Revellers party at Ibiza's Ushuaia Hotel (Picture: File)
I’m perched by the hotel pool, trying to top up my tan and supping a cocktail that appears to contain ten of my five-a-day.
But this is no ordinary holiday scenario. The pool has underwater speakers, 5,000 clubbers are gathered around a large LED-laden stage and I paid for my drink using my finger.
This is Ibiza, more specifically Ushuaia – a hedonistic hotel like no other that’s staking a claim to be the world’s techiest. It’s also the world’s first cashless hotel, where you can pay for anything from tequilas to nightclub tickets with your fingerprint. That’s down to the PayTouch system, which uses biometric scanners to confirm your identity linked to your credit card.
‘Basic’ rooms here come with a 42in flat-screen TV and a PlayStation 3, and that’s just the tip of the ice cream cone.
Rooms at the Ushuaia Hotel come complete with a 42in flat-screen TV and PlayStation 3 (Picture: File)
The £1,500-a-night Pioneer suite is packed with the latest DJ equipment, an eight-speaker sound system and electric black-out curtains.
Don’t want guests jumping all over your bed? The likes of Paris Hilton hire soundproof VIP party boxes. For around £800, you get a kind of private karaoke room designed by the Mad Hatter, including such soirée essentials as an indoor hot tub.
All of the above come with breathtaking views of the poolside festival stage, headlined daily by world-famous acts such as Usher and 2ManyDJs. The seven-hour shows are free to hotel guests who can watch the gigs from the comfort of their balcony or terrace.
Hidden around the corner from reception is a recording studio, available to both beginners and serious artists from £400 a day (Dizzee Rascal laid down his last single here).
Now Sony Entertainment Network Ibiza is about to install even more tech, allowing you to watch movies from your sun lounger, take charge of a 15million-song interactive jukebox, or play games from the PlayStation Store.
The party hotel also boasts the world’s first cashless system (Picture: File)
Also on hand will be an Entertainment Exchange, where you can borrow Sony devices – that’s if the erotic kits in every room don’t banish the boredom.
Ushuaia’s Remy Arroyo says: ‘The idea was to create a theme park for adults, so we knew we had to be out front in terms of technology – and working with Sony is a match made in techie heaven.
‘The hotel has become the first in many things. Last year, we issued RFID wristbands linked to Facebook so guests could check in and upload photos. The same thing with PayTouch. We’re the first hotel in the world to have it.’
But do you really need these distractions on holiday, especially if you’re trying to get away from it all?
Simon Salter from travel blog thedepartureboard.com says: ‘There is no doubting that technological development continues to revolutionise the travel industry and, undeniably, the Ushuaia Beach Hotel has taken such advances to a new level.
‘Often, hotels in Ibiza are places of recovery and downtime following a big night out. But with poolside stages and state-of-the-art entertainment at your fingertips, Ushuaia is clearly geared for you to have that big night in.
‘The recording studios and DJ equipment are perhaps excessive for the typical reveller and with standard double rooms in the high season attracting a price tag of just under €1,000 (£780) a night, they are certainly aiming at the top end of the market.
‘That said, if the hotel continues to attract guests such as Paris Hilton and Dizzee Rascal, Ushuaia will soon have fingers pointing in its direction and, more importantly, pressed on the biometric fingerprint payment scanners.’
Top 5 tech hotels
Yas Viceroy Hotel, Abu Dhabi
Overlooking a Formula 1 circuit and lit up by 5,000 LED panels, the Yas Viceroy Hotel offers suites with wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, surround sound, games consoles and mood lighting. The hi-tech Rush nightclub includes a DJ booth embedded in a 15ft high wall.
Mama Shelter, Paris
Suites at the Phillipe Starck-designed hotel include wall-mounted iMacs for HDTV, on-demand movies, music and the internet. Digital tables in the restaurant offer an interactive what’s-on guide.
Andaz 5th Avenue, New York
Bellboys with tablet PCs can check you in on the way to your room or over a complimentary cocktail at the bar, There are also 42in LCD TV in the rooms.
The Upper House, Hong Kong
Rooms start on the 38th floor and include baths with touchscreen controls and a TV. Guests are given an iPod Touch loaded with music, movies and games. A fleet of hybrid Lexus cars with mobile broadband are also on hand.
Holiday Inn, Stratford
Olympics guests have been using Samsung Galaxy S III smartphones to check in and out, control the TV and unlock doors using a special app.