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The world's most hi-tech hotels

By Tamara Hinson, for CNN
August 23, 2013 -- Updated 0841 GMT (1641 HKT)
Yotel New York robot luggage clerk ... presumably you don't have to tip
Yotel New York robot luggage clerk ... presumably you don't have to tip
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • In one New York hotel, a robot stores your luggage
  • In Ibiza, you pay the check via fingerprint
  • In a Chicago hotel, sensors tweak room heat according to your body temperature
  • But if you still can't work the hotel safe, these places could mean trouble

(CNN) -- Luggage-storing robots, iPhones instead of room keys and an elevator that plays different tunes according to the number of passengers -- just some of the futuristic features in the world's most hi-tech hotels.

Labor-saving?

In most cases, probably.

But if you've only just figured out how to work your in-room safe, you could be in for some problems ...

Yotel New York

Hi-tech USP: A robot stores your luggage

Room keys at the Yotel New York are dispensed at electronic check-in terminals, and guests can watch the hotel's resident robot, Yobot, store their luggage.

Soundproofed rooms have motorized, moving beds to save space and the air conditioning is activated by motion sensors.

Even the hotel restaurant, DohYO, is hi-tech, with tables that diners can raise and lower at the flick of a switch.

Yotel New York, 570 Tenth Ave.; +1 646 449 7700; from $199 per night

You won\'t be disturbed by the jingling of someone scrabbling for their keys -- just awakened by an iPhone ring tone.
You won't be disturbed by the jingling of someone scrabbling for their keys -- just awakened by an iPhone ring tone.

Hotel Blow Up Hall 50 50, Poznań, Poland

Hi-tech USP: iPhones double as room keys

There are no room numbers at this Polish hotel -- guests locate and open their rooms with iPhones that use digital recognition technology to unlock the doors.

The hotel is filled with digital art installations, including a piece in the lobby that creates an enormous stylized image of guests using surveillance-style shots.

Hotel Blow Up Hall 50 50, ul. Kościuszki 42, Poznań; +48 61 657 99 80; from $156 per night

The QT\'s hi-tech sales point is an elevator that calculates the number of passengers and plays \
The QT's hi-tech sales point is an elevator that calculates the number of passengers and plays "appropriate" tunes.

QT Sydney, Australia

Hi-tech USP: Elevator plays tunes according to number of passengers

You probably wouldn't check in here for this feature alone but it's a curious -- or possibly annoying -- extra.

Custom technology senses how many people are in the elevator and plays a matching song.

Elvis's "Are You Lonesome Tonight" is among the selections for a single occupant, while a couple -- or just two random individuals -- might be treated to Bill Withers' "Just the Two of Us."

Digital art, ranging from the light installations to HD videos, complete the QT's hi-tech feel.

QT Sydney, 49 Market St., Sydney; +61 2 8262 0000; from $348 per night

The theWit\'s answer to muzak: chirping birds and crickets.
The theWit's answer to muzak: chirping birds and crickets.

theWit, Chicago

Hi-tech USP: In-room sensors adjust room temperature to body temperature

Sensors in theWit's rooms automatically adjust the ambient temperature to that of your body.

Taking the pampering further, instead of dialing your service requests to housekeeping down in the basement somewhere, you can send a message straight to the closest member of staff's mobile device.

In public areas, a sound system plays selected audio according to the time of day -- chirping birds in the daytime and crickets at night.

theWit, 201 N. State St., Chicago; +1 312 467 0200; from $189 per night

You can call housekeeping or switching on the \
You can call housekeeping or switching on the "do not disturb" sign via custom electronic interfaces at the Peninsula Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Peninsula Hotel

Hi-tech USP: Claims to be the only hotel chain with its own research and development facility.

Custom-made electronic tablets in the rooms, pre-programmed in the appropriate language, can be used to order movies and access Hong Kong city guides.

Wall-mounted and bedside touchscreen panels allow guests to call housekeeping, activate electronic "do not disturb" signs and adjust lighting.

Hong Kong Peninsula Hotel, Salisbury Road; +852 2920 2888; from $603 per night

Pay for everything by biometric scan. Not creepy at all. Right?
Pay for everything by biometric scan. Not creepy at all. Right?

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel, Ibiza, Spain

Hi-tech USP: Pay for everything with a biometric scan of your fingerprints.

When you check into the Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel, you don't just register a credit card, but your fingerprints, too.

Thus identified, you can pay for everything -- from room service to drinks at the bar -- by simply touching the screen on a portable biometric scanner.

Guests can also register their fingerprints on so-called Facebook Totems around the hotel, letting them log in to their profiles by touch.

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel, Playa d'en Bossa, Ibiza; + 34 902 424 252; from $254 per night

Why fly when you can play 50 international golf courses virtually?
Why fly when you can play 50 international golf courses virtually?

Hotel 1,000, Seattle

Hi-tech USP: Infrared sensors protect privacy

Infrared sensors in the rooms here detect guests' body heat and alert staff to their presence -- thus hopefully forestalling one of those embarrassing post-shower nude-prancing encounters with the housekeeper, even when you're sure you put the do-not-disturb sign on the door.

Another hi-tech feature here is niche but still impressive: a virtual golf course in the lobby with infrared tracking systems that allow guests to "play" 50 international golf courses.

Hotel 1000, 1000 First Ave., Seattle; +1 206 957 1000; rates from $259 per night

W Hotel Sentosa Cove, Singapore

Hi-tech USP: Touchscreen tables and a mirror-cum-Facebook camera in the bar

Kicking off the futuristic theme, when guests enter the lobby a sensor takes a picture and displays personalized, kaleidoscope-like digital artwork.

There appears to be a grand plan at work in the drinking areas: that guests need never leave.

In the W Lounge, you can play games on the interactive touchscreen bar tables.

And in the Woobar, a mirror doubling as a camera lets guests upload photos of themselves to social media.

W Hotel Sentosa Cove, 21 Ocean Way, Singapore; +84 (58) 388 0000; from $504 per night

With iPads everywhere the Magdalen Chapter is a \
With iPads everywhere the Magdalen Chapter is a "paperless" hotel.

The Magdalen Chaper, Exeter, UK

Hi-tech USP: Everything's done by iPad

The Magdalen Chapter is a paper-free zone.

Guests are checked in on iPads and given one to use for the duration of their stay.

You order room service on your iPad, and the restaurant displays the wine list on it.

Guests can play music and video content from laptops, USB sticks or iPads through media hubs, within the rooms, connected to TVs.

The Magdalen Chapter, Magdalen Street, Exeter; +44 01392 281 000; from $193 per night

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