From touch-button glass walls to robotic staffers, cutting-edge tech is defining many of the world’s leading hotels – and perhaps none more so than in forward-thinking Asia. We’ve rounded up 15 of its most impressive hi-tech properties, though double-check your credit limit before booking as these rooms, all in prime locations, don’t come cheap.
BIG Hotel Singapore
Thanks to its smart room features, this hip little boutique hotel sure stands out in a big way (see what we did there?). Each room is equipped with a Google Nexus 7 tablet that’s preloaded with games, video on demand, the option to order room service and the ability to control everything from the lighting to the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door — all with the touch of a button. The rooms are also outfitted with universal sockets so it’s a-okay if you forget to bring along an adaptor.
Even though the rooms aren’t huge, eliminating the need to get out of bed to turn off the lights when you’re already snuggled under the sheets, is gold in our book.
JW Marriott Seoul
You’ll never be confined to crappy channels and the lack of cable TV in your hotel room at the JW Marriott. Featuring a nifty “Jack Pack” in each room, this remote provides a simple interface for you to play MP3s through the room’s speaker system or stream a movie on the 40in flat-screen TV, straight from your smartphone or laptop. 10 points for not forcing us to watch the local news yet again.
Nine Hours Kyoto
If capsule hotels conjure up images of seedy alleyways and sparse, worn-looking décor, think again. Nine Hours Kyoto has elevated the concept of “somewhere to pass out for an hour” into something that leaves a much more lasting impression.
Looking like a scene from a Kubrick movie, there’s something otherworldly about the hotel’s futuristic minimalist décor. Each sleeping pod is fitted with quality sheets, a curved pillow and a Panasonic-built sleep ambient control system that modulates the light to lull you to sleep and wake you up at a set time. Utilitarian yet fantastically comfortable, this is one capsule hotel you won’t be in a hurry to check out of.
Henn-na Hotel, Japan
We could tell you about Henn-na hotel’s facial recognition system that unlocks your room door, or its “Radiant Panel” air conditioning system that adjusts the temperature according to your body heat, but let’s just get to the part about the robots eh?
Instead of boring old regular humans, the front desk is staffed by mechanical beings that are sometimes vaguely humanoid, and other times, a velociraptor wearing a bow tie and a bellhop hat, because why not? They’re so into robots here that a robotic arm takes care of the cloakroom, and there are porter robots to help you with your luggage. You’ll even find a miniature droid on your bedside table that will offer wake-up calls and weather forecasts — probably in the middle of the night to scare the crap out of you.