In a world in which texting injuries—such as the accidents that happen when people walk into a lamppost because they are looking down at their phones while walking—are increasingly common, a vacation without the distraction of modern technology might not be practical or appealing. Whereas once people might have dreamed of a vacation on a desert island, where no one could reach them, today many young travelers seek a destination that recognizes and facilitates their interactions through social media.
On the beautiful island of Majorca, Spain, the Sol Wave House is trying to do just that for Twitter users. The staff includes a Twitter concierge, whose job is to follow and respond to tweets by guests, who might want information about places to party that night or need to have food delivered poolside. The interactions all rely on the hotel’s proprietary app and wifi network, such that only registered guests can access it.
Once they do, they can stay in contact not only with the Twitter concierge but also the cute potential date lounging a couple of deck chairs down on the pool deck. A tweet with a hashtag like “#chair10” alerts the person sitting in that chair to the user’s interest. Alternatively, guests can just wait for the Twitter concierge to announce what time the next social gathering will be taking place. Beyond these immediate interactions, the hotel’s entire décor is focused on Twitter users. Mirrors in the rooms feature funny moustaches and other decorations to enable guests to take and post funny selfies.
According to the hotel’s vice president for global branding, “In our business, rooms are rooms and suites are suites, but in the end it’s always about what you are doing to deliver an experience to a customer.” Thus competitive hotels promise similar experiences, such as the Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel, where sensors placed throughout the grounds of the resort allow guests to update their Facebook statuses instantaneously.
On the other end of the spectrum, a growing number of hotels promise a “digital detox,” such that they prohibit the use of phones or other technology in certain zones throughout their grounds. At the Quincy Hotel in Washington, guests who agree to lock their phones in the hotel’s safe for their stay receive a gift certificate to a local bookstore.
Souce: Stephanie Rosenbloom, “A Hotel Room with 140 Characters,” The New York Times, October 3, 2013