Tweet Dreams

Forget the Frette bed linens, nightly turn-down service and mints on your pillow. These days, the hippest hotel amenity is gratifying guests’ social media obsessions.

When the Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel opened in 2011 on Spain’s infamous party island, it was the first to capitalize on the social media craze, giving guests and daytime visitors the option of wearing radio-frequency identification wristbands synchronized to their Facebook profiles. Facebook pillars set up throughout the property allow guests to take pictures, post and update their status simply by scanning the wristband across a sensor.

In 2012, the Sol Wave House on the neighboring island of Mallorca opened as the first “Twitter experience” hotel. By using the in-house Wi-Fi app, #SocialWave, registered guests can tweet private messages to other vacationers, request help from the concierge, or ask for a minibar refill using #FillMyFridge.

Across the pond, the Instagram-inspired 1888 Hotel in Sydney, Australia, boasts Instagram-friendly props including an oversized, empty, selfie-dedicated photo frame suspended in the lobby. The Instagram-theme extends to the décor; the hotel’s 90 rooms are decked out with Instagram images taken by guests.

While these themed hotels appeal to niche groups “seeking an experience that deviates from traditional hospitality experiences,” Cristian Morosan, assistant professor at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, says it’s too early to tell whether the concepts will go industrywide. In Twitter-speak, #waitandsee.


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