A Brief Look at the History of Hotel Technology

Updated February 2022

In the last century, innovation and technology has transformed the hospitality industry in almost every way as shown in this history of hospitality tech timeline.

Tech developments within the hotel industry have progressed exponentially over the last few years, but innovation has been taking place since the industry began. As we look forward to future and new incredible tech innovation, we want to also look back and celebrate how far hospitality tech has come.

What Does Mobile Check-In Actually Look Like? Infographic

1829 – The first modern hotel, the Tremont House, opens in Boston.
1894 – The Netherland Hotel, NYC, introduces the first in-room telephones.
1910 – Electricity becomes widely prevalent in hotels.
1925 – Conrad Hilton builds the first Hilton hotel in Dallas, TX.
1927 – The first in-room radios are available at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.
1946 – Westin debuts the first guest credit card.
1947 – The Roosevelt Hotel NYC installs guest room TVs.
1947 – Westin establishes the first hotel reservation system.
1950 – The Belmont Motor Inn becomes the first motel to install air conditioning, soon followed by the first hotel, the Adolphus, both in Dallas, TX.
1954 – Howard Johnson becomes the first hotel to franchise.
1957 – Marriott launches its first hotel in Arlington, VA .
1958 – Sheraton introduces the first hotel automated electronic reservation system and toll-free reservation phone number.
1980-1989 – Sabre Corp. booking reservation system becomes available to hotels and car rental agencies.
1969 – Westin is the first chain to implement 24-hour room service.
1976 – Sørnes​​ introduces VingCard, the world’s first recordable keycard door lock.
1977 – MICROS debuts point of sales software/hardware for the hospitality industry.
1984 – Springer-Miller Systems develops the first guest-centric PMS.
1986 – Teledex Corp. introduces a telephone specifically for hotel guest rooms.
1992 – LodgeNet launches a video-on-demand system for hotels, becoming a dominant player in hotel video for nearly two decades.
1994 – 1995 – Hotels worldwide begin offering online booking and reservations.
1995 – VocalTec introduces the first Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) application, which is soon adopted by hoteliers worldwide.
1996 – The first online travel agencies debut: Expedia, Travelocity, and Bookings.nl.
1999 – HotSOS is founded and later acquired by Amadeus IT.
2000- Tripadvisor launches, eventually becoming the largest online travel review and comparison shopping website.
2003 – More than 6,000 hotels make WiFi available to guests.
2007 – The release of the iPhone marks a change in how businesses and consumers view the capabilities of mobile technology.
2008 – Apple launches its App Store. INTELITY directly launches its mobile hotel app for guest services with the Eliot Hotel, Boston, MA as a first customer.
2010 – Shortly after Apple releases the first iPad, INTELITY launches the iPad as the first in-room tablet at the Plaza Hotel,NYC.
2012 – Introduction of the first service-enabled hotel brand app by Conrad Hotels & Resorts and INTELITY.
2012 – Guest messaging and staff messaging grow in popularity.
2012 – Mews develops the first widely used cloud-based PMS, later becoming the fastest growing PMS ever.
2014 – Starwood pilots the first successful mobile and keyless entry system at dozens of properties.
2014 – MICROS is acquired by Oracle for over $5 billion.
2015 – INTELITY launches the first comprehensive hotel guest platform, including KEYPR’s patented Mobile Key system, at the Sirtaj in Beverly Hills, CA.
2015 – Marriott introduces the first in-room VR reality travel experience.
2015 – 2018 – Food delivery apps gain traction, leading the way for hotel apps to include dining capabilities.
2016 – The world’s first robot hotel opens in Japan (Henn-na Hotel), furthering discussions on automation in hospitality tech.
2016 – Starwood’s Aloft Hotel first use of voice-activate controls through Apple’s Siri.
2016 – Marriott acquires Starwood and its advanced tech platform for $13 billion.
2018 – Alexa for Hospitality launches at select Marriott properties.
2019 – KEYPR and INTELITY merge to create the largest guest experience platform available outside of major brands.
2020 – Hospitality makes a shift to contactless solutions in the wake of global COVID-19 pandemic.
2021 – Hyatt becomes the first hotel brand to offer hotel room keys in Apple Wallet.
2021-2022- The hospitality industry enters a wave of consolidation triggered by the pandemic.

To learn more about what tech can best assist your property in 2022, request a demo today.

Request a Demo

Integrations

Download the Checklist

Fill out this short form to access the our Roadmap to Tech Success: 10 Questions to Ask Vendors Before Your Next Purchase.

[Product Name]

Download the One-Sheet

Fill out the following form to access additional information about …

Mobile Key

Download the One-Sheet

For additional information about our Mobile Key solution, download the PDF one-sheet after filling out this short form.

Mobile & In-Room Dining

Download the One-Sheet

Fill out this short form to access additional information about how we approach digital dining.

Guest Marketing

Download the One-Sheet

Fill out this short form to access additional information about using our platform to market to your guests.

In-Room Tablets

Download the One-Sheet

Fill out this short form to access additional information about our In-Room Tablets.

Integrations

Download the One-Sheet

Fill out this short form to access additional information and a list of our more popular integrations.

Smart Mirrors

Download the One-Sheet

Fill out this short form for more information about our Smart Mirrors solution.

Casting

Download the One-Sheet

For additional information about our Casting solution, download the PDF one-sheet after filling out this short form.

Live! Casino & Hotel Success Story

Download the One-Sheet

For additional information about Live! Casino & Hotel and how they saw success leveraging Guest Marketing, download the PDF one-sheet after filling out this short form.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

In accordance with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) you have the right to opt out of the sale of your Data to third parties. Submit your request below to opt out of the sale of your Data.

INTELITY will review your request and respond within 5 business days.

Data Questions for CA Residents

Want to know more about your Data? Send us an email using this form and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.

Mobile Check-In

Download the One-Sheet

For additional information about our Mobile Check-In solution, download the PDF one-sheet after filling out this short form.