Smart Hotels Get Smarter


Check-in lines at airports are headed for extinction, most of us check-in online or use airport kiosks. Hotels, however, have resisted this type of pull towards automated efficiency.

Hotel guests still line up in various states of anticipation and exhaustion at the reception desk to be assigned a room. Loves Data’s trainers included, they now present some training courses online but their in-person training is still popular and there’s travel involved.

Being digital by nature and travellers by necessity Loves Data’s trainers are pretty happy digital to know hotel check-ins/check-outs could be online soon.

Hospitality giants Starwood Hotels and Hilton Hotels are both rolling out online check-in processes. Hilton will even allow room selection via floor plans for its rewards program guests. Guests can check-in and be assigned a room via their mobile device which will also serve as their room key. Other services such as room service and requests for housekeeping are also slated to move online.

But how far do you think hotel automation should go? Consider this. The Henn-na Hotel opening in July in Japan is planning to feature robotic staff in uncannily life-like fashion. The 72 room hotel will be staffed by 10 robots and only two biologically qualified staff members on duty.

The Henn-na Hotel robots will greet and respond to guest enquiries (in several foreign languages), carry bags, and even clean rooms. All this would be fantastic if the whole concept didn’t remind us of a sci-fi version of The Shining. Sweet dreams?