When a Hotel Feels Too Much Like Home: Starwood and the Technology Puzzle
The rise of Airbnb over the last several years has threatened the traditional business model of hotels, challenging them to expand their value proposition from one of luxury, consistency, and reliability to one that emphasizes transparency, customizability, convenience, emotional connection, and authentic, local experiences. Leading up to its recent acquisition by Marriot, Starwood Hotels began to leverage technological innovation to deliver upon these expectations and remain competitive with Airbnb. However, as Starwood rampantly implements technological processes across regions, is it also hindering the creation of locally-influenced guest experiences? Does technology deliver a level of standardized convenience that makes even the most remote hotels feel too much like home?