Leave it to Melia Hotels International to up the ante in the world of trending hotel technologies.
We’ve seen keyless entries, chatbots, robot concierges and even drones. But now Melia will roll out tech-filled guest bracelets in lieu of room keys at at least six of its more than 370 hotels by next summer. The waterproof bracelets use Bluetooth technology and short-range capabilities so that attendees can unlock their guest-room doors by simply placing the bracelet next to the lock. The tech also allows them to pay for hotel services—i.e., meals, spa treatments, drinks—using the bracelet.
It even links to the Melia App so attendees (and planners) can track their spend and even set maximum credit limits. Better yet, attendees no longer have to bring their room key or wallet with them wherever they go. The first two hotels to implement the technology will be Melia’s two hotels in Magaluf, Spain.
Because of the growing popularity of WhatsApp—an estimated 1.5 billion people in more than 180 countries use it—Melia also announced that it is one of the first businesses to integrate WhatsApp Business into its operations. It will use the tool to send out booking confirmation numbers, hotel locations and hotel contacts to attendees.
“Our customers want to connect quickly and easily with our business,” says Gabriel Escarrer, vice president and CEO of Melia Hotel International. “It is part of our customer experience strategy to be present in all consumer-relevant channels, which includes WhatsApp. Adding WhatsApp to our communications portfolio also allows us to get closer to customers and drive innovation in the industry, two of the fundamental values of our company.”