Source: Uniguest
Source: Uniguest

October 21, 2020 — New York and Washington D.C. — When Hotel Zena opened its doors this month in downtown Washington, D.C., Volara was there to get guests talking via Google Nest Hubs in each of its 191 guestrooms. Implementation of Volara's contactless guest engagement and touchless room controls solution is part of a systemwide rollout by Viceroy Hotels & Resorts to voice-enable all guestrooms at its luxury boutique hotels.

This is the fifth Viceroy hotel to add Volara-powered voice assistants to guestrooms, and the second property to feature Google's Hotel Solution. Viceroy Los Cabos added Amazon Alexa devices powered by Volara in 2018, followed by Hotel Zetta San Francisco and Viceroy L'Ermitage Beverly Hills last year. Viceroy Washington DC was first in the system to add Volara + Google in August 2020.

"As an early adopter to the Volara product suite, Viceroy Hotel & Resorts is a proud partner of Volara — the leader in voice-activated technology," said Viceroy Hotels & Resorts CEO Bill Walshe. "We are even more grateful now to have technology in place to provide contactless hospitality to ensure guests and colleagues are as safe and comfortable as possible. We are thrilled to introduce the recent iteration of the Google voice assistant powered by Volara at our newest addition to the brand, Hotel Zena, to meet travelers' demands for touchless room controls and services. With Google undoubtedly a household fixture, we look forward to providing a safe, innovative solution that guests are familiar with when they choose to stay with us."

At Hotel Zena, guests are asking the popular voice assistant to make calls, play music, watch shows, bring them toiletries (through an integration with the ALICE Hotel Operations Platform), book services, turn on/off TVs (through an integration with Sonifi Solutions), set alarms and more without ever lifting a finger. They also are accessing a range of entertainment, information, recommendations, and services just by speaking in their rooms:

"Hey Google, call Figleaf Restaurant."

"Hey Google, tell me the story of Rosa Parks."

"Hey Google, listen to Justice Ginsburg."

"Hey Google, watch the U.S. Women's Soccer Team."

"When we began looking at voice technologies, we needed a partner that was innovative and flexible with integrations to other third-party applications, but could also bring our strong brand to life on this new guest facing medium," said Darren Clark, Vice President of Technology for Viceroy Hotels & Resorts. "Volara understood and executed on our vision. It had integrations to more than 40 hotel technologies, including IPTV, room controls, PBX, music, and work order-management. With today's travelers preferring to not touch the guestroom phone, television remote control, light switch, or thermostat, integrations to these guest-facing technologies are critical. We are delighted with the exceptional service provided by Volara and value their flexibility in designing custom voice prompts to meet our guests' diverse requests."

Keeping the Conversation Alive

Hotel Zena is a bold, new cultural hub celebrating the accomplishments of women and recognizing their enduring struggle for gender equality. It's an interactive venue where every architectural line, material and art installation was thoughtfully designed and curated to send a message of female empowerment. Situated at the nexus of Downtown D.C. and the vibrant Logan Circle neighborhood, the 191-room hotel is a story about women and a celebration of people who work together to achieve basic civil rights. Hotel Zena offers a warm, dynamic and inviting environment with comfortable spaces featuring over 60 pieces of artwork commissioned to create a message of struggle, empowerment and hope.

"We are thrilled that Hotel Zena is now LIVE with our joint solution with Google," said David Berger, Volara CEO. "This is a fun, interactive, and touchless way for guests to communicate with the hotel; it's also a seamless way for staff to manage and fulfill guests' voice requests. This hotel provides a safe gathering space where travelers can celebrate diversity, respect different points of view, and open the floor to topics worthy of meaningful conversation. It's only fitting that conversation-management technology be part of the guestroom experience, empowering guests along their personal journeys to enjoy the hotel safely and privately on voice command."

Google's hotel solution benefits from Volara's real-time conversation management software and secure integrations hub which seamlessly connects the solution to leading hotel technologies, including: Task Management Solutions (ALICE, Knowcross, Amadeus / HotSOS, SynergyMMS, GXP, Hmobile, and Nuvola), Energy Management and Room Controls (Interel, Telkonet, Schneider Electric, VDA Group, and coming soon Legrande and Lutron), Interactive Television Solutions (Innspire, SONIFI, BeyondTV, and MCOMs), SMS Guest Engagement (Zingle / Medallia, Kipsu, GoMoment, TrustYou Messaging, and Whistle), Staff Alert Technologies (React Mobile), and more.

To see Google's Hotel solution deployed, managed and integrated by Volara at Viceroy D.C., click here.

About Volara

Volara is THE provider of custom voice-based solutions for the hospitality industry. It's the anchor partner for the Google Assistant's full-service interpreter mode translation solution and Google's hotel solution. Volara's proprietary software creates a hotel business tool atop the leading smart speakers and natural language processing platforms. Volara's hassle free implementation and support ensures seamless execution of voice assistant solutions. Volara's proven best practices ensure high utilization rates and an optimal guest experience that creates personal and remarkable engagement with guests. Volara is the largest manager of voice assistant solution in hotels today and more than 10 million people have used voiced-based solutions powered by Volara. To learn more about Volara's launch of Google's hotel solution, go to

About Viceroy Hotels & Resorts

Viceroy Hotels & Resorts inspires travelers with one-of-a-kind, authentic experiences that bring together provocative design and intuitive service. Dynamic destinations are at the core of the Viceroy guest experience, and to better serve travelers the brand has established three unique hotel categories consisting of the Icon Collection composed of unparalleled properties furnishing lavish experiences, the Lifestyle Series offering energizing stays in vibrant locales, and Urban Retreats based in bold, eccentric cities. Viceroy's portfolio of hotels and resorts can be found in a diverse array of breathtaking and inspiring destinations, including Los Cabos, Santa Monica, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Riviera Maya, Snowmass, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and St. Lucia. The brand recently expanded to DC with the opening of the Viceroy Washington D.C. and Hotel Zena (Washington D.C.). Viceroy will also grow its international portfolio with the opening of Viceroy Kopaonik Serbia in early 2021 and the 2022 openings in Portugal's Algarve and Panama's Bocas Del Toro.

Viceroy is a member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) DISCOVERY, a unique loyalty program offering exclusive benefits and experiences to its members at over 500 hotels around the world. For more information, visit Follow Viceroy on Facebook and Instagram.

Barb Worcester
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