Tech-savvy hotels aren’t only about the sleekest gadgets — the best properties provide useful technology that enhances your trip in a palpable way. Time is limited during your romp through New York City, and a few hotels can help you make the most of each minute. The following five properties, uptown and downtown, have harnessed technology not just for show, but also in a meaningful, useful way.
Perched above Columbus Circle, the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel is a luxurious property that not only offers the latest technology, but allows your devices to seamlessly integrate with the guest room gadgets. In-room panels make it simple to connect your own technology with the room’s audio and video capabilities. This allows laptops, digital cameras, gaming consoles and more to connect with ease. Xbox, Wii and PlayStation 3 consoles are all available to borrow upon request. Voice-over-IP telephones have color touch screens with conference call capabilities, and the temperature control system memorizes your preferences — adjusting automatically during future stays.
This brand-new hotel opened in October with a serious devotion to functional technology. Perhaps the best example of this commitment is an in-room phone that not only acts as a remote for the smart TV, but also is yours to take beyond the guest room. The phone is equipped with a local number (particularly handy for international travelers) and is a one-click connection to the hotel, concierge, room service and more. Guest rooms are also home to a Beats by Dr. Dre sound system.
Many choose the Four-Star hotel for the views — it stretches into the sky for 46 stories surrounded by low-rise SoHo — but the technology is fabulous, too. The Digital Downtime program lends out Kindles pre-loaded with books and magazines. In addition to a 42-inch flat-screen HDTV, all guest rooms have the Control4 Suite System, a single bedside console or remote that controls the temperature, lights, curtains, music and three dual-line telephones. If you book the Duplex Penthouse, not only will you enjoy a state-of-the-art Bang & Olufsen entertainment system, but all of the art on display (from artists such as Max Gleason and Jeremy Penn) features QR codes for easy scanning and purchasing (thanks to a partnership with Indiewalls, an e-commerce website).
This stylish Four-Star retreat in downtown Tribeca is often praised for its design, but technology here is also worthy of a shout-out. Laptops and pre-loaded iPods are available upon request at no additional charge. Rooms are equipped with high-definition flat-screen TVs and iPod docking stations along with complimentary Wi-Fi. If you snag the Greenwich Penthouse, the North Moore Penthouse or the suites, in-room iPads are also offered. All of this useful, thoughtful technology lives inside the rooms on a beautiful cobbled street in Tribeca, alongside Tibetan silk rugs and hand-laid Moroccan tile bathrooms.
Staying downtown in the tip of lower Manhattan not only gets you generous space compared to other New York properties, but also a dedication to seamless technology. Instead of complicated systems that should come with their own manual, room controls here are intuitive, with lighting labels such as “Relax” or “Work” for easy use. Wi-Fi and local calls are both complimentary (so are in-room snacks and non-alcoholic beverages) and a Geneva Sound System transforms the room into your very own theater. All guests are checked in via iPad, and for those in a hurry, the check-in process can even be completed in the elevator en route to your room. Plus, iPads are also available for use in the comfortable ground-floor Andaz Lounge.
Photos Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Viceroy Hotel Group