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"My name is Yoshiyuki Kawazoe. This is my hotel." The University of Tokyo's associate professor of architecture gestures behind himself to a flat, two-story building that doesn't really look like a hotel. "Two-hundred people were involved in making this happen," he says. "Experts in environmental...

July 31st 2015 at 3:00pm 0 Comments
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Japan's first robot-staffed hotel opens this week and we just got the full tour. While the main attraction may be the bordering-on-human receptionist (left) and the English-speaking dinosaur (er, right), the hotel has a whole family of robots performing varying degrees of useful work. Think: room...

July 15th 2015 at 11:00am 0 Comments
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Amazon's Fire TV and Fire TV Stick will soon be much more useful, especially if you're outside of the US. Thanks to an impending update, both streaming media hubs will work in dorm rooms, hotels and other places where you have to sign in before you get online -- you can pack your device on that b...

March 24th 2015 at 10:31am 0 Comments
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In-between shenanigans, Uber actually offers a pretty nice car service, and users are about to get a perk besides free water: points from chi-chi hotelier Starwood. Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members can now link their accounts to Uber, and (after a qualifying stay), will get a point or more f...

February 25th 2015 at 9:24am 0 Comments
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Richard Branson knows how to make a first impression. The first thing I saw when I arrived at Virgin's debut hotel was a statuesque blonde in a bright-red trench coat stepping out of a matching-hued Tesla, with a photographer documenting the whole ordeal. The photographer was there for glamour sho...

February 16th 2015 at 2:00pm 0 Comments
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Going to Japan? Here's a bit of advice: if you're absolutely terrified of eerie human-like robots, think very hard before visiting Nagasaki prefecture's Henn-na Hotel that's slated to open its doors in July. Why? Because the high-tech hotel will employ 10 robots, three of which are multilingual gy...

February 8th 2015 at 1:11am 0 Comments
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Marriott wants you to know that it's completely done trying to block guests' personal WiFi connections -- it has even given up convincing the FCC to give it permission to do so, a spokesperson told Engadget. The company already announced that it won't be keeping people from using their own MiFis a...

January 31st 2015 at 6:32pm 0 Comments
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The next time you're on a trip, you may have something to watch on the hotel room TV besides the usual so-so channels and on-demand movies. Marriott has confirmed to Bloomberg that it's trialing access to streaming services like Hulu, Netflix and Pandora on TVs in eight of its hotels. It's not cer...

January 20th 2015 at 2:40am 0 Comments
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Marriott's (thankfully) raising the white flag and admitting defeat to Google, Microsoft and everyone else lobbying against its plans to block WiFi devices inside its hotels. The company has issued a statement that makes its new stance clear: guests can now use their own WiFi devices without havin...

January 15th 2015 at 8:01am 0 Comments
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The battle between hotels and hotspot-toting travelers isn't over just because Marriott settled a complaint that it blocked personal WiFi -- far from it. Google, Microsoft and a US carrier lobbying group (the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association) are opposing a hotel industry petit...

December 23rd 2014 at 5:49pm 0 Comments
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HelloTel is a brand new social networking app. This app allows users to "check-in" to a hotel much like a user would check-in on location based apps like Foursquare. The user is then also able to see nearby users who have checked into their hotel as well as nearby hotels. It requires iOS 6.0 or la...

October 29th 2014 at 7:30pm 0 Comments