I recently visited the Radisson Blu at Zurich Airport, which is a great destination if you have meetings, or need a room for an overnight stay between flights. As you would expect this hotel is a state-of-the-art property directly connected to the terminals, with superbly soundproofed rooms, and great facilities for meetings of all sizes.
One thing that struck me though was how two different things I saw show how the hotel industry is changing in different ways.
In 2004 Radisson Stansted Airport proudly opened its Wine Tower – holding 3,840 wine bottles at the ideal temperature for each bottle. When a wine was ordered the “Wine Angel” would acrobatically fly around the tower to retrieve your purchase. Several other Radisson properties worldwide had the Wine Towers installed, making a show for the diners and turning the restaurant into a “destination” venue.
Many Radisson Hotels had Wine Towers installed, but today the Wine Tower at the Radisson Zurich Airport is empty of wine and waiting to be removed for a complete renovation of the lobby space, with a new Mediterranean themed dining area to take its place.
While on the tour of the property, we were shown the refrigerated mini bar in the rooms, which were empty. If you wanted to have it stocked, you called “Jeeves” (P.G. Wodehouse would be so proud), the robot who wound through the corridors and travelled in the lifts to deliver your refreshments direct to your door. The corridors were also being cleaned by another robot, but I didn’t get their name.
So here we are, living in the science fiction of my youth, no more Angels to amaze us with their acrobatics, but robots will deliver your snacks and drinks.