Global hospitality company Delaware North today announced that the company-operated Westin Buffalo has become the first hotel in the world to allow its guests to connect their personal Amazon accounts to the Echo devices in each of its 115 guest rooms.
The Westin Buffalo, located within Delaware North’s global headquarters in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2017 became the first hotel in New York State to deploy guest-servicing Echo devices in each of its guest rooms. The devices are managed by software developed by Volara, the leading provider of custom voice-based solutions to the hospitality industry.
This new technology enables guests to have the option to temporarily and securely connect their Amazon account to the Alexa device in their room so they can listen to their personal music from services such as Amazon Music, Spotify, and Pandora. When the guest checks out of the hotel, the devices are automatically cleared of all personal accounts by Volara’s software. No personal data is saved or stored.
“With the support of Delaware North, The Westin Buffalo has been able to use innovative and thoughtful technology solutions to enhance our guests’ stays,” said Tom Long, the hotel’s general manager. “In this instance, the ability to access their personal playlists from a hotel room allows our guests to have some of the comforts of home while they travel.”
The Amazon Echo devices at The Westin Buffalo also provide an easy, fun way for guests to request services, get recommendations, and generally engage with hotel staff and services. Guests can ask “Alexa” questions typically asked of a hotel concierge, valet, housekeeper or bellman. The interactions are integrated with existing hotel software and immediately communicated to staff.
The Westin Buffalo was previously the first in the world to offer guests voice-controlled access to iHeartRadio, the free, all-in-one digital music, podcasting and live-streaming radio service, through its Amazon Echo devices.
“When the opportunity to bring this new technology to the hotel environment arose, Volara immediately identified the Westin Buffalo as the ideal site for the first deployment,” said David Berger, Volara CEO. “The hotel’s tech-enabled approach and forward-thinking management team really set this property apart.”
The Westin Buffalo’s technology amenities – including the Amazon Echo devices and its robot butler, “Chip” – are just one way that the Westin has distinguished itself to its guests. In May 2019, it was named by Marriott International as its “Hotel of the Year” for the Americas in the Distinctive Premium category. It was also the recipient of Marriott International’s Brand Culture and Operational Excellence awards, was chosen by guests as the number one Westin in the Americas for “Intent to Recommend,” a key guest satisfaction metric, and is a AAA Four Diamond rated hotel.