Spain is now home to the world’s first Twitter-themed hotel, which encourages guests to hash tag their way through their stay.
Situated along Magaluf beach on the island of Mallorca, the Soi Wave House hotel has its own virtual application for guests to connect to staff and other hotel guests via a Twitter-designed online community.
Logging into to the hotel’s WiFi, guests use their personal Twitter accounts to hashtag the hotel's #SocialWave community to contact staff, ask questions and interact with other guests.
Part of the Meliå Hotels International Group, the hotel’s Twitter Page @SolWaveHouse also enables guests to keep track of who has checked in and send a message if they wish to connect to them.
You can remain in your room with no need to physically interact or pick up a phone to speak to concierge, the system is designed to be completely virtual and mobile.
Guests can hashtag #FillMyFridge to have their mini bars restocked and can use the application to order room service along with any other amenity requests.
The hotel features 184 guests rooms including two #TwitterSuites which sleep up to four people and offer guests exclusive access to special features along with a free drink each at the #TwitterParty at the hotel pool on Friday nights.
The suites are decorated in blue and white to represent the hotel's waterfront location on Mediterranean and reference the trademark blue and white Twitter logo.
Along with its enviable location overlooking the Mediterranean sea, Sol Wave Hotel also features a 2,500 square metre terrace, lounges and entertainment areas, a shopping mall, two wave pools fitted with flowboarding machines, a solarium and an infinity swimming pool.
Guests can book poolside Balinese beds.
“Each Bali bed has a number, so if there’s anyone sitting on the Bali bed you’re interested in, and want to play, you use the hashtag for the Bali bed, like #BaliBed1, #Balibed6,” Fanton told TIME.
This is not the first time the industry has seen travel and technology combine as iPads and mobile devices have become de rigeur in in hotel rooms and upon check in, but more and more hotels are taking social networking to a new level.
In 2008, New York's Pod hotel was dubbed The Facebook Hotel for creating its own social online community, The Pod Community Blog.
Upon check in at the Pod Hotel, guests can opt to be part of the community by registering their details and can participate in guest only forums titled Drink with Me, Eat with Me, Shop with Me, Go Out with Me.
Last year, the Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel used wristbands on guests that use radio frequency identification technology to allow guests to instantly update their Facebook status by swiping their wrists on different sensor points around the hotel property with messages messages like “Hanging out at the Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel ... Jealous?”
The growing trend of virtual community concepts in hotels boosts guest engagement, particularly for solo travellers looking to connect and for the digital generation where social media is a key part of their communication.
It also offers convenience when requesting amenities, faster turnaround opportunities and accuracy through tracked requests. The concept, however, is less than ideal for those concerned about privacy.
There could also be issues if the system goes down, with guests potentially left in the lurch while the application is fixed and recovers.
The following video captures the Sol Wave House Community, clearly targeting a younger digital audience: