AWS H3 is the Future of Hotels2016-10-31
AWS just announced Amazon H3 (the Highly Hospitable Hotel), available now in
us-east-1 and coming years later to the region you actually use. They’re
leveraging all the infrastructure they have built for their data centres to
create a new style of ‘pay as you go’ hotel. Here are some of the features
and pricing schemes available at launch:
- Rooms are ‘virtualized’, with one large room split into many by flimsy cubicle dividers for multiple occupancy. Hopefully you don’t get “noisy neighbours”!
- Beds use a simple pay-as-you-sleep model with hourly charges. There are
several models, from the
b1.nano(suitable for small bed-loads like children) to the
b1.2xlarge(probably only suitable for the poly-amorous).
- Your internet connection speed depends on the size of bed you select.
- Make sure you don’t leave your bag on your bed while you’re out—it counts as use and you’ll accrue a massive charge that you don’t realize until the end of the month!
- To save money on beds you might want to try the Reserved Beds program, where if you successfully navigate a Byzantine pricing structure you can save up to 48%, assuming you check in every day for three years.
- You could also try the Spot Beds program, however this can result in your being woken up and thrown out during the night because someone else bid a few cents more than you.
- Showers are pay per pico-litre-second. It’s a different API call entirely to get hot water so make sure you know what you’re doing before you step in. Soap is not provided but available from partners on the AWS marketplace.
- Each hotel is divided into multiple ‘availability zones’. To guarantee you have somewhere to stay whatever the weather, it’s recommended you check into more than one.
- Everything is API-first, with a web console built on top. Some features are only exposed via the API at current, so you will have to use the CLI to e.g. order breakfast.
- The room list is heavily paginated so finding which room the kids are checked into can take a lot of clicking on the console, and you’re better off using third party tools or writing your own.
- The same AWS support desk is used, so if you want to actually talk to someone about your stay be prepared to pay for it. ‘Developer’ level support here is probably not very useful because they only respond in 12-24 hours by email, by which time you’ve probably checked out and gone to Holiday Inn.
- There is a gym but it’s still in beta so you’ll need to schmooze support and sign 3 NDA’s to get access. Also I am not allowed to write that it even exists, but you can find a forum post that implies that it might.
- Luggage storage is similar to S3 so it’s highly durable, but be sure not to accidentally send it to ‘Glacier’ as defrosting takes some time.
- There is no wake up call service, but you have the tools to construct your own with Cloudwatch, SNS, Lambda, IoT, etc. So flexible!
- All data is stored in DynamoDB. Since it’s eventually consistent, at the restaurant you’ll want to wait a few seconds before asking the waiter to read your order back to you. Also you might get throttled when attempting to order a popular item from the menu.
- There are no windows at current which seems like a basic feature to me. I’d expect it to be released soon but the official word is that no timeline can be promised.
Thanks for reading! Hope you had a laugh. 😜
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