Amazon Brings Alexa Smart Properties for Hospitality to UK, Plans French Extension
The Mercure Hyde Park Hotel is the first in the UK to integrate Amazon’s Alexa Smart Properties for Hospitality as Amazon expands the platform internationally for the first time. The customizable voice-enabled hospitality service has already begun working toward French integration next as voice AI in hotels moves toward becoming a standard feature for guests.
Alexa Smart Properties for Hospitality operates via Echo smart speakers and displays in guestrooms. Guests can ask the voice assistant to adjust environmental controls like lights and heat, stream audio or video content, and set alarms. The platform also lets hotels customize the voice assistant for their property, enabling the voice assistant to answer questions about the hotel and its amenities or ask for towels and other services. Alexa will connect to all of the Mercure Hotels through their Hotel Cloud management software, so the system can use Alexa to keep on top of maintenance and other tasks.
“Alexa arrived at the perfect time to help our teams by answering many of the common guest queries, along with a potential to increase room service revenue, simply due to the convenience provided by Alexa for ordering hotel services,” Mercure Hyde Park director of revenue Edward Wilcock said. “One unexpected yet welcome gain has been the improvement in efficiency throughout the property. Housekeeping and maintenance staff can tell Alexa when they’ve cleaned or fixed a room, which immediately updates the property management system. This saves a significant amount of time and rooms are turned around and ready for new guests much faster.”
Alexa for Hospitality rapidly added new features and functions after its 2018 debut. Amazon and hospitality tech developer Volara worked with the Westin Buffalo to make it the first hotel where guests could connect their personal Amazon accounts to the Echo devices in each of its rooms in 2019. Amazon overhauled and upgraded the entire platform in August, intending to streamline and simplify adding and expanding custom versions of the system. The new Alexa Management Console doesn’t need much coding to operate, and the Alexa Management APIs can manage thousands of Echos and other devices at once, with access and features adjusted to meet demand.
Thematic hotels are quick to take advantage of the new options to implement the tech, such as Legoland Florida’s new customized smart speakers with Alexa at its Pirate Island Hotel. The new Alexa-supported Disney voice assistant will encompass a resort-specific Disney Magical Companion version to showcase local hotel and park highlights, as well as relay toiletry and other requests from guests. Voice hospitality is up as people start traveling again when they are vaccinated.