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iPhones Replace Room Phones in Upscale Hotel



The Opus Hotel, an upscale hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia, replaced their in-room phones with iPhones. This reminds me of the UK hotel that recently replaced the Bible in night stands with Kindles. The Vancouver hotel becomes temporary home to travelers in a the Yaletown area of Vancouver, which many call an upscale community.

MacGasm spotted a USA Today piece on the Opus Hotel’s foray into high-end electronics in guest rooms including iPads that offer concierge services to guests.

Those staying in rooms can take the phones with them as they roam the city. The user can use the phone without paying expensive international roaming fees. They get data, phone and messaging. The hotel can easily contact the guest and guests can use the phone to get in touch with the hotel services like the concierge desk, housekeeping and to order room service.

We've come a long way since needing these around

Cell phones mean we don’t need these anymore

After a guest checks out of the room, the hotel staff clears the phone and returns it to the room ready for the next guest.

Most mobile users who stay in hotels know that the in-room phones get little use. On a recent trip with my family we actually used the room phone to contact each other, only because my Samsung Galaxy Note battery dies so quickly. I can’t remember the last time I wanted a public pay telephone.

I wonder what apps the phones include. Here’s my list of desired apps:

  • Yelp to help me find a good restaurant nearby
  • Navigon for offline turn-by-turn directions until the phones get iOS 6
  • Netflix with a hookup to the room’s TV
  • Spotify subscriptions for each phone

I doubt the phones include the app, another one of my favorite travel apps. I’m sure you can get some good Vancouver travel guides tool in iBooks. A collection of the latest novels on the Amazon Kindle app would also serve guests well.

What apps would you want to see on a smartphone provided by a hotel the next time you travel? And would you even bother using it if you weren’t traveling in a foreign country where you’d pay expensive international roaming rates?

For those who get tempted by the old cliché of stealing hotel towels, an iPhone or an iPad must really get their kleptomaniac juices flowing.

Photo Credit: malias



  1. JLT Creative

    07/10/2012 at 9:12 am

    Providing guests with iPhones is a great idea and really helps them to stay on top of technology and added value; but I think some opportunistic guests might find these iPhones very tempting!

  2. Benjitek

    07/11/2012 at 2:12 pm

    Regardless of whether the phone is wiped upon checkout, incoming and outgoing calls, internet activity, and text messages are placed through the hotel’s service. That information will linger somewhere long after the iPhone has been reset. The same would be true when using your own personal device, however, then it would be accessible to just the carrier, and not hotel staff. For many, this isn’t a concern — for some, it will be. Regardless, customers should know where a record of their activity exists, how long it will be stored, and who has access to it.

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