Fancy sharing a room with ‘Alexa’? New Portsmouth hotel to use its own virtual assistant

Martin Jordan, Director of Innovation at Equator, with the virtual concierge.
Martin Jordan, Director of Innovation at Equator, with the virtual concierge.
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Fancy sharing your hotel room with Alexa?

A new Portsmouth hotel will be one of the first in the UK to use a virtual assistant to help guests make the most of their stay.

Village is rolling out the Amazon Echo Dot - known as Alexa - in its hotels to serve as a concierge.

The device will be able to answer questions and perform tasks, including sharing restaurant and pool times, offering ideas for things to do in the local area and deliver wake-up calls.

It has been customised by creative agency Equator and has been trialled at hotels in Glasgow and Warrington, but will be used nationwide by the end of this year.

The technology will be available in the company’s new Portsmouth hotel in Lakeside North Harbour, Cosham, when it opens its doors later this year.

As technology continues to evolve, customers expect a consistently seamless service.

Village Hotels commercial director Rob Paterson

But guests are warned not to take the idea too far - as it will not be able to answer questions on the following week’s lottery number, if Donald Trump’s hair is real, or whether your bum looks too big.

Village Hotels commercial director Rob Paterson said: ‘As technology continues to evolve, customers expect a consistently seamless service.

‘That’s why we have chosen to invest significantly in giving guests a truly multi-channel experience where they have access to all the services and information they require, right at their fingertips.

‘The response to these exciting additions has been overwhelmingly positive – we’re looking forward to implementing the devices within all Village hotels and opening our most hi-tech site yet in Portsmouth later this year.’

The 70-inch customisable, interactive digital screens will be installed in all Village hotel lobbies in the next few months, with time-relevant content personalised to each location.

Village, which was established in 1995, has worked in partnership with Equator for the last decade, with the creative agency launching Village’s new website in 2016.