Did an iPad come standard with your last hotel room? No? Well it could be soon.
Morgans Hotel Group's launch of New York's Mondrian SoHo Hotel last week marks their second hotel featuring iPads in all 270 rooms of the hotel. Their first being the Royalton, New York. *PHOTOS BELOW*
Both hotels offer guests the ability to control hotel services and customizable content. Options to check flights, order room service, make dinner reservations, coordinate transportation and call a housekeeper are incorporated into the functionality.
The Mondrian SoHo and Royalton aren't the only hotels to offer this type of iPad in-room service, the 5 Star Plaza Hotel in New York has incorporated the iPad in their rooms replace an older touch panel system.
Last year, InterContinental Hotels equipped concierges with iPads to "provide guests with enhanced maps and directions, video recommendations, and instant booking confirmations for local restaurants performances and attractions."
One unique aspect the Mondrian SoHo and Royalton are bringing is weekly curated content from city lifestyle specialists Urbandaddy.com.
With the launch of iPad 2, we wonder if hotels will start incorporating more communication functionality into their services offered through the iPad. With the iPad 2's front and rear facing cameras, face-to-face video calls would be an amazing addition to any room.
Hotels could also take advantage of the iPad 2's camera's by offering guests a more human touch of interaction when using technology. Instead of just sending a request, if there's an urgent problem you can call and actually see the hotel employee you are talking to.
Another cool feature could be hotels offering iPads to their guests on a loan basis. Instead of handing out maps to the city, get a deposit, and send them out with a 3G enabled iPad to guide them with automatic connectivity back to the hotel's concierge if they get into a bind or need advice.
With the iPad's still soaring popularity and the rising consumer choice of competing brands, it isn't a stretch to imagine such touchpad in-room interactivity becoming more of the norm than the exception.
Though it might be a while until we see iPads in every Holiday Inn room.