I see many interesting technologies and digital solutions are entering into to the hospitality industry (e.g. Pebble Beach Company’s virtual concierge service in cooperation with IBM Watson). This is why I wanted to scrutinize PGA Catalunya Resort’s new 50-room, purpose-built hotel, the Caddy Rooms.
PGA Catalunya Resort told to me that they put the technology at the heart of the hotel to provide authentic customer experience. I found these innovative technology solutions:
- Check-in prior to arrival via the dedicated hotel app or at the iPads situated in the Bar. Guests do not need to check-out at the end of their stay. Unfortunately, they forgot to show the link on their website where we could download the app.
- Digital room key and allowing guests to communicate with the hotel and its services. Digital room key and mobile check-in and check-out can free hotel staff up for other activities that enhance the guest experience.
- Speedy Wi-Fi: 100 MB/BW. This is still far from those wireless networks that operate at a top speed of 500 megabytes a second.
I was happy to find that they implemented some of the top hotel room service trends as well:
- Caddy Rooms‘ restaurant has got a Mediterranean-inspired menu, created using ingredients sourced from the resort’s kitchen garden. This reminds me the Medinah Country Club‘s organic garden. The advanced hotels today focus on organic, homegrown produce.
- Guests can take the opportunity to create a picnic for the day ahead from the Pure Food Market.
Markus Laahanen, director of operations, said “Our goal is to bring something completely new to the destination by offering a fresh take on a lifestyle hotel featuring high design and low-price points. Caddy Rooms will attract those with a millennial mindset who want a social and flexible hotel environment without compromising on style or substance.”
What kind of innovations should Caddy Rooms & the PGA Catalunya Resort utilize?
- In those hotels where there are suites with a full kitchen they also offer food shopping service.
- Some hotels are offering a more expanded menu that includes the chef’s signature dishes.
- Using brown paper recyclable bags and packaging – it is good for your budget as a hotel manager, good for the environment and also for the guests who sometimes need „food-to-go”.
- Grab’n’cart: grab ‘n’ go-carts for the breakfast and lunch rushes.
- More comfort food on the menu: an interesting trend that more and more people are looking for a taste of their childhood or a carbohydrate-loaded treat to overcome stressful times.
- We should enable guests to control the TV, the sound system, air conditioner by their mobile.
- Leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI): for concierge services to help them discover the resort easily. Here are 2 examples of smart usage of AI:
- Pebble Beach Company (in cooperation with IBM Watson);
- Hilton and IBM pilot “Connie”: this is the first Watson-enabled robot concierge in the hospitality industry. It will help with visitor requests, personalize the guest experience and empower travelers with more information to help them plan their trips. Connie is powered by Watson, a cognitive computing technology platform.
- The AI technology could also be used for voice-activated services (e.g. Google Home, Amazon Echo).
- Location-based services can be achieved easily by using Wi-Fi, beacon technology, and GPS. We just have to be very-very careful not to annoy or overload our guests with information and notification messages.
Some of these trends might sound very futuristic, but they are within reach.
Some extra information about Caddy Rooms
Guests can indulge in fine dining at neighboring 5* Hotel Camiral at its signature 1477 Restaurant, or experience a more relaxed affair in The Club Café. Residents of Caddy Rooms will have access to the outstanding facilities of the PGA Catalunya Resort. Two exceptional golf courses; The Stadium Course, ranked No.1 course in Spain, and the Tour Course.
Room rates at Caddy Rooms start at €140 per night in high season and €120 per night in low season.