The Way of the Future: Automatic Hotel Check-In

Posted on Feb 17th 2011

YOTEL, a revolutionary hotel group that focuses in designing luxurious small-room airport hotels. Customers can choose between Premium (double), Twin (two large singles - bunk style) and Standard (large single). The cabins are with en-suite bathrooms, flat screen television that can be used to browse the web, watch Pay-per-View TV and order services, free WiFi and 24 hour in cabin service. 

The cleverly-designed cabins at YOTEL with a "techno wall" 

Recently, the hotelier had re-examined their check-in process and decided to automate it. YOTEL’s marketing director Jo Berrington said that the automation would speed-up the check-in process especially for people staying on short stays.  The automation has also benefited their customers with the ability to book in advance on their website. By entering the booking reference number the kiosk will issue their room key and WIFI code.  With this level of automation customers can easily check-out by simply walking out of the hotel as the payment processing is handled automatically behind the scenes. This way YOTEL can adjust conditions to accommodate guests' individual preferences. Also, the room automation system would ensure the desired degree of comfort in each room and saves energy at the same time.  

Many hoteliers tend to think that the only time to demonstrate their hotel value to their guests is through actual face-to-face interaction. Conversely, the YOTEL management deemed that automation is a way that would make their staff more available for customers rather than a way to cut their staff.  Automated check-in, they say, is an easy process as staff can focus on arranging other add-in services such as bus transfers, how to get to the terminal, booking alarms and food and beverage orders, without getting in the way of customers who simply check-in to go straight to sleep. The system is configued to PDA, SMS and Pager systems that offers quick and effective hotel staff communications. 

Berrington further points out that since people are getting more use to the automation process with trains, airlines, and so on people are accustomed to it.  UK-based company - Shere Ltd., had created this innovative hotel automation and their portfolio includes designing, building, installing and maintaining of self service kiosk application for rail, food and beverage, cycle terminals in UK. The technology provides a more robust and simplified interface solution and makes the check-in process quicker and more interactive.

 Premier Inn is also piloting automatic check-in for their customers. 

Premier Inn and Travelodge are also running pilot schemes with the first 20 Premier Inns that are already operating the technology. For instance, the  highly-regarded Premier Inn County Hall hotel by the London Eye embrace this new technology.  Hotels can benefit from partial automation up to a fully automated service. So If these two accommodation giants decide to roll out automated check-in to all their numerous rooms, this could have a major influencing effect on the industry.  


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