#MEETBOTLR: Aloft Hotels Recruits Robot to Join Team in Cupertino
STAMFORD, CT, August 12, 2014 – Aloft Hotels, the tech-forward, innovation hub for millennial-minded travelers, is thrilled to announce the appointment of A.L.O. as the hotel brand’s first Botlr (robotic butler). This charismatic cyber associate makes his debut at Aloft Cupertino today, making Aloft the first major hotel brand to hire a robot for both front and back of house duties.
In this role, A.L.O. the Botlr will be on call as a robotic operative where it will be assisting the Aloft talent in delivering amenities to guest rooms. Professionally “dressed” in a custom shrink-wrapped, vinyl collared uniform and nametag, A.L.O. will modestly accept tweets as tips as its wheels whizz from task to task. This newest Aloft associate will not only free up existing talent’s time, allowing them to create a more personalized experience for guests, but will enhance the hotel’s current tech-forward offerings.
“As you can imagine, hiring for this particular position was a challenge as we were seeking a very specific set of automated skills, and one that could work – literally – around the clock,” said Brian McGuinness, Global Brand Leader, Starwood’s Specialty Select Brands. “As soon as A.L.O. entered the room, we knew it was what we were looking for. A.L.O. has the work ethic of Wall-E, the humor of Rosie from The Jetsons and reminds me of my favorite childhood robot, R2-D2. We are excited to have it join our team.”
Prior to its role at Aloft, A.L.O. studied at Savioke—a new company which the robotics community has been eagerly anticipating for this first class of robots— where it double majored in rudimentary tasks and hospitality. Transitioning to its new role as Botlr, A.L.O. will now facilitate and prioritize multiple guest deliveries, communicate effortlessly with guests and various hotel platforms, as well as efficiently navigate throughout the property – including the elevator – with ease. The appointment of A.L.O. represents yet another forward-looking milestone for Aloft, known for its industry-first smart check-in program, “Cool Concierge” program and piloting Apple TV in-room services.
We are thrilled to introduce our robot to the world today through our relationship with Aloft Hotels,” according to Steve Cousins, CEO of Savioke. “In our early testing, all of us at Savioke have seen the look of delight on those guests who receive a room delivery from a robot. We’ve also seen the front desk get busy at times, and expect Botlr will be especially helpful at those times, freeing up human talent to interact with guests on a personal level.”
A.L.O. officially reports for duty on August 20 at Aloft Cupertino, with several new Botlrs to join in the upcoming months.
About Aloft Hotels
With 100 hotels open now and coming soon in 14 countries around the world, Starwood’s Aloft brand delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the ‘always on’ next generation of traveler, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design. For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com. Aloft, like all brands within Starwood’s portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) program, the industry’s richest loyalty program. To learn more, please visit spg.com.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with nearly 1,200 properties in 100 countries, and 171,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. We are a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. One of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) allows members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com .
Savioke (pronounced “savvy oak”) is creating autonomous robots for the services industry. Savioke aims to improve the lives of people by developing and deploying robotic technology in human environments. Savioke was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA. For more information, please visit http://www.savioke.com, or follow the company @Savioke