A Chinese hotel chain operates with an entirely automated experience, for a completely contactless stay
Spotted: With “contactless” the new watchword in all types of business services thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the time has arrived for the contactless hotel — and a variety of chains are taking notice. The first smart hotel opened in Japan in 2015; in 2018, Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding opened FlyZoo Hotel in Hangzhou, which employs facial recognition technology. Now, the Beijing-based Leyeju Smart Hotel is developing a chain of smart, contactless hotels.
Customers make reservations online through the website or app. They check in with facial recognition and are guided to their room by robots. Once inside, lights, temperature control and water are controlled automatically. The automation allows each hotel to operate with just one or two employees, in case of emergencies.
Even the housekeepers are managed remotely – they work part-time and use an app to arrange their schedule. Because there is no concierge, Leyeju Smart Hotels also do not need a large lobby, lowering construction costs and creating additional space for rooms. Altogether, operating automatically lowers Leyeju’s operating costs by around 40 per cent over conventional hotels.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, smart hotels like Leyeju have begun to look even more appealing to guests because they allow a completely contactless service. Leyeju is hoping to build on this and to broaden their appeal among younger, middle-income customers. According to the company, “the brand vision of ‘releasing technology value and creating smart life’ is loved by young business travellers.”
While chains like Leyeju move to a contactless model, other hotels are innovating with architecture and customer service. At Springwise, we have been keeping up with changes in the hospitality industry, including a 100 per cent vegan hotel and a hotel that can be moved to where the guests are.
Written By: Lisa Magloff