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The room, known as the “Room of the Future,” is a laboratory, of
sorts, used to test new technologies that are designed to enhance a
visitor’s stay at the hotel and generally cater to the business
Members of Hilton’s rewards club for frequent travelers are
typically the regular guests and are rotated into the room as an
The room is one of 14 in the hotel that are prototypes regularly
showcased to franchise owners and developers of other Hilton
properties, which include Doubletree, Embassy Suite, Homewood and
Hampton Inn, who may be considering new designs or features for
their hotel rooms.
While the other rooms mostly feature different design elements,
the “Room of the Future” focuses on technology as a way to
determine what options are the most cost effective for the hotel
and useful to guests.
So Hilton managers, with both the privately owned Hilton Garden
Inn and Hilton’s world headquarters in Beverly Hills, spend a lot
of time thinking about the room.
“We talk about the ‘Room of the Future’ several times a week,”
said Jami Messinger, a technology manager with Hilton. “We’re
always talking about new technology and whether it fits in the
room. We look at things that a guest can utilize. So we’re not just
throwing gadgets in the room.”
But it should come as no surprise that the room does have a good
number of gadgets that can’t be found in just any hotel room.
It has a state-of-the-art entertainment system; all of the
business tools needed when away from the office, including a
printer and fax machine; and ergonomically designed furniture for
The television is a large wall-mounted Panasonic plasma
flat-screen, which is expected to be upgraded soon. It is outfitted
with a remote-control interface that also controls the room’s
lighting, its temperature and blinds, the DVD player, and the head
and foot of the adjustable king-size bed. The bed itself is made
with air baffles supported by wooden slats that displace body
weight and contour to the body.
“It’s supposed to prevent tossing and turning,” Messinger
Among the other features in the living area are a videophone
that lets guests get a peak at who’s outside the door, an oxygen
ionizer one of the newest features that cleans the air of
allergens, and the quintessential leather massage chair.
Free broadband Internet access is also provided in the room, and
can be accessed by laptop or on the television via the wireless
The bathroom is also loaded with high-tech sophistication that
includes a defogging mirror, electric towel warmer, a
Japanese-style toilet with bidet and a heated seat cushion, and
programmable showerhead in the shower stall.
But the best feature of the bathroom, and perhaps the entire
room, is the Jacuzzi tub with a television where guests can soak up
the same programming as the bedroom while soaking.
The room is constantly being updated with new devices and there
are big plans for the “Room of the Future” in the future.
Though the room already has a biometric safe that reads a
thumbprint, the hotel is looking at wider use of biometric
Other plans in the works include monitors instead of artwork
that will allow guests to display images of their choosing, a sound
element (such as the sound of waves crashing on the shore) and
voice recognition functions.
The hotel also hopes it will eventually be able to customize
each room to suit the guest, based on information and personal
preferences they provide as rewards club members, or simply when
booking the room.
That can include a specific room temperature, entertainment
programming with a customized channel lineup or visual-motif
Admittedly, of all the gadgets that are tried in the room, some
just don’t work out, like the bubble machine or the robotic dog
with voice-command recognition.
“A lot of things have gone in, but quickly go back out,” said
Barbara Bejan, general manager of the hotel.
For booking information, contact Hilton Garden Inn General
Manager Barbara Bejan, 310-725-0100.