New UK Hotel Opens With Google Nest Hub in Every Room
A new British hotel opened its doors with a Google Nest Hub smart display in every guest room. Hospitality voice tech developer Volara installed its customized version of the Nest Hub in Manchester’s new Alan Hotel, one of the bigger projects for the brand since it was acquired by Uniguest in November.
The Alan AI
The Alan’s 137 guest rooms each include a Google Nest Hub augmented by Volara and Google with a hotel-specific version of Google Assistant. The commands and voice apps available at home to a Nest Hub user are enhanced to turn Google Assistant into a virtual concierge. The AI can answer questions about the hotel and its services, arrange for more towels and other supplies, and act as a local guide making recommendations for activities and providing insight into the local area.
“The Alan is always striving to bring our guests ‘what’s next’ in hospitality. There is no question that the Volara solution is at the forefront of a technology revolution in hospitality,” head of sales, marketing and community at The Alan David O’Connor said. “As hotels like The Alan aim to differentiate the experience they offer to, more efficiently serve, and better understand their guests, Volara is the obvious choice. From contract through implementation, the process was smooth, the experience seamless, and the technology simply awesome.”
Volara’s steady growth accelerated as the COVID-19 pandemic led hotels to adopt contact-free ways to interact with guests at a frantic rate. Every room in Washington, D.C.’s Hotel Zena has a Volara-powered Google Nest Hub in every room, as do all 32 Village Hotels in the United Kingdom and several longer-term corporate hotels in New York City. The startup widened its features in other partnerships along the way, working with youtip to add the option to tip hotel staff by voice. Volara’s systems were embedded in more than 400 locations and 20,000 smart speakers, displays and other devices when it was acquired and the number has only risen since.
“Uniguest is proud and excited to bring Volara to The Alan’s unique brand, adding a new interactive medium in the guest room. Our teams worked closely together to extend the ethos that is The Alan to a voice, tap, and visual experience,” David Berger, Volara CEO and executive vice president of voice for Uniguest since the acquisition said. “That said, particularly as hotel staff have been so stretched over the past two years, I am most proud that we’ve been able to lighten the demands on those staff – reducing call volume and fully automating responses to most common guest questions. Today, the hotel team is able to focus its time on providing guests with an elite level of hospitality that only the best professional staff can provide, rather than answering questions about WiFi access, checkout time, and the many other mostly predictable questions that guests require be answered during their stay.”