The OnRes Blog

Revamping Guest Experiences: The Downside of Outdated Hotel Technology

By: Steve Behrisch , President & CEO

In the hospitality industry, the importance of staying current with technology cannot be overstated. In an era where digital transformation is rampant, hotels that lag in adopting modern technology risk not only falling behind the competition but also significantly impacting the guest experience. 

This blog explores the critical role of hotel technology and delves into the repercussions of outdated systems on guest satisfaction.

Table of Contents

Importance of Hotel Technology in the Digital World

Gone are the days when we considered hotel tech a luxury. Today, it is more than a mere convenience, a need and a pivotal part of the guest experience. From mobile check-ins to smart room controls, technology enhances efficiency, personalization, and comfort. 

In today’s tech-driven world, guests expect seamless connectivity, and services at their fingertips, just how we as customers expect top-notch experience from service providers.

Hotels leveraging the latest technology tend to see increased customer loyalty, better reviews, and higher returns.

How Does an Outdated Hotel Technology Affect Guest Experience?

The impact of outdated hotel technology on guest experience, besides other hotel operations can be extensive. 

impact of outdated hotel technology on guest experiences

Here are some key ways it can negatively affect guests:

  1. Longer Check-In/Check-Out Times: Outdated systems often mean longer waiting times at check-in and check-out, leading to guest frustration and a poor start or end to their stay. Remember, guests visit your hotel for a pleasant experience and you do not want to do anything which makes it otherwise. 
  1. Inefficient Room Services: Guests expect quick and responsive service. Old technology can lead to delays and errors in room service, impacting guest satisfaction. 
  1. Lack of Personalization: Modern guests seek personalized experiences. They want their preferences and choices to be remembered. Outdated systems lack the data analytics capabilities needed to offer tailored services, making guests feel undervalued.
  1. Poor Internet Connectivity: In a world where being online is crucial, inadequate Wi-Fi services due to outdated technology can be a major turnoff for guests.
  1. Limited Communication Channels: Today’s guests prefer using digital channels like apps or chatbots for requests and queries, which are convenient and available at their fingertips. Outdated systems force guests to use more traditional, often less convenient methods. Modern guests do not want to go out of their way to gain experiences. 
  1. Inadequate Security Measures: Outdated technology may have vulnerabilities, putting guest data at risk and leading to potential security breaches. For example, legacy hotel PMS are less secure as compared to cloud-based hotel systems. 
  1. Unsatisfactory Room Automation: Modern travelers often expect smart room features for convenience and comfort. Outdated systems fail to provide these leading-edge amenities.
  1. Inability to Handle Feedback Efficiently: Modern technology allows for real-time feedback and quick resolution of issues. Outdated systems delay this process, potentially leading to unresolved guest complaints.

Frequently Asked Questions

Outdated hotel technology can create a frustrating guest experience. Long check-in/out times due to manual systems, lack of mobile features (e.g., mobile key, booking) and limited in-room entertainment options can leave guests feeling inconvenienced. It can also hinder personalization, making guests feel like just another number.

Modern hotel technology can significantly enhance the guest experience by offering convenience, personalization, and entertainment options. Here are some key features:

  • Mobile check-in/out
  • Mobile key access
  • In-room tablets for service requests & local info
  • Smart TVs with streaming options
  • High-speed Wi-Fi
  • Self-service kiosks for check-in/out

Absolutely. Outdated systems can be inefficient, leading to higher operational costs. Guests who have a negative experience due to outdated tech are less likely to return or recommend your hotel, hurting revenue. Additionally, you might miss out on attracting tech-savvy travelers who seek modern amenities.

Modern technology can streamline operations, reducing labor costs. Self-service options like mobile check-in free up staff time. Additionally, happy guests who experience the convenience of modern features are more likely to spend more on amenities and return for future stays, boosting your bottom line.

Falling behind on hotel technology can put you at a competitive disadvantage. Guests increasingly expect modern amenities, and without them, you risk negative reviews and lost bookings. Additionally, outdated systems might not integrate with travel platforms, making it harder to reach potential guests.

Look for signs that your hotel’s technology isn’t meeting the needs of modern travelers. Here are some red flags:

  • Slow Wi-Fi
  • Manual key systems
  • No mobile app or website
  • Limited in-room entertainment options
  • Long wait times at check-in/out
  • Difficulty booking online

Hotels can go beyond the expected features (Wi-Fi, mobile check-in) and elevate the guest experience with these innovative solutions:

  • Self-service kiosks: Allow guests to check-in, check-out, and access hotel information independently.
  • Digital signage: Display wayfinding information, menus, promotions, and local attractions on digital screens throughout the hotel.
  • Guest messaging apps: Facilitate two-way communication between guests and staff for requests, recommendations, and service inquiries.
  • Smart thermostats & lighting: Empower guests to control room temperature and lighting for a personalized comfort level.
  • Mobile room service ordering: Allow guests to conveniently order room service directly from their smartphones.
  • Voice-controlled assistants: Guests can use voice commands to control in-room devices like thermostats, lighting, and even TVs.

No! Many modern hotel technology solutions are scalable and affordable for smaller properties. Mobile check-in, guest messaging apps, and cloud-based property management systems can all significantly improve the guest experience without a large upfront investment.

In today’s travel landscape, investing in hotel technology is crucial for staying competitive. Modern amenities are no longer a luxury, but an expectation for travelers. By offering a tech-forward experience, you can attract guests, improve their satisfaction, and ultimately, boost your hotel’s success.


The impact of outdated hotel technology on guest experience is profound and far-reaching. In an industry where guest satisfaction is paramount, staying updated with the latest technological advancements is not just an option but a necessity. 

Hotels must recognize that investing in modern technology is investing in their guests’ satisfaction and, ultimately, their own success. In the competitive world of hospitality, embracing technological innovation is the key to staying relevant and delivering unforgettable experiences.

Steve Behrisch, President & CEO

Steve joined the OnRes Team as an account rep in 2008 and was promoted to VP of Operations a short time later. In 2011, Steve agreed to purchase OnRes and became President and CEO, and has been steering the ship since; achieving significant milestones such as rebuilding the reservation software from the bottom up, forging new partnerships, doubling the revenue, and much more…
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