Inside the Japanese Robot Hotel        

Robot Run Japanese Hotel Offers New Take on Hospitality

May 24, 2017

With no clear theme or motif, the robot hotel near Negasaki, Japan only consistency is its electronic employees. The hotel staff is made up primarily of different types of service robots. Opened in summer of 2016, the Japanese Henn-na Hotel is mixture of sleekly decorated interior design and novelty.

Guests looking for a friendly face…are greeted by a toothy veliociraptor smile.

Henn-na hotel is a quick detour away from Tokyo’S Disney Resort and offers a bit of “strange” for those looking to deviate from traditional Mickey and Minnie attractions. Although the intent of the hotel is, “about transforming and evolving,” according to Hideo Sawada the founder of the travel agency that launched the robot hotel, there is a bit of eerie excitement to the attraction.

“Welcome to Henn-na!”

The hotel is located on the grounds of the Dutch inspired Huis Ten Bosch Theme Park. The front desk is manned by a velociraptor donning a bellhop cap and fake beard. He is one of 140 robot staff members. The robots range from humans, to dinosaurs, to more traditional faceless creatures (like the carpet cleaning ones). Check-in is completed with one of the three front desk employees (a human female or one of two velociraptors).

You are directed to your room with an automatronic luggage cart and enter via facial recognition. There is also an optional giant robotic arm that will grab your luggage and store it in an onsite drawer for a small fee. Many of the 100 rooms include a cheeky egg-shaped robot, named Chu-ri-chan, that comes with voice activation to control the room amenities. Chu-ri-chan handles wake up calls and the lighting of the room and is paired with a tablet for internet browsing and app use.

Chu-ri-chan is inspected by one of her few human co-workers.

The hotel name itself translates to a combination of “change” and “strange.” A fitting label as Sawada is bringing change to the hospitality industry and how we interact with service employees. By using these robotic employees, Sawada is cutting costs on labor and can drop his reservation prices to less than $100 per night. Although still working out the mechanical and personable touch, the hotel offers an exciting trip for anyone looking for a hotel stay with novelty flair at a reasonable price.

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