment methods that make this solution fit well in both small and large hotels.

You can simply pay the installation cost and leave your guests to pay for the movies that they want to watch or you can pay a subscription fee to unlock all movies free for the guest. This makes VoD solutions fitted for both small and large hotels, allowing small hotels to offer premium service to their guests while keeping costs down by passing it onto guests, and larger hotels to offer top level of hospitality and comfort without hindering their reputation by allowing guests to access the latest films for free.

Screen Mirroring

In-room screen sharing is a great way to engage your guests, letting them share different multimedia content to the big screen. Screen Mirroring and casting devices such as Chromecast and ScriptCast, are becoming more and more popular in hotels. These clever little devices allow Screen mirroring and casting for Windows, Apple and Android. 

However, such devices can range from £20 to £100+ per device depending on their capabilities, features and implications in a hotel. In other words, the cheapest devices are not always the most effective solution to go for.

For example, a small hotel or B&B with limited budget can greatly benefit from a casting device such as Chromecast. They are relatively affordable and easy to use, however, they have limited capabilities in regards to what content can be cast to the TV.

On the other hand, devices, such as ScriptCast, allow for both casting and mirroring and are compatible with most devices. In other words, guests can both mirror everything that is on their screen to the room TV or switch to casting multimedia apps, such as YouTube and Netflix, for better video/audio quality. This solution is much more suited to hotels looking to give their guests the ultimate screen sharing experience without any restrictions.

Voice Command

Voice command is one of the newest, up and coming technologies in the hospitality Industry with it being implemented into some USA hotels but is yet to really breach into the UK market. With devices such as Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s Siri, voice command is all around us and it’s only a matter of time until it is a common feature in our Hotels.With Voice Command guests would be able to walk into a hotel room and ask the voice command assistant to:

  • turn the lights on
  • book a table for the on-site restaurant
  • book a spa day
  • get information about local attractions

…and much more…

Its features can give your hotel the ultimate advantage over the competition and optimise the way people interact with your hotel.

However, when it comes to implementing Voice Command in hotels, despite its numerous benefits, its Hospitality Software can be a significant investment.  Thus, it is much better suited for luxury hotels looking for the newest tech on the market. The hospitality software allows for custom made answers tailored to the hotel to be set up on the voice command device, which immensely improves the guest engagement and communication with the hotel. Furthermore, it can greatly increase staff efficiency and speed of work by allowing the client to get information from the device that they would usually obtain from hotel staff.

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