How About Gratuity-Free Butler Service On Your Next Hotel Visit?

by Zachary Laks
How About Gratuity-Free Butler Service On Your Next Hotel Visit?

Photo: Aloft

Keeping up with the Jetsons, there’s a futuristic butler in rolling into hotels around the world and service is in its gears – literally.

Meet Botlr, a space-age robot and long-lost relative to R2D2, eager to assist you throughout your stay with extra towels, water bottles, toothbrushes, etc. to your guestroom.

TMR encountered the sleek robot firsthand with a demonstration at the Aloft Long Island City-Manhattan View, which opened in early 2017. With their recent rise in popularity, Botlrs are expanding beyond Aloft lobbies and rolling into hotels in Los Angeles and San Francisco including the Marriott Los Angeles LAX, Silicon Valley's Crowne Plaza and the Residence Inn by Marriott Los Angeles LAX/Century Boulevard. 

Built by Savioke, these high-tech butlers navigate from their front desk hub, with sensors to avoid people, ride elevators, and complete a delivery to guestrooms seamlessly without the assistance of humans.

The installation of these robots in most Aloft properties has allowed front desk employees to focus and respond more immediately to guest needs, while the little go-bots stir-up a scene of gawkers on their own, delighting at the little machines on a task.

Though the best part of all may be that you should leave your singles in your wallet; the cheeky machine does not accept tips, though it occasionally will ask grateful guests for a shout-out on Twitter.   

Aloft, a Marriott brand since the Starwood acquisition, is nearing its 10th year in operation in what began as a “vision of W Hotels.” The line skews towards a younger, tech-savvy market with its more than 100 locations around the world. Continuing to advance in travel tech innovation, Aloft is working on projects that include smartphone apps that serve as room keys, a robot wine cart, and further advancements with Botlr to increase guest satisfaction and comfort.

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