Travel: Yes; it is time for hotels to provide their guests with smartphones

Posted by

Hotel Room

Engadget writer, Zach Honig, reports his recent experience at a Hong Kong hotel:

Last month, the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong installed handsets in each of its 381 rooms. Guests can use the phone throughout a stay, with unlimited data (and tethering!), and calls to Hong Kong, the US, UK, Australia, China and Singapore included for free. It comes with Facebook, Instagram, Skype and a handful of travel applications pre-installed, and once you type in your Google credentials, you can add any other apps you want. Then, when you’re ready to check out, simply tap the “clear data” button to wipe your personal info and return the device to its original state, so it’s ready for the next guest.

Specifically, the handset provided was the Android-powered Alcatel Idol X. Well, you weren’t expecting anything in the class of HTC One; were you? Anyway, we think that this is a brilliant value added service for travellers who often have to swap SIMs on arrival in a new country and worry about getting online and staying connected. Mister Mo’s recent Ghana trip is a case in point.

We think that more 4 – 5 star hotels should implement this and make their clients’ stay more comfortable. Dear Nigerian hotels, when shall we be seeing similar from you? Sheraton, Hilton, and others, over to you.

In the meantime, you should read the whole story, as it is interesting read: Guests at the Hyatt Regency in Hong Kong can use this smartphone for free.


  1. Am kind of concerned about this, having your credentials signed into a phone that’s not yours is kind of a security risk especially if the device has a keylogger in it. I think that a tablet would be better than a smartphone for this initiative with something like Samsung’s Knox installed which would handle the security concerns.

    I think 3 to 5 star hotels should have wi-fi available to all customers, and maybe SIM rentals

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *