Are You In Favor of Self-Service Hotels?
Where: Various Hotels
We've been booking hotels online and without personal interaction for years, but the idea of a full-on "self-service" hotel is now officially a reality -- and figures to be the center of the next big debate in the hotel industry.
What do we mean by "self-service?" Well, you can now book, check in, and check out of a hotel without talking to a single human being.
The Sound Garden Hotel in Poland, for example, has streamlined the hotel experience in an attempt to cut costs and lower rates by installing electronic kiosks for self-check in, and the plans for the Marriott/IKEA Moxy Hotel also call to replace the counter with a kiosk. The machine spits out a key, and off you go. The Sound Garden Hotel also lets you decide which floor you want to stay on at check in (does this remind anyone of the airline industry?).
The Sound Garden Hotel has an associate on-site in case of an "emergency," which we're guessing includes power outages. We've seen attempts at optional kiosk service -- such as at Revel in Atlantic City--and at the CitizenM in Glasgow there were check-in computers for guests (albeit with plenty of assistants hovering around) but this looks like a full-on attempt to completely cut out the counter.
What are your thoughts on replacing the front counter? We're guessing this will be a breeze for business travelers, but what about for leisure? We expect it to split the room in half between budget and comfort travelers, but you tell us: Are you willing to sacrifice the service?