Silicon Valley Hotel Makes Tech a Priority
Shashi Hotel is situated just moments away from top tech innovators such as Google, Meta, Microsoft, Apple and LinkedIn. For this reason, it uses tech to push the boundaries of hospitality.
Shashi Hotel, a 200-room urban resort nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley in Mountain View, California, by Shashi Group, has made it a goal to push the boundaries of hospitality by offering guests a high tech customer experience. With the hotel being just moments away from Google, Meta, Microsoft, Apple, and LinkedIn, Dipesh Gupta, the CEO of Shashi Group, knew it had to offer its guests something more convenient and tech friendly than the average hotel. To learn more about its tech-savvy property, Hospitality Technology spoke with Gupta.
What makes Shashi unique from a tech perspective?
As a company, we design our technology platform with three essential perspectives in mind.
o The “Customer” perspective – Shashi Hotel is a hospitality experience housed in the innovation capital of the world; our customers are the earliest adopters of new technology. Coming from the tech industry ourselves, we have an in-depth understanding of the customer, their pain-points and the emerging trends.
o The Hotel “Ownership” perspective – After customers, owners are the second most important stakeholders. Being an owner, we have developed an in-depth understanding of the pain-points from the owner's perspective, allowing us to craft a product that resonates with them. Keeping our other stakeholders in mind, we have end-to-end vertical hospitality integration – ownership, development, hotel & asset management, including branded & independent hotels.
o The technology driven “DNA” of the company – The huge and growing sphere of influence of technology in customer’s lives today is constantly evolving. There is no status quo. Similarly, hospitality technology has to stay ahead of the changes in customer’s lives. The only way for companies to thrive is to constantly reinvent themselves and be willing to disrupt existing successful models to stay relevant with the customer. Hospitality is ready for major disruption. As Shashi, we have a relentless focus on customer experience. We are not focused on automating any specific enterprise or customer facing process in the value chain. We are only focused on customer-facing innovation and strive to disrupt their end-to-end journey, one step at a time.
Other elements that make Shashi Hotel and Group unique include our ability to recruit the best technology talent globally with our network of contacts, the founders’ extensive technology and engineering background, and an 100 percent cloud-based AI-driven architecture.
How does being in the heart of Silicon Valley incentivize the brand to be more tech savvy?
The top 5 technology companies in the world are also our top 5 customers, along with many leading start-ups and unicorns – they are constantly looking to innovate and provide a better travel experience to their employees. With this in mind, we design and develop our technology products working closely with and collaborating with our tech savvy customers. Our independent hotels in the heart of Silicon Valley serve as the proof of concept for our cutting-edge technology and have given us the ability to recruit best technology talent globally. Our location is also hugely helpful, as we have access to the Silicon Valley tech ecosystem and an opportunity to tap into experts in various areas.
What tech are you most excited about coming to hotels in the near future?
- We are really excited about how AI & AR [Artificial Intelligence with GPT and Augmented Reality] will impact the hospitality industry in the not-so-distant future. Market leaders like Marriott today have 30+ brands [and growing] in an effort to offer a meaningful experience to various market segments. Brands are still trying to differentiate based on service levels, real estate development and loyalty tiers. Personalization is an overused term in hospitality, however, very little has been accomplished in this space in the industry.
- We believe there will be tremendous innovation in the AI and personalization space in the coming years. At Shashi, we are working on hyper-personalization, which would allow us to deliver a highly dynamic and purposeful experience to customers, both on-line and off-line. We will have a comprehensive 360 degree view of our customers at every online and offline touch point. We will be able to meet our customers where they are and offer them highly customized and meaningful products and services at every interaction. Each guest room experience, worldwide, will generate a ‘living room experience’: playing their favorite playlist, adjusting the lights exactly the way they prefer, displaying hyper-personalized content and artwork pre-selected by the customer on the tv, [e.g your family or kid’s portrait], setting the temperature according to their preferences – all as soon as they unlock the door.
- Customers will be able to pretty much experience the entire hotel before booking using Augmented Reality. It will be critical to incorporate sophisticated AR and AI technologies to offer compelling value propositions and bring your hotel “to life” to the customer before they ever set foot in the hotel.
Is there any back-of-house tech that you're particularly proud of and why?
While we will continue to see technology driven back-of-house improvements, their impact will be incremental and ongoing. It is a crowded space with a much higher focus on system integration instead of innovation. We believe that as technology continues to play an increasingly important and critical role in our customers’ lives, hospitality will experience major customer-driven innovation in the next decade. The next ten years in hospitality will bring disruption similar in magnitude to disruptions in automobile, cable tv and cellphone industries over the last decade….all customer driven. We are focused on back-of-house technology that is critical to deliver the customer facing innovation.
What's one tech problem industry wide that hoteliers are still dealing with that needs to be addressed ASAP?
Hoteliers are still more focused on enterprise automation and operational efficiencies. We are doing too little, too late on customer facing technology. Like Henry Ford once said, “If I asked everyone what they wanted, everyone would have said faster horses.”