Henn na Hotel: World’s First Super Cheap Hotel is Now Open
A very unique hotel in the popular Nagasaki tourist spot, Huis Ten Bosch, is now opened. And it’s called the “Henn na Hotel” or “Weird Hotel”. That’s the kind of name you’ll never forget once you hear it.
It’s notable for the staff being almost all robots. So they’re able to drastically cut costs and provide a super cheap hotel. Now, let’s take a look at this hotel’s world-first use of cutting-edge technology and high amusement factor.
World First 1
Robot staff man the front desk
There’s a robot standing at the front desk. And when you stand in front of it, it activates a sensor for it to move and talk. Of course, it’s multilingual so even visitors from overseas can stop by. Follow the robot’s instructions to finish checking in at the machine stationed nearby. The check-in process is the same as any regular hotel so there’ll be no confusion. But, it’s sure to be a fun first experience.
World First 2
A porter robot carries your bags
Once you finish at the front desk, another robot will arrive. Enter in your room number and it’ll take your bags to your room for you. At the same time, it also acts as a guide to your room. You can get all the way to your room just by following the robot.
World First 3
The cloakroom robot watches over your bags
World First 4
Keyless stay with a facial recognition system
If you register your face when you’re checking in, then you can come and go from your room using facial recognition. This is a system that makes great use of the latest technology in Japan. And it means you don’t need to carry your room key around during your stay. I’m sure many hotels will adopt this in the near future. It’s almost like a scene from a movie.
World First 5
Robots help with your room’s electronics
In this room there’s not a single remote or phone. All that’s here is 1 robot and 1 tablet. The pink robot is Churi-chan, a mascot for Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch. Churi-chan will give your wake-up call and tell you the room temperature. She’s voice-recognition activated so she’ll do it just by talking to her. Also, if you need to contact the front desk then you can call via Skype from the tablet. As you’d might guess, it’s a human who answers.
And this room doesn’t use air-conditioning. Instead, it creates a pleasant environment by smartly using the crevices of the building for ventilation. I thought this had perhaps been borrowed from knowledge of the old Japanese-style houses. Old houses in Japan were built for good ventilation.
Related: Shirakawago, the World Heritage Site: Let’s Visit Residences of Japan’s Historic Village!
All these ideas allow for them to cut costs on labor and utilities, resulting in stays at the Henn na Hotel going for 7,000-9,000 yen/night. Nearby resort hotels in Huis Ten Bosch run for 40,000 yen/night so it’s clearly a LOT cheaper. Also, what’s interesting is that they use an auction system for making a reservation so the highest bidders get the room. This may become a useful system for making last-minute reservations.
So, will the Henn na Hotel cause a global boom like the Shinjuku Robot Restaurant? I can’t wait to find out.
A robot talking and moving 3:40 ~