The Aloft hotel in Manhattan has launched “Text it, Get it”, a service for guests who are too lazy or hungover to call reception to order room service.
“TiGi”, as it’s known, allows people to use their smartphone to text special sequences of emojis (plus your room number) from a menu of six packages. After a confirmation message, a member of staff will deliver your order.
For “the Hangover” package, just text the water droplet, pill and banana emoji to receive two bottles of Vitamin Water, some Advil and two bananas (US$10).
You can also get “the Munchies” (Coca-Cola, Doritos, Snickers, brownie) by texting chocolate bar, lollipop, cookie, or “Phone Charger” for US$25 by using the handset plus adaptor emojis, and stating “iPhone” or “Android”.
Unfortunately, you can’t come up with your own requests but if you could, this is what Globetrender would order. If you are heading out for the evening, you can order “the Sightseer” (simply click the Statue of Liberty icon) and for US$30 you will get a US$10 MetroCard, a city map and two drinks at the hotel’s W XYZ bar.
If you are bored, you can text the present emoji and, for US$25, will be sent a swag bag full of surprises.
Brian McGuinness, senior vice-president of Starwood’s specialty select brands (of which Aloft is one), said: “At Aloft, we’re always looking for ways to shake up the hotel stay.
“We look to consumer behaviour and think about how to integrate these trends into the Aloft experience. The rise of emoji was a logical next step, the perfect new wave of guest communications.”
Last summer, the forward-looking brand became the first in the world to employ a robotic butler called Botlr, so it may not be long until your room service is delivered by machine as well.
While New York’s Aloft Manhattan Downtown – Financial District was the first to introduce emoji room service in October, it will be rolled out across other properties in Europe and Asia in the coming months. There are currently 100 Aloft hotels in 16 countries.