It seems that every week a new tablet device has launched or a new robot is being introduced to do the work of a person -- and hotels that know what's up have made sure to stock up on these new technologies. Although summer vacations are traditionally meant for getting away and unplugging, we can't help but love these super high-tech hotels that boast some of the coolest geek-friendly amenities we've ever seen. From Bond-like retina scans to robots (yes, robots), these 10 hotels have some pretty awesome technology.
Fingerprint Scan Room Entry at Alma Barcelona
A smartly designed luxury boutique hotel, the Alma Barcelona has 72 quiet, upscale rooms with flat-panel TVs and free Wi-Fi. Unlike the nearby Majestic, the pool here is indoors, but the rooftop terrace has first-rate views of the Eixample and Sagrada Familia. Style here has a starring role: design elements include fingerprint swiping instead of room keys, and architectural features such as a minimalist light-filled atrium.
The Yobot at the Yotel, New York City
If this futuristic hotel wasn't cool enough, the folks behind Yotel in New York City took their technology to new heights by introducing Yobot, a 15-foot automated luggage handler. Essentially, the robot selects and moves luggage from a very large luggage rack in order to organize all of the pieces received each day during check-in.
Touch-Screen In-Room Consoles at The Halkin, London
This 41-room boutique hotel exudes luxury -- and spares no expense when it comes to catering to their guests. Sumptuous and spacious rooms literally offer convenience at the touch of a button, as all have wall consoles for calling the butler and other services including light switches and temperature controls.
Retinal-Scan Room Entry at Nine Zero Hotel, Boston
While the Cloud Suite at Nine Zero could set you back a whopping $20,000 for a two-night stay, the hotel makes sure your every wish is taken care of and that no stone during your stay is left unturned. Private jet transportation is offered, champagne and caviar are always at beckon call, as is the on-site chauffeur. And you never need to worry about losing your room key -- the retinal scan ensures you (and only you, besides the staff, duh) have access to your pricey space.
Infrared Body Scanners at Hotel 1000 - Seattle
Upon entry into a room at Seattle's Hotel 1000, the electronic doorbell silently scans the space with infrared sensors to detect body heat so that the staff knows when you're in and out of your room -- and thus never disrupts you during your stay.
Smart Room Service Carts at The Jefferson, Washington D.C.
Hello, room service carts of the future! When, after you're done eating, you place your cart outside your door, a microchip inside the cart alerts housekeeping to come collect it.
Tech Butlers at The Ritz-Carlton New York Battery Park
When your technology goes awry on vacation, normally you'd be forced to seek out the nearest electronics store. But at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, you can just pick up the telephone. The hotel offers a "tech butler" for any hardware or software problems you might have while at the hotel. Bonus: If you're astronomically inclined, most rooms come with a top-notch telescope for catching views of Lady Liberty and beyond.
iPad Digital Concierge Service at Hotel Beaux Arts Miami
Rooms at Hotel Beaux Arts Miami come equipped with iPads with digital concierge services. Rooms also boast rotating flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, bathrooms with TVs in the mirror, and illy Espresso machines.
Apple TV at The Geejam, Jamaica
Aside from the 42″ flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, dimmer switches, and DVD players, all rooms in this uber-luxe Jamaican resort feature Apple TVs. Each comes pre-programmed with an impressive mix of reggae and soul music, as well as three dozen movies. Bonus: You receive a pre-programmed cell phone on arrival with all of the hotel's customer service numbers already stored inside.
All-in-One Entertainment Unit at The Mira Hong Kong
From the pool to the rooms to the spa, everything here has an almost futuristic touch: Think colorful lighting, straight lines, and a sleek design. Most rooms are decent-sized by Hong Kong standards, and all feature Bose iPod docks, LCD TVs, wireless keyboards, and entertainment units that incorporate computers and Blu-Ray DVD players.
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