Alexa, Order Room Service: Marriott Is Adding Virtual Butlers to Its Rooms
This summer your hotel room at select Marriott properties will have a butler.
Well, an electronic butler at least.
Marriott is rolling out Amazon Echos in rooms across its brands, equipped with the new "Alexa for Hospitality" feature throughout summer 2018. The virtual assistant will be integrated with the properties' hotel amenities, so the system will be able to help with tasks like booking an appointment at the hotel spa, requesting a toothbrush and ordering room service, without needing to place a call down to the front desk (antisocial, but seems convenient).
The system can also update you on the status of your next flight (e.g., “Alexa, ask Flight Tracker for United 262").
In addition to accessing the hotel's amenities, you can also control your room through Alexa — asking her to turn on the TV, adjust the room temperature ("Alexa, change the temperature to 68 degrees") and change the lighting, among other tasks.
If your knee-jerk reaction is to be a little creeped out and worried about your privacy, it seems like Marriott has accounted for that. Each room's Amazon Echo will be muted as a default setting. If guests are interested in using the room's Alexa, they will have to physically un-mute the system by pressing the microphone button on top of the Echo. The device can be re-muted the same way.
And Marriott says that all voice recordings (Yes, Alexa isn't just listening, she's recording you, too), will be automatically deleted every day. Amazon won't be able to link the voice recordings to individual guests, and Marriott says it will not share any guest information with Amazon.
The devices will be added to select properties within several of the hotel group's brands, including Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Hotels and Autograph Collection Hotels. Exact dates for the system launches for each brand were not available, but Marriott says the rollout is starting this summer.