<p style="text-align: center;"></p> <p>Hotels at all price ranges are turning to hi-tech services and devices to attract guests and keep them coming back. Here are ten technologies modern hotels are experimenting with that could help make your next sojourn away from home more enjoyable.</p> <p></p>

<strong><img class="caption" src="images/stories/hitech-hotels-kiosk-hyatt-100909-02.jpg" border="0" alt="Hi-tech hotels kiosk" title="Credit: Hyatt"></strong>

<p style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><strong>Lobby self-serve check-in and check-out kiosk</strong></p> <p>Just like the <a alt="((CONLINK|474|airlines))" href="">airlines</a> , hotels are adopting automated check-in and check-out. Swipe your credit card and instead of boarding passes, you'll get your room key when you arrive and a copy of your bill when you leave. Seen at some Hyatts and Hiltons.</p> <p></p>

<strong><img class="caption" src="images/stories/GoogleMaps/hitech-hotels-voip-100909-02.jpg" border="0" alt="Hi-tech hotels VoIP phones" title="Credit: Hotel 1000"></strong>

<p style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><strong>In-room VoIP phones</strong></p> <p>Instead of the standard telephone with its front desk, valet and room service icons, some hotels have added Internet connected phones, or VoIP phones. VoIP calling may mean free <a href="" target="_blank" title="Video calling phones review">video calls</a> and an interactive services directory accessible from the phone's touchscreen. Seattle's boutique Hotel 1000 offer touch-screen VoIP phones for free local and domestic long-distance calling.</p> <p></p>

<strong><img class="caption" src="images/stories/hitech-hotels-ipad-plaza-100909-02.jpg" border="0" alt="Hi-tech hotels iPads at The Plaza" title="Credit: The Plaza Hotel"></strong>

<p style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><strong>Loaner iPads and e-book readers</strong></p> <p>Complimentary iPads, Kindles and other <a href="" target="_blank" title="e-Book reader review">e-Book readers</a> can provide a welcome alternative to hotel TV channels. The Plaza Hotel in New York is scheduled to equip each room with an <a href="" target="_blank" title="iPadNewsDaily">iPad</a> this month that comes preloaded with its virtual concierge app.</p> <p></p>

<strong><img class="caption" src="images/stories/hitech-hotels-internet-aria-100909-02.jpg" border="0" alt="Hi-tech hotels high speed internet 100Mbps" title="Credit: Aria Resort, Las Vegas"></strong>

<p style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><strong>Faster Internet </strong></p> <p>Hotel <a alt="((CONLINK|977|Internet))" href="">Internet</a> connections can be mind-numbingly slow and expensive, but some properties have upgraded their Internet service significantly. For instance, the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas has 100Mbps connections in every room.</p> <p></p>

<strong><img class="caption" src="images/stories/hitech-hotels-digital-peephole-100909-02.jpg" border="0" alt="Hi-tech hotels digital peephole" title="Credit:"></strong>

<p style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><strong>Digital peephole</strong></p> <p>A small LCD screen located next to the door inside the room lets guests see who is at the door without peeping through a tiny hole or peering through a gap with the door chain in place.</p> <p></p>

<strong><img class="caption" src="images/stories/hitech-hotels-smartphone-holidayinn-100909-02.jpg" border="0" alt="Hi-tech hotels smartphone room key at Holiday Inn" title="Credit: Holiday Inn"></strong>

<p style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><strong>Smartphone room key</strong></p> <p>Download the room key app and your <a href="" target="_blank" title="Smartphone review">smartphone</a> is transformed into a secured key. Holiday Inn has been testing the service in its Chicago O'Hare Rosemont and Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown Convention Center properties.</p> <p></p>


<p style="text-align: center;"></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>HDTV and connectivity</strong></p> <p>HDTV with HD programming is a plus and is seen more frequently, but some hotels are taking in-room entertainment further by equipping rooms with TVs that feature a full <a alt="((CONLINK|1082|web%20browser))" href="">web browser</a> . Marriott's Seattle Courtyard features Internet-connected TVs with 65 channels, 50 of which are high definition.</p> <p></p>

<strong><img class="caption" src="images/stories/hitech-hotels-twitter-hyatt-100909-02.jpg" border="0" alt="Hi-tech hotels Twitter virtual concierge Hyatt" title="Credit: Twitter"></strong>

<p style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><strong>Twitter concierge</strong></p> <p>Hyatt Hotels has a <a alt="((CONLINK|1105|Twitter))" href="">Twitter</a> account that serves as a virtual concierge. Staffers, based in Omaha, Australia and Mumbai, are instructed to respond to requests and questions within an hour, and are fielding queries ranging from where to find good sushi to alerts that a guest will be checking in late. The account has 12,000 followers.</p> <p></p>

<strong><img class="caption" src="images/stories/hitech-hotels-automation-thewit-100909-02.jpg" border="0" alt="Hi-tech hotels room automation" title="Credit: theWit Doubletree"></strong>

<p style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><strong>Room automation</strong></p> <p>Automation has been extended from homes to hotels. Walk in and lights turn on and drapes open. At theWit Doubletree in Chicago, room sensors adjust the temperature based on your location in the room.</p> <p></p>

<strong><img class="caption" src="images/stories/hitech-hotels-surveillance-houstonhiltont-100909-02.jpg" border="0" alt="Hi-tech hotels accessible video surveillance with facial recognition" title="Credit: Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston"></strong>

<p style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><strong>Guest accessible video surveillance</strong></p> <p>The Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston has installed a 3VR surveillance system. Used by hotel security, the system is also accessible to guests to find lost items by color or shape, or locate an associate via facial recognition technology.</p>

More Than a Clean Floor: Hotels Entice Guests with Hi-Tech Gear