- Kayak partnered with Life House to unveil the travel search engine’s first hotel in Miami Beach, Florida.
- The hotel, opening April, will feature tech-forward amenities and integrated use of the Kayak app.
- This timing could be fortuitous for Kayak: travel in the US is projected to rebound this summer.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Kayak has unveiled its own hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, marking the travel search engine’s first foray into the brick-and-mortar hospitality business.
The new 52-room Kayak Miami Beach will open in April as a “design lab” meant to trial “software innovations in the accommodation space,” Kayak said in a press release. To help create this tech-forward hotel, Kayak partnered with “Silicon Valley-backed” Life House, which already has its own boutique hotels in four locations, including Miami Beach.
If you’re wondering why the tech world has found interest in a hotel company like Life House, just look at its “social network” platform, which allows guests to virtually interact with each other by planning in-person meetups and outings, according to the company.
Like Life House, this upcoming hotel will integrate the Kayak app into the hotel experience, creating what the company calls an “ultra-personalized stay” with customizable levels of in-person interactions. This means receiving notifications about housekeeping and various events and using the app to virtually access hotel staffers.
The new hotel’s new tech
Gone are the days of in-person hotel check-ins. Instead, guests can either check-in using the Kayak app or a kiosk in the lobby, the latter aimed at turning the long process into a one-minute affair.
Looking for things to do nearby? Scan the QR codes for suggestions, which will also give guests direct access to the house managers and a “digital guestbook.”
The Kayak app will obviously play a leading role in the upcoming hotel, but according to Steve Hafner, CEO of Kayak, this is only the start of the app’s integration into the hospitality space.
“Over time, we want the Kayak app to help our users plan and manage every aspect of their stays,” Hafner said in the press release. “The big hotel chains have been working on this tech for years and we look forward to leveling the playing field for independent hotels.”
Enough about the tech. Let’s take a look at the hotel itself
The hotel will be located near a beach inside of a 1934 art deco building. To achieve a cozy but contemporary feel, Kayak Miami Beach’s interior will be colored by earthy greys and blues with a splash of “warm burnt orange,” the latter a nod to Kayak’s logo. The hotel will also have aviation-inspired design elements, paying homage to the company’s flight search features.
And what would a Miami Beach hotel be without a fully developed rooftop? Kayak’s will be lined with suites, a pool, and a bar and restaurant.
Even the guest rooms have received a millennial-friendly refresh: visitors will be able to stream movies, shows, music, and yoga classes from a local studio on the rooms’ TVs.
The hotel is now accepting reservations for April 11 and beyond. Standard prices will sit at around $230 for the most basic 220-square-foot room, which will come with a king bed and desk.
In general, the springtime hotel opening could be fortuitous for Kayak. Figures like Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO, are predicting an upcoming travel boom as a result of pent-up demand, more robust vaccine rollouts, and borders reopening to travelers.
And recently, both Miami and Miami Beach have seen an influx of travelers, raising occupancy rates at Miami hotels to all-time highs since COVID-19 first took its hold on the travel industry. Jan Freitag — the national director for hospitality market analytics at STR, a hospitality data and analytics group — is now predicting that Miami, and all of South Florida, will do “quite well” from now into the potential summer travel boom, Freitag told Insider.