Starwood 'hires' second full-time robot employee
Aloft-branded hotels in Miami and New York to be greeted by the original Botlr during its roadtrip across the country
Starwood’s lifestyle brand Aloft Hotels will roll out its second robotic butler, or Botlr, at Aloft Silicon Valley.
This is the brand’s second full-time cyber associate, following the debut of the world’s first Botlr at Aloft Cupertino last year.
Additionally, starting August 27, the original Aloft Botlr will hit the road, rolling across country to Aloft Miami South Beach, and will later be transferred to the new Aloft Manhattan Downtown - Financial District for a short stint this autumn before returning to Cupertino.
“We embarked upon this robotic experiment years ago, and it has proven what we suspected all along — humans and robots can co-exist and work side by side to elevate the guest experience,” said Brian McGuinness, global brand leader, Starwood’s specialty select brands.
“Botlr has been an integral part of the Aloft Cupertino experience, and the demand from guests and associates around the world to interact with our biotic bellhop has been astounding.
“As we add our second Botlr to the Aloft team and transfer our first Botlr to new hotels around the country, we know they will continue to not only make hospitality history, but, more importantly, memories for our guests.”
Starting today, the brand’s second Botlr will officially be on call full-time as the able android of Aloft Silicon Valley, where it will assist Aloft staff in delivering amenities to guest rooms.
Botlr autonomously transports everything from toothbrushes to newspapers as it navigates the 172 rooms and five floors of Aloft Silicon Valley with ease, and accepts Tweets in lieu of tips.
The robot not only frees up existing staff’s time, allowing them to create a more personalised experience for guests, but it enhances the hotel’s current tech-forward offerings.
Aloft made history last August when it became the first major hotel brand to hire a robot for both back and front of house duties.
Starting August 27, Botlr will be moonlighting in Miami for a few days at the new Aloft South Beach where it will surprise guests with deliveries from a special “Botlr Takes Miami” menu that includes every day beach essentials, and it will also hand out towels in the lobby.
Botlr will then temporarily join the staff of the new Aloft Manhattan Downtown - Financial District in early autumn.
It will greet guests on select evenings with either bull or bear shaped cookies and sweets, and will fetch guest deliveries from a special “BotlrHeartsNYC” menu including bagels, MetroCards, and every day essentials for survival in the Big Apple.
Botlr will also be a part of the hotel’s official ribbon cutting ceremony, slated for early September. It will then return to Aloft Cupertino and re-join the staff full-time.
Other recent innovations at Aloft hotels, include SPG Keyless, and the piloting of Apple TV services, mobile-controlled guest experiences, and more.
Most recently, Aloft announced its testing innovations such as mobile controlled lighting and wake up preferences as well as virtual reality experiences for rollout within the next year.