Marriott’s 32-year-old Charlotte Marriott City Center in North Carolina has gone through some changes in recent months, and has now been repurposed as the lodging giant’s testing lab for new hotel concepts. It’s now called M-Beta at Charlotte Marriott City Center.
All big hotel companies have venues where they try out new room designs, guest technology and so on, but they are usually not for the public until the new concepts are actually approved and deployed. At this Charlotte hotel, Marriott guests are trying out the new ideas in real time.
Throughout the hotel, guests will see “Beta Buttons” that they can punch to register their approval of a particular innovation. “Beta Button engagement, votes and feedback on hotel innovations are then aggregated and brought to life in real-time via Beta Boards, digital screens placed throughout the hotel for all to see,” Marriott said.
The new concepts and services will change from time to time, but here’s what the property is testing right now:
*The elimination of the front desk, replaced by personal greeters who meet arriving guests in the lobby or even at curbside.
*A selection of hundreds of on-demand workouts that guests can access on video screens in the hotel’s fitness studio or in their rooms, plus access to nearby fitness centers.
*A meeting space that includes a full kitchen, “providing an elevated food and beverage experience that can be tailored to any type of gathering, from a brainstorm to a networking event.”
*An interactive experience in the hotel’s Stoke restaurant that lets guests communicate directly with chefs by removal of the wall between the kitchen and dining area. Guests can watch and learn, make suggestions, or take cooking classes.
*A new “social hub” that lets guests mingle, try out coffee and food offerings from local small businesses, and enjoy a varied program of musical, entertainment and educational events.
“Every corner of the hotel allows for rapid prototyping, inviting guests to test and give feedback in real-time, ultimately shaping their future hotel experience,” Marriott said.
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