Pepper Heads to Hospitality: Humanoid robot helps out at hotels in two of the nation’s most-visited destinations
Whether people are traveling for pleasure or business, to unwind with family or plug in at a conference, hotels have one primary goal when hosting their guests: make them feel at home. In the past, this goal was achieved with amenities like sumptuous dining options, state-of-the-art fitness rooms — even luxury soaps and shampoos. But as features like in-room WiFi have shifted from amenity to ‘must-have’ for travelers, technology is becoming the new frontier for making guests feel welcome. In this era of Airbnb, the hotels that evolve to meet the expectations of today’s traveler and embrace change are the hotels that will thrive.
Enter Pepper®. Our charming, 4ft-tall humanoid robot that makes guests feel welcome. Pepper for hospitality can support hotel properties and staff in many different ways. Proactively calling guests over for a unique interaction, Pepper can interact with guests while they are waiting in line to check in, encouraging them to learn more about a property, help them find their way to the restaurant, gym or spa, or provide dinner recommendations for that evening. Pepper is also the perfect option for a fresh entertainment experience in the lobby or a private lounge, livening the space with a few of its favorite pastimes: dancing, sharing witty jokes and positing for selfies with guests.
However, Pepper has more to offer than simple entertainment options. The human-like robot has the ability to read people’s emotions by analyzing voice, facial expressions and vocabulary, giving it a deeper understanding for how to engage visitors with friendly invitations. Whether Pepper is offering information about the surrounding area, or entertaining patrons with a souvenir selfie — this approachable, engaging robot certainly makes a memorable addition to a hotel’s team.
Today, we’re incredibly excited to announce the first U.S. hotels to bring Pepper robots onboard — the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, and the Courtyard by Marriott in Anaheim, just steps away to the entrance to Disneyland. Located in two of the country’s hottest vacation destinations, both are welcoming Pepper into their properties to help make great, memorable guest experiences.
Pepper will be joining the team at the luxury Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas as “Technical Ambassador” providing answers to questions about the property, giving directions to area attractions and delighting guests with stories, dancing and selfies. The impressive, triple 5-star hotel will be featuring Pepper in its 23rd floor Sky Lobby, known for its dramatic views of the Las Vegas Strip.
Donald Bowman, General Manager of the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, had this to say about their newest recruit: “I am delighted to welcome Pepper to the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas team. Luxury is all about choice. Pepper will provide our guests with the option to receive hotel assistance and information in an exciting and innovative way. Not only can Pepper handle information requests, but will also serve as a source of entertainment that we hope will provide an enjoyable element of surprise for guests of all ages.”
Courtyard® by Marriott® Anaheim Theme Park Entrance will be featuring Pepper in its lobby, inviting guests to learn more about the hotel’s recreation options, like its large Surfside Waterpark, and engaging them with souvenir photos. Since the hotel is a five-minute walk from Disneyland Resort, Pepper will also offer up fun facts and little known information about the theme park for guests as they plan their day.
While the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas and Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim represent the first opportunities for U.S. visitors to get assistance from Pepper as a sort of robo-concierge, Pepper is pretty experienced in the hotel business elsewhere in the world! Pepper’s hospitality prowess has been employed at properties including the Hyatt Regency in Tokyo and The Grand Intercontinental in Yokohama as well as Japan’s Joy Port Minami Awaji cruise line.
Pepper’s purpose is to serve and delight people, and North Americans can already find Pepper directing travelers at airports, offering up product info in retail stores, and even providing rates and financial education in bank branches.
In the hospitality industry, as in other consumer-facing industries , customer expectations are changing. Increasingly, customers want authentic, personalized experiences, and they want the immediacy of the on-demand services that they’ve grown accustomed to from Amazon, Uber and others. Pepper’s individualized attention and helpful information goes a long way toward meeting the needs of today’s traveler, while creating surprising, memorable moments that will have them sharing their experience with others and keep them coming back for more!