Next Hotel Brisbane lobby

SilverNeedle has partnered with Docomo interTouch to launch a next-generation app for the new, flagship Next Hotels brand.

Using the latest technology, the first Next Hotels property in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall is the first hotel in Australia enabling guests to bypass the front desk and go straight to their rooms using their smartphones as room keys.

Next Hotels’ brand promise is ‘Designed to Make your Time Count’ and to help fulfill that, SilverNeedle Hospitality is partnering with Docomo interTouch to offer guests a comprehensive end-to-end suite of technologies through the Freedom Suite, including the Freedom Check-In, enabling guests to use their smartphones as mobile keys.

“Our Next Hotels brand is dedicated to providing the ultimate guest experience, and that requires us to effectively combine the use of space, technology and service to ensure that every moment is memorable and stress-free,” said Iqbal Jumabhoy, Managing Director and Group CEO of SilverNeedle Hospitality.

“It’s all about giving travellers the freedom to choose how they want to experience our hotels.”

SilverNeedle is launching the Next app, into which the ‘Mobile Key’ is embedded. The Next app, available in both Android and iOS versions, allows guests to control every touch point with Next Hotel Brisbane through their smartphones – from making a room reservation, entering the room, controlling in-room gadgets, ordering room service to checking out of the hotel.

With free WiFi throughout the hotel, the Next app gives guests the total freedom to control as much or as little as they want.

Prior to arriving at Next Hotel Brisbane, guests can check in using the Next app; select their preferred rooms or accept the pre-assigned rooms; and receive their own room key codes on their smartphones, bypassing the conventional check-in process to get to their rooms if they wish.

“Docomo interTouch is delighted to partner with SilverNeedle Hospitality in delivering the most comprehensive mobile and cloud solution there is in the market place. The Next Hotels are truly innovative in their delivery of guest technology and they have been a real pleasure to work with,” said Charles Reed, CEO of Docomo interTouch.

“We see the Next Hotels and the Next app going from strength to strength and we look forward to continuing in our partnership.”

Leveraging on a cloud-based open software platform as part of Docomo interTouch Freedom Suite, the Next app interconnects all the systems and services with the hotel so guests can control their stay from their smartphones, without switching devices.

The integrated Next Technology allows them to change the TV channel, set the mood lighting, adjust the room temperature or order their next meal.

If they don’t want the housekeeping staff to freshen up their rooms, they can activate the ‘Do Not Disturb’ indicator even when they are away from the hotel.

Guests are also able to watch their favourite movies and stream their desired content securely on the Samsung Smart TV for hospitality available in every room, made possible by the Freedom Suite that offers an Internet Protocol TV service.

For guests who prefer not to use their own smartphones during their stay, they can use the Next app on the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone provided in every room, at no extra charge.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management