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Alexa Smart Properties for Hospitality, to discover the area

An extra bathrobe, a bottle of wine on the floor, the WiFi password. But also tips on what activities are available in the hotel (from the SPA to breakfast times) up to advice on what to visit during your stay. Alexa Smart Properties for Hospitality Become a Smart Concierge: We tested the features of Amazon’s service atHotel Borgo di Cortefreda, four-star hotel in the Chianti hills of Place of Charme. And we have to admit it: it’s really comfortable.

Alexa Smart Properties for Hospitality, to discover the area

Amazon had already launched the Alexa Smart Properties for Hospitality service in France and the Kingdom, and then brought it to Italy this February. He had started helping users al TH Rome Carpegna Palace Hotel to find information on the opening hours of the Vatican Museums or the Colosseum. But it has also arrived in the middle of the Chianti hills, at the Hotel Borgo di Cortefreda in the Place of Charme. And we have been able to test it during the day that we pass in the structure.

A concierge with an answer for (almost) everything

“Alexa, how do I use WiFi?”. We don’t want to pretend to be workaholics, but the first need we had once we arrived in the room was to connect the computer to the network. And Alexa told us the name of the open network available to connect. Sergio Farinelli, CTO of Zucchetti Hospitality who took care of the installation and management of the system, explained to us that, although it is perhaps not the most popular question, it is the first that the smart displays arranged in all the hotel rooms receive.

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As for those who use it at home, Alexa is above all a convenience. Positioned on a small table near the entrance, she allowed us to access all the information for which we should have followed the announcements on the TV in the room, or read a brochure when not asking at reception. For example, theopening hours of reception, bar, restaurant, SPA. Which represents 23% of the requests received in the hotel, according to Zucchetti data.

Information and services

But Alexa also let us get an overview of the hotel (13%). Although intrigued, we still asked the hotel staff to take us on a tour of the various meeting rooms and relaxation areas of this hotel in the middle of Chianti. The possibility of requesting room services is also very convenient. During the tests we did with the team di Amazon and with the founder of Place of Charme Andrea Galardi, we simply said: “Alexa, I forgot my toothbrush”. The attendant asked if we wanted one and after a minute a hostess knocked on the door.

The speed perhaps also depends on wanting to make a good impression knowing that a team of journalists was visiting the facility. But above all it derives from the fact that Zucchetti has integrated the Alexa API into the hotel management system – so the information arrives directly on the floor staff telephone. By ordering a bottle of wine, the bar staff arrives within minutes with the tray ready. And there’s no need to find the maintainers around to make repairs and checks on the structure, in case the shower doesn’t work.

Discover the structures and territories

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Andrea Galardi, Founder and CEO of the So.Ges Group and its Place of Charme brand, tells us that they are “proud to have been among the first in Italy to introduce this service for our staff and our guests, thanks to the collaboration with Amazon and with Zucchetti”. Above all because “In addition to being strategic to offer travelers a stay that combines the craftsmanship and authenticity we want to express with the convenience of digitalwe observe with pleasure that the service further stimulates curiosity towards what is found in the surroundings and towards our territory.”

Something fundamental above all considering that, in addition to theItalian, Alexa also supports English. In this way it can make foreign guests discover the pearls of Tuscany – which, as we Italians know, go far beyond the borders of Florence. In fact, 14% of guests use Alexa to get information about their surroundings and main attractions. Also asking advice on the best restaurants and bars in the area.

The great potential of Alexa Smart Properties for Hospitality

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But the potential is enormous, precisely because of the great flexibility of Alexa. As he explains Farinelli from Zucchetti, “We see great potential for our customers in the hospitality industry. Alexa Smart Properties for Hospitality fits perfectly with Zucchetti property management systems and tools. Alexa becomes a digital concierge who can answer the guest’s questions relating to the facility, the services offered as well as seamlessly send requests directly to the staff, which are recorded and communicated with our unified system, saving precious time for both the guest and to the reception, housekeeping and maintenance teams and ensuring a great guest experience. The system is constantly developing and recently the possibility of ordering drinks and food in the room has also been added. The potential cost savings, personalized guest experience, and upsell opportunities with Echo and Alexa devices allow us to enrich the offer for our customers throughout Italy.”

Convenience and attention to privacy

Depending on the languages, Zucchetti and Place of Charme have found differences in the use of Alexa Smart Properties for Hospitality. In Italian, the most popular question concerns the check-out time, followed by information about the restaurant and cleaning. We like to sleep, eat, but everything with great hygiene. In English instead al first place is WiFi (perhaps also for data roaming costs), followed by room cleaning and activities in the vicinity.

During the first three months of use, Borgo di Cortefreda has added various skills: ordering wines and snacks, but also new features for the back office. During testing, several of our group suggested possibilities: Zucchetti took notes to evaluate whether to implement them as skills. Indeed, Amazon provides the APIs for operation – but the implementation is done by the technological partner.

A focus remains on privacy: in fact, use in the room is optional. There is a physical button that allows you to electronically mute the microphone and the camera is off by default. Operation takes place without the need to connect your account and no recordings are saved. In short: this is a solution to provide the hotel with easier management and data on how to improve services, but it does not take data about you directly.

You can therefore choose whether or not to use the service, depending on how you are used to it – the operation is very similar to the Alexa you use at home. The advantage for us users is convenience. While for the hotel, there is the guarantee of quick and simple service, as well as the possibility of upselling and agreeing with those who offer activities in the area. But also to take better care of the guest: for example, offering a personalized message for when he enters the room. A cuddle – before I ask Alexa how to connect to WiFi.

Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.