Booking a luxury hotel may be about getting away, but it doesnt have to mean leaving your wired life behind. Some hotels have tricked out their rooms with tech gadgets that make your stay easier, more eco-friendly or just plain cool. From one-touch control panels to nail polish dryers, these five tech-savvy hotel rooms include amenities you might just get used to.
1. Eccleston Square Hotel, London. You might first notice the technology in the hotels guest rooms during your morning showeryou can turn the transparent glass to frosted with the flip of a switch on the smart glass wall. Step out and youll feel the heated bathroom and hallway floors that stave off any London chill. And the Hastens bed (sold for roughly $19,000) is a gadget in itself with a built-in massage system.
Customize the settings to choose the intensity of the vibration and whether it focuses on your feet, head or whole body. The nightstand is equipped with an iPad2, which you can use to order room service, schedule a wake-up call or even book a spa treatment. And the TV takes it to the next level, tooyou can flip channels on the 46-inch 3-D screen.
2. ARIA Resort & Casino, Las Vegas. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel is programmed with Control 4 technology that detects when you enter your roomso youll be greeted as the lights turn on, the curtains open and the temperature adjusts. The wired rooms arent just impressive, but also save energy for the LEED Gold-certified hotel. After you crawl into bed, you can control the room using the seven-inch touch screen panel placed on the nightstand. Use it to change the music, turn down the air conditioning or review your charges.
At the end of the night, you can hit the one-touch good night button on the screen, which activates the do not disturb signal in addition to switching off the lights and closing the drapes. A connectivity panel on the TV makes it easy to use your brought-from-home technology, tooit has slots to plug in your laptop or iPhone.
3. The Peninsula Shanghai. While this hotels Art Deco design hearkens back to the 1920s and 1930s, the technology is decidedly current. Every room has a separate dressing area, where one control panel lists the temperature and humidity outside (letting you plan for an umbrella or a sweater) and features buttons to call for the valet or housekeeping. Below, another panel lets you turn on mood lighting and pick your station on the Internet radio.
In the bathrooms, just one touch of the spa button beside the bathtub dims the lights, turns on soothing music and activates the do not disturb function on the phone and doorbell. Even fresh nail polish is taken care of with a gadgetthe rooms have air-blowing nail dryers. Youll find an iPod docking station atop the lacquer desk and a panel on the bedside table to control the lights and drapes. Making international calls is easyand freewith the VoIP phone, which makes calls over the Internet or a private IP network.
4. The Wit, Chicago. An IP system runs the infrastructure at The Witautomating services throughout your stay. The technology means any request you make is immediately sent to the closest staff members mobile device for more efficient service. In the rooms, VoIP color touch screen phones update you on the weather and allow you to set wake-up calls and request room service, flight information or valet service.
Special censors activate the rooms heating and cooling systemswhen you walk by they turn on and adjust to your body heat. Things are just as comfortable at the hotels private screening room, which boasts a high-definition oversized screen and rows of plush recliners and cocktail tables.
5. Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles. Recently re-opened after a two-year renovation, the hotels contemporary look also includes a dose of technological allure. Your stay begins with a short tutorial of the rooms tech features from the bellman when you arriveensuring you wont get stuck later. Use the iPad on the nightstand to order room service, book a massage or make dinner reservations. Next to the tablet, a VoIP touch screen phone allows you to make calls without using the receiver, adjust the lights, raise and lower the curtains and check the weather. In the bathroomscomplete with heated floorsyoull find a toilet with a motion-activated heated seat and a control panel to flush and trigger bidet capabilities.