Japan’s First Robot Staffed Hotel has Opened its Doors

If you had your hopes of sweet talking an upgraded room out of the hotel receptionist think again. With Japan rolling out its first hotel staffed with robots that might be a thing of the past but it hasn’t stopped guests from checking in to check it out. Henn-na Hotel in Japan, translates into “Strange Hotel” and it opened just this week. Situated in a theme park in Nagasaki Prefecture called Huis Ten Bosch, the five-star hotel has been welcoming bemused visitors from around the globe.

Robot receptionist

Courtesy of Huis Ten Bosch

Japanese speaking guests are greeted by humanoid robots but for unknown reasons English speakers are checked in by a robotic dinosaur. Either type are reported to have the ability to engage with customers in intelligent conversation. In addition there are other functional droids available to haul luggage up to any of the hotel’s 72 rooms. Robots also staff the luggage lockers and do the cleaning. The good news is tips aren’t expected.
Right now the hotel is in its first phase and a second is expected to be complete in 2016 with the addition of 72 more rooms.

Futuristic front desk

Courtesy of Huis Ten Bosch

The staffing keeps the hotel’s prices low and other futuristic features help too. Guest room amenities are minimal although guests can use a tablet to request more and the doors are accessed using facial-recognition. Rather than air-conditioning the rooms are climate controlled via radiation panels that adjust the temperature in response to the body heat they detect. Energy saving features such as solar power cut the hotel’s costs for operating.


Courtesy of Huis Ten Bosch

The hotel sells its rooms based on demand through a bidding system especially during the peak season. There’s a price cap but rooms go to the highest bidders with fees ranging from JPY 7,000 ($60) to rent a single up to JPY 18,000 ($153) for a triple sized room, with superior or deluxe rooms costing more.
On your way to Japan and curious? You can book a room right now at their website.

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