Village Hotels will become the first chain in the UK to install a virtual concierge, with the help of a Glasgow creative agency.
The company is taking the multi-channel customer experience to the next level by rolling out virtual assistant Amazon Alexa in all its 28 hotels.
The devices are currently being piloted in two flagship sites – the newest Village hotel in Glasgow and in Warrington, where the company’s headquarters are located. The plan is to roll out the virtual concierge to all sites by the end of this year.
The Amazon Echo Dot has been customised by Equator’s innovation team to allow guests to ‘Ask Village’. The virtual assistant will answer questions and perform tasks to enhance the customer experience. Examples include sharing restaurant, pool, gym and spa opening times, things to do in the local area, checkout times and delivering wake-up calls.
The technology is being developed by Equator in advance of Village launching its 29th hotel in Portsmouth this year which will be its most hi-tech yet.
Village has worked in partnership with Equator for the last decade, with the creative agency launching Village’s new website in 2016.
Rob Paterson, commercial director at Village Hotels, said: “As technology continues to evolve, customers expect a consistently seamless service. That’s why we have chosen to invest significantly in giving guests a truly multi-channel experience where they have access to all the services and information they require, right at their fingertips.
Martin Jordan, director of innovation at Equator, added: “We absolutely love working with Village Hotels.
“The team is always excited to hear what ideas we have in the pipeline for them and aren’t afraid of taking risks which has rewarded the business greatly.
“Equipping its hotels with Alexa is a huge innovation for Village and the UK hotel industry in its entirety, but we have a whole lot more up our sleeve for the future.”