If a picture is worth a thousand words, an emoji has to be worth something.
Aloft Hotels certainly thinks so. The Starwood Hotels & Resorts brand launched Text it, Get it (TiGi) at its Manhattan Financial District hotel in New York Wednesday. The new service allows guests to order specific room service packages with limited human interaction simply by texting emojis.
"Our guests can now talk to us like they talk to each other," Starwood's Vice President of Global Marketing Paige Francis told Mashable.
The service debuted with just six different packages and placing an order is pretty simple. All the guest has to do is text a string of emojis (or one in some cases) along with their name and room number to the hotel. They'll receive a confirmation shortly after.
The three cheapest packages are The Hangover, The Munchies and The Re:Fresh, each valued at $10. The Hangover consists of two bottles of Vitaminwater, Advil and two bananas, while The Munchies comprises a Coca-Cola, a bag of Doritos, a Snickers bar and a chocolate brownie for good measure.
Meanwhile, The Re:Fresh is the perfect package for any guest who accidentally left their toiletries at home, with hotel staff supplying toothpaste, a toothbrush, a razor, shaving cream and deodorant.
The Phone Charger, Surprise Me and Sightseer packages run from $25 to $30 but can also come in handy. The latter comes with a $10 Metrocard, a map of the city and drinks at the WXYZ bar and lounge, while the Surprise Me package comes with $25 worth of "fun swag and cool stuff."
Even if the ordering process is a bit gimmicky, there's no question it's fun. Plus, the packages themselves are convenient and applicable to the average hotel guest. After all, who hasn't lost a phone charger or at least overindulged on a trip?
"There's a social vibe in the Aloft experience combining with tech innovation," added Francis. "It's a natural fit for us. We're really excited about this launch."
While the service is currently only available at the Downtown Manhattan Aloft hotel, it could potentially be expanded to other properties in the U.S., Europe and Asia in the coming weeks. Expansion will likely depend on how the service fares among guests in Manhattan this fall.
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