Marriott tests Alexa as an in-room butler

WASHINGTON — Amazon has rolled out Alexa for Hospitality, and Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International will be among the first hotel chains to deploy the voice-activated Echo device in rooms.

Alexa Hospitality turns Echo into a sort of in-room butler and lets guests contact the concierge, room service or housekeeping. The device also can make restaurant recommendations and can connect guests to a wide range of hotel services and amenities and operating hours.

It will let guests temporarily connect to their own personal Amazon accounts, so they can listen to their own personal music collection or audio books.

When guests check out, it will automatically disconnect from the personal accounts.

Alexa Hospitality can be configured to control and adjust in-room devices like lights, thermostats, blinds and TVs, Amazon said.

“So many of our guests use voice technology in their home and we want to extend that convenience to their travel experience,” said Jennifer Hsieh, vice president of customer experience innovation at Marriott.

“Guests of Charlotte Marriott City Center and Marriott Irvine Spectrum will be among the first to experience a curated list of Alexa for Hospitality features,” Hseih said.

“We will be evaluating guest feedback and adoption to inform how we expand the skills, features, and functionality offered through Alexa in our hotels.”

Marriott expects to eventually bring Alexa Hospitality to many of its brands including Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Hotels and Autograph Collection hotels starting this summer.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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