Bangkok Hotels Are Loaning Out Smartphones at Check In
Dealing with jacked-up data and cellular roaming charges are among the biggest nuisances of traveling abroad, but if you’re headed to Bangkok anytime soon, you might not need to worry about it after all. Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel and Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort have introduced complimentary Handy smartphones outfitted with unlimited local calls, unlimited 3G data, and unlimited international calls to select countries.
These Handy phones are available for all guests to use both inside and outside of the hotel. A press release notes that they come loaded with apps to help visitors navigate Bangkok, including maps, translation services, and currency conversion. The phones have a direct connection to the concierge for anything you might need, as well as a city guide if you want to go it on your own. There’s also a “taxi card” showing the hotel address and map location.
But, of course, the crucial features of the Handy phone program are its cell and data services. Beyond local calls, guests can use the phones to make international calls to 10 destinations, including the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and China. It comes pre-loaded with Facebook and other social media websites, and you can download any other apps you want using the unlimited data. (Each phone is wiped of personal information upon check-out, due to privacy concerns.) Even better for business travelers: these phones can act as WiFi tethers for laptops and tablets.
Handy first launched in Hong Kong in late 2012, according to TechCrunch, and expanded to Singapore soon after, mostly making its phones available at visitor kiosks in major tourist destinations. The technology was an obvious candidate to spread into the hotel sphere — including the Hyatt Regency in Hong Kong — and Anantara says in its release that these phones are the first of their kind in Bangkok.