Life House Little Havana hotel operates through bespoke tech platform
Silicon Valley-backed company Life House has launched the first in a series of technology-driven hotels in Miami, which offers a social-media network that connects guests before their trips.
Life House Little Havana debuts the hotel concept for which hotel and real-estate executive Rami Zeidan, and software entrepreneur Yury Yakubchyk, have raised $70 million (£54 million) in venture-capital and real-estate funding.
Their team has created a bespoke digital platform that handles booking, pricing, check-in and other features, which is implemented for the first time at the Little Havana location.
Situated in the largely Hispanic neighbourhood immediately west of Downtown Miami, the hotel is designed to suit its setting. Dark wooden furniture and herringbone flooring, earthy tones and patterned accents were chosen for the "tropical mansion" by the in-house design team.
A mix of room types are offered, including king, queen and bunk-style suites – all with white bedding, brass fixtures and bright bathrooms.
Guests have access to a rooftop swimming pool, and a bar and restaurant on the terrace – all opening spring 2019 – along with an indoor cafe downstairs decorated with plenty of plants.
Another feature of Life House's platform is an integrated social network for hotel guests. Travellers can opt to be connected with others who will be staying at their chosen location over the same dates, via an app.
This is intended to allow them to join groups based on activity preferences, and meet local members and each other once they arrive.
Chicago hotel The Hollander offers a similar guest-connection service, but via Instagram rather than is own network.
Life House Little Havana will shortly be followed by a location in South Beach, with plans to grow the company's portfolio to over 20 hotels by the end of 2019.
Instead of leasing its properties, the company signs long-term management agreements in the attempt to prepare for changes in the hotel market. Their goal is to "modernise an antiquated industry".
"The problems in the hotel industry are multi-faceted and stem from technology and real estate – not solely price, or solely experience," said Zeidan.
"The ability to bring prices down and improve the guest experience requires a holistic solution to the technology, real estate, operations and branding."
As a popular tourist destination, the Miami area is chock full of hotels – with the majority packed along the beach.
Among these to have recently opened is the Faena hotel, as part of a complex with buildings by Foster + Partners, OMA and more.