The hotel room key is an underutilised tool, or so believes AVANI Hotels & Resorts, which has used the standard key card as the basis of its world-first ‘Keys to the City’ program, which harnesses Facebook Messenger technology to connect guests with locals’ insider tips. The new guest experience made its debut with the launch of AVANI Broadbeach Gold Coast Residences in December 2017, the first property from the innovative hotel group in Australia.
Signature Media founder and CEO, Cathy Wagstaff, tested out Keys to the City during her recent visit to the chic Broadbeach bolthole, impressed with just how easy the system is to use. Each key bears a unique Facebook Messenger code that guests scan to launch the chat app and ask a local their recommendations for eating, drinking, shopping and playing on the Gold Coast.
In its early stages, guests spoke directly with one of five AVANIMe guides, including Broadbeach-loving personality and Miss Universe Australia 2008, Laura Dundovic. Their responses and interactions have now become the basis of a purpose-built chat bot, ready to offer guests insider tips, from where to have breakfast with a water view (the brekky buffet at Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club which would never be found otherwise) to where to indulge in Japanese street food with a cheeky twist (Harajuku Gyoza, complete with six house-brewed Yoyogi craft beers on tap).
Your AVANI room key lets you live like a local without having to do hours of research or falling into tourist pitfalls.
Brett Hohn, GM, AVANI Broadbeach Gold Coast Residences, says, “Most hotel keys only
open one door. At AVANI Hotels & Resorts, we believe guests should be out and about, exploring the best of the city.
“With so many people using their mobile phones to search for travel inspiration, often spending hours sifting through countless reviews to find the best locations, Keys to the City is a fun way to use our hotel keys to connect our guests not just with the city, but with the people who love it—our AVANIMe guides.”
About the hotel
AVANI Broadbeach Residences arrives on the Gold Coast just in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April. The 219 spacious one- and two-bedroom self-contained suites embody coastal cool with views of either the ocean or the city and hinterland. Spread over the open-plan layouts are residential-style kitchens with oven, fridge, dishwasher and a sandwich press, a washing machine and laundry area, and a private balcony to enjoy a coffee with a view. Wi-Fi is complimentary and the smart TV features on-demand Foxtel stations.
The pool and sun deck offers plenty of water toys for young guests and separate barbecue areas to bask in the Gold Coast’s celebrated outdoor living. A casual restaurant and café will open in April 2018.
While there is no spa on site, AVANIMe guides recommend a visit to nearby Endota Spa for a relaxation massage with oil, followed by small bites and Southeast Asia-inspired cocktails at Mamasan Kitchen + Bar.
Everything you could want within trendy and upmarket Broadbeach is just a short walk from the hotel, including atmospheric, fairy light-adorned Ocean Boulevard, the quirky Hideaway Kitchen & Bar with its live music and extensive street eats menu, and Brunch & Co (just ask an AVANIMe guide for a breakfast recommendation with great coffee for details). Restaurants range from modern Australian at the likes of Beachside Pavilion, Room81 and Garden Kitchen & Bar to delicious Japanese, Indian and Italian (Mario’s has been a favourite since 1989), to the utterly unique adults-only Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant. Shopping at Pacific Fair is just across the road, too, or use Keys to the City to discover the latest high-fashion boutiques.
Keys to the City is the most effortless locals’ connection guest experience LATTE has used so far. With its use of ubiquitous technology – mobiles, Facebook Messenger and hotel room keys – we expect AVANI’s new program isn’t going to be the only one of its kind for long.