Aloft Hotels has announced that its second robotic butler, or Botlr, is officially reporting for full-time duty at Aloft Silicon Valley. This is the brand’s second full-time cyber associate, following the debut of the world’s first Botlr at Aloft Cupertino last year. Additionally, the original Aloft Botlr has hit the road, rolling across country to Aloft Miami South Beach, and will later be transferred to the new Aloft Manhattan Downtown – Financial District for a short stint this fall before returning to Cupertino.
“We embarked upon this robotic experiment years ago, and it has proven what we suspected all along — humans and robots can co-exist and work side by side to elevate the guest experience,” said Brian McGuinness, Global Brand Leader, Starwood’s Specialty Select Brands. “Botlr has been an integral part of the Aloft Cupertino experience, and the demand from guests and associates around the world to interact with our biotic bellhop has been astounding. As we add our second Botlr to the Aloft team and transfer our first Botlr to new hotels around the country, we know they will continue to not only make hospitality history, but, more importantly, memories for our guests.”
The brand’s second Botlr is officially on call full-time as the able android of Aloft Silicon Valley, where it assists in delivering amenities to guest rooms. Smartly dressed in a custom uniform and nametag, Botlr autonomously transports everything from toothbrushes to the day’s paper as it navigates the 172 rooms and five floors of Aloft Silicon Valley with ease. Like its predecessor, it accepts Tweets in lieu of tips, and during its training period was known to roll around the hotel’s lobby and W:XYZ bar (obliging guests with selfies along the way, of course). This newest Aloft associate not only frees up existing staff’s time, allowing them to create a more personalized experience for guests, but enhances the hotel’s current tech-forward offerings.
Aloft made history in August 2014 when it became the first major hotel brand to hire a robot for both back and front of house duties. This omnipresent operative became an instant overnight sensation and travelers from around the world have flocked to Aloft Cupertino to watch it in action. All of this attention is why Botlr needs to recharge its batteries with a change of scenery. Starting August 27, 2015 Botlr has been moonlighting in Miami for a few days at the new Aloft South Beach where it has surprised guests with deliveries from a special “Botlr Takes Miami” menu that includes every day beach essentials. It has also been handing out towels in the lobby and acting as a “wingbot” for sly singles at W:XYZ bar.
After soaking up some sun, Botlr will temporarily join the staff of the new Aloft Manhattan Downtown – Financial District in early fall. As part of this short Manhattan transfer, Botlr will greet guests on select evenings with either bull or bear shaped cookies and candy (depending upon how the stock market performs that day) as well as fetch guest deliveries from a special “BotlrHeartsNYC” menu including bagels, MetroCards, and every day essentials for survival in the Big Apple. Botlr will also be a part of the hotel’s official ribbon cutting ceremony, slated for early September. It will then return to Aloft Cupertino and re-join the staff full-time.
Aloft Botlrs represent yet another forward-looking milestone for Aloft, Starwood’s innovative, tech-forward incubator brand. Recent innovations include SPG Keyless, the world’s first truly mobile, keyless entry system, piloting Apple TV services, mobile-controlled guest experiences, and more. Most recently, Aloft announced its testing innovations such as Mobile Controlled Lighting and Wake Up Preferences as well as Virtual Reality experiences for rollout within the next year.