The reception counter of big hotels may soon be another fatality of the technological travel age. Like many airlines, two big hotel chains, Hyatt and Radisson SAS now offer machine check-in on arrival or even online before you get to the accommodation.
The systems are still on trial at selected locations and if unpopular, they may not take hold. No-one, tired or jet-lagged or needing the bathroom, wants to stand in a cue. However, I like to see a friendly face on arrival, ask questions and be directed by a person, not a machine.
Upon departure, guests will also be able to pay the bill and obtain a receipt via the "check-in kiosk´. It may be that the tedious processing bits of hotel visits are smartly dealt with by technology, while human interaction comes from a real live person who stands in the lobby, smiles warmly and pats us on the cheek.
I have another use for machines – an innovative stretcher service to carry my poor, jet-lagged sleepy body up to my bed on the 21st floor. Upon arrival at the room, it opens the door, switches off lights and turns down the bedsheets. Now you´re talking.
More information: www.hyatt.com, www.radissonsas.com