Lonely Planet Writer

Your heart's desire in hotel room of future being created in Chicago now

A Chicago hotel is bidding to become the most technologically advanced in the world with everything in each guest room – from heating to room service – just the touch of a tablet away.

The Peninsula Hotel, Chicago.
The Peninsula Hotel, Chicago. Image by Alan Light / CC BY 2.0

The Peninsula in Chicago is in the middle of a major refurbishment, fitting out more than 330 rooms with digital bedside and desk tablets, which come pre-programmed in eleven different languages. All room functions can be controlled via the tablet, including lighting, room temperature, ordering and menus, as well as entertainment services. The rooms also feature LED touch-screen wall panels, which give weather details and the opportunity to change the language. The hotel said they were designed so that “every control is located precisely where it is required without guests having to think or search”.

Tablets will be available for each guest in The Peninsula Chicago.
Tablets will be available for each guest in The Peninsula Chicago. Image by Maurizio Pesce / CC BY 2.0

Free local and long distance Internet calls – as well of course as Wi-Fi – are available meaning there is no chance of any unpleasant bills at checkout. The hotel is also offering 24-hour check-in so that guests can arrive whenever they want, rather than be restricted to the hours that hotels traditionally use. Each of the refurbished rooms will feature a minimum of three tablets, with more available in larger rooms and suites. The tablets also let guests watch high-definition TV, listen to the radio, check the weather and request privacy in their room. The Peninsula is midway through the project, with all but eight rooms in the hotel to be upgraded by the end of April this year.

Hotels around the world have been vying for the title of the world’s most advanced with some even making robot technology available. In Shenzhen in China, the Pengheng Space Capsules Hotel is almost entirely run by staff operating only with artificial intelligence. The Eccleston Square Hotel in London has also been taking bold futuristic steps, with beds featuring in-built massage and shower walls switching from see-through to opaque at the flick of a switch.