Coming Soon to a Hotel Near You: Our Top Picks from the 2017 Hotel Trade Fairs

What new designs and creature comforts can you expect to see when you visit a hotel in the near future?

For a hotel products preview, I attended the industry’s real life take on a crystal ball, the two annual trade shows — HX: the Hotel Experience and BD Boutique and Design Fair — that eat up a chunk of New York’s cavernous Javits Center for several days each November.

From the thousands of offerings on view, including those only a hotel manager could love —  advanced waste handling systems, anyone? — I zeroed in on the little guys, small companies often run by an entrepreneurial inventor with something fresh to show. Here’s what caught my eye. Read more

Now You Can Use Your Apple Watch to Check Into a Marriott Hotel

Add Marriott to the short (but no doubt growing) list of hotels to declare themselves Apple Watch friendly.

Just in time for today’s debut of the shiny new wrist device, Marriott announced that Marriott Rewards members can check in and out of their rooms at 4,100 hotels using an Apple Watch, provided they download Marriott’s mobile app. The app also provides automatic receipt of room ready alerts, booking and review of reservations and detailed directions to the hotel. Read more

Forget Overnight: This New App Specializes in Hotel Day Stays

Call it the day-cation. You arrive at your hotel in the morning and check in. After ordering room service, you take a bubble bath then curl up in a big bed to read a book, watch a movie, nap. Maybe you visit the fitness center or duck out for a stroll around the city. In a pinch you do some work (quiet surroundings, sturdy desk chair). By the time afternoon check-out occurs, you’re relaxed and ready to go home. Read more

Another Trick Up The Virtual Sleeve Of The New Apple Watch: It Unlocks Hotel Room Doors

It monitors heart rate, exercise and calories. It makes and takes calls, texts and emails. It surfs the internet.

And for Starwood Preferred Guests staying at select hotels in the W, Element and Aloft chains the new Apple Watch can open doors — specifically, the door to your room.

There’s a Maxwell Smart quality to this. (Hey, Rolex — jealous?) The Apple Watch works at Starwood hotels wired for keyless systems where you can open guest room doors using your iPhone or Android. Read more

What Does The World’s First Hotel Designed By Facebook Look Like?

Last year at this time it looked like New York City would have the honor, such as it is, of being home to the world’s first hotel boasting interiors designed with input from you and me — crowdsourcing, in other words. Read more

Don’t Leave Home Without It? How Americans Really Feel About Taking a Smartphone on Vacation

Passport, smartphone and sunscreen are the top three items in order of importance Americans say they pack when they go on vacation. (Travel insurance comes in at the bottom of the list.)

But given a choice, a majority of Americans say their preference is to holiday without a mobile device, according to’s Global Disconnect Survey of 2,495 respondents from 28 countries. Indeed, just 35 percent of Americans said they were unwilling to ditch their electronic devices on a vacation. Read more

Move Over Yobot — A New Hotel Robot Rolls In

If you plan to stay at the Aloft Cupertino on August 20 to witness the debut of Botlr, the new robotic bellhop that’s being test driven by the hotel, you’re out of luck. The Aloft is fully booked. (Rooms are still available for August 21, if you don’t mind being a day late.) Read more

Another New Trick for Google Glass — Now You Can Use It to Book a Hotel Room

IPads are so yesterday. Last Thursday, a self described geek named Rodney Loges tapped his Google Glass and became the first person in the world to book a hotel room using the wearable technology. Read more

Stayful, a Deal-Savvy Website for Bidding on Boutique Hotel Rooms, Checks In

Stayful's New York homepage.

Stayful’s New York homepage.

“Imagine that Priceline and Tablet Hotels had a baby,” says Cheryl Rosner of her baby, a new hotel booking site called Stayful that went live today.

Stayful offers rooms in independent boutique hotels, like New York’s Standard High Line and the Inn on Rivington; no large chain properties are allowed. Read more

Is Free WiFi About to Become the Norm at Luxury Hotels at Last?

Free WiFi: Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.

Free WiFi: Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.

This was a good week for those who believe WiFi is no different from hotel basics like sheets, towels and a shower with running water and should be included free of charge in the price of a room.

Mandarin Oriental announced that its hotels will offer their “exceptional” high-speed internet service on a complimentary basis. Guests will be able to connect up to six wireless devises free of charge. Read more