Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace in Chicago is the first Best Western Hotel to put the Amazon Echo Dot in every guest room

Nov 7, 2017

Chicago – The Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace is now engaging guests with the Amazon Echo Dot powered by Volara, the voice hub for the hotel industry, and docked in the iHome iAVS1 in every guest room. The joint solution provides both staff and guest facing voice-based interactions that operate seamlessly alongside existing software in the hotel.

The new device acts as a gateway to all the local happenings in Lakeview East, the vibrant neighborhood where Hawthorne Terrace resides and encourages them to “Live. Play. Stay. Like a local”, which is Hawthorne Terrace’s overarching purpose.

“Hawthorne Terrace is a neighborhood treaure, with the Amazon Echo, we can assist our guests in finding the amazing live theatre, music, exceptional dining, and robust events that take place in the neighborhood. And we are incredibly excited to announce our partnership with Volara”. said Tony Klok, Principal of Rebel Hospitality which manages Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace. “Making sure our customers are delighted and engaged during their stay is our top priority. Our goal is to provide our guests an authentic neighborhood experience while more efficiently catering to their specific requests and desires.”

“Volara is proud to be partnering with the Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace to bring an unparalleled voice-based guest experience to its hotel rooms,” said David Berger, CEO of Volara. “Volara’s solution, which has been highly customized to meet the specific requirements of the hotel and is running atop the Amazon Alexa platform, will put the services of the hotel at the tip of each guest’s tongue. This new offering will supercharge the experience of staying at a Best Western Hotel, while enabling the hotel to serve its guests more efficiently and effectively.”

“Hotel Technologies is excited to team up with Volara to deliver voice-enabled bedside solutions to Best Western properties. The innovative iHome iAVS1 Echo Dot docking station combines the power of Alexa voice with the convenience of charging, a dimmable clock display and higher quality stereo audio. We are confident that as more hotels embrace voice in the guest room they will trust iHome to deliver the additional features and value of iHome hospitality products,” said Ely Ashkenazi, President, Hotel Technologies Inc.

Use cases have been custom-tailored to the hotel and include, but are not limited to:

Guest Facing

  • Item & Service requests
  • Concierge recommendations
  • Compendium information
  • Personal greetings
  • Guest surveys
  • Custom games
  • Music

Staff Facing

  • Room Status Changes
  • Maintenance Requests
  • Pickup Requests
  • Staff Training

At Chicago’s Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace, guests can ask for external information such as suggested places to dine in the area, by cuisine and daypart. They can also make requests of the hotel like request more towels, inquire about check-out . . . all with the simplicity of voice activation.

New York-based Volara is the provider of hospitality-specific software for devices like the Amazon Echo, turning the widely used hardware into a hotel business tool that guests actually want to use. When a Volara-powered Echo is deployed in a hotel room, guests can prompt Alexa with questions typically asked of a hotel concierge, valet, housekeeper or bellman. Responses from Alexa are tailored to the hotel’s unique brand and are easily updated in real-time by hotel staff. The solution provides an easy, fun way for guests to request services when needed without the hassle of a call to the front desk.