Alibaba is perhaps most known in the west as the Chinese e-commerce giant, while in fact, the company encompasses much more. Their online travel platform, Fliggy, has recently opened a new ultra-modern hotel in Hangzhou, China. Its vision is totransform the whole hotel industry and accelerate it into the digital age through utilising new state-of-the-art technology.
We all know about the various aspects of a hotel experience that can be disturbing, from long queues at the check-in, lost key cards to slow room service. Now, imagine staying in a hotel, where you within one minute of arrival have entered your hotel room and had more interactions with robots than with human beings. At the newly-opened FlyZoo Hotel, a 290-room hotel in Hangzhou, China, the guests’ experience begins with the hotel’s very own mobile app. From the app, guests’ can directly book their stay, select their preferred floor as well as to which direction the room should be facing towards. Domestic guests can check-in through the app and proceed directly to the hotel room without interacting with the reception. Foreigners can swiftly check-in at one of the multiple kiosks placed in the lobby. By integrating artificial intelligence into the service, the company aims to provideguests with a practical and seamless experience. For example, guests can, instead of using traditional room keys, open their rooms and elevators through facial recognition.
There are robots everywhere in the hotel. In the hotel rooms, guests’ can adjust the temperature, light, curtains, turn on the television and play music with a simple voice command to their own smart assistant, Genie. The room itself gives a modern, bright and minimalistic impression and the colour scheme is overwhelmingly white. Whenever it is time to order room service, just inform Genie. Before you know it, your order will be delivered to your room by, of course, Alibaba’s very own robot. This robot can also assist you, if requested, by providing you with new towels, pillows, and even pick up your laundry.
Time for dinner? Let us head downstairs to the hotel’s restaurant, which has been designed to keep the interactions between employees and customers at a minimum. Guests can find the menu and order their food independently through FlyZoo’s app, and your meal will shortly afterward be served by the restaurant’s own robot. Think twice if you believe that you can escape robots at the bar. You will find a robot, with a one-meter long arm, that can prepare 20 different cocktails! We will leave it to you to judge whether or not this robot is a better bartender than an actual human being.
Time to check-out from the hotel? Forget about the long queues and complex payment procedures we all occasionally experience in hotels. Guests who already prepaid for their stay can easily leave the hotel without interacting with the reception. “Our use of intelligent facilities coupled with digital management and operational systems means that hotel employees can focus on providing guests with a level of service that goes the extra mile” said Wang, the CEO of Alibaba Future Hotel at Alibaba Group’s news site, Alizila.
The idea is that the integration of FlyZoo’s technology will free up time for workers in the usual daily tasks, so that they instead can concentrate on providing guests with a service beyond the ordinary. For those who are interested to book a stay at the hotel, you can now book it directly by simply doing an inquiry at the top of this page. Now, we are curious to hear your thoughts on this. What is your view on this? Is this the future, or just another technological hype?