French hotel chain Sofitel launched an iPad newspaper service for guests July 26, in a move that could mean a fresh start for the dwindling tradition of the morning newspaper in hotels.
The luxury chain has launched “The Kiosk,” a customer-only iPad app which offers a selection of interactive daily magazines and newspapers and will be provided to guests on an iPad for the duration of their stay.
Guests can choose from publications such as Le Monde in France, the Independent and Vogue in the UK, Bild or Die Welt in Germany or La Repubblica in Italy.
In total, there are six publications for each country, with media from France, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United States on offer.
Although the app is currently only available for guests staying in the top end suites in Paris, London, Munich and Brussels, the chain says that it intends to expand the service to its entire network worldwide.
The app was designed to deliver both convenience to guests and an environmental benefit, as guests will be able to browse the news using their iPad rather than on paper.
Last year, both Marriott and Hyatt announced that they would scale back their newspaper offerings to guests, citing declining interest from guests and waste reduction.
Although industry gossip site HotelChatter praised the decision, describing hotel newspapers as “nothing more than obstacles we need to step over on our way downstairs to get coffee,” the Marriott move alone cut US newspaper circulations by a reported 50,000 every day, or 18 million papers every year.
With e-readers becoming cheaper, and more accessible in hotels, it seems that Sofitel could have hit upon a way to help the newspapers, the guests and the environment.