Looking for best practice: Modern Lobbies with the help of technology

  • 1 September 2023
  • 4 replies

Userlevel 3

Hi everybody,

I am currently writing on an article for a hospitality newspaper that covers the topic of “Technology at the Front Office & Lobby of the Future”.
I am looking for hotels that I can mention as best practice examples that realized one of the following:

  • no lobby at all - all processes automated

  • Kiosks only - maybe a person as helper available somewhere

  • floating check in: standard lobby (with a front desk counter) eliminated and replaced by some other form of “floating” check in, e.g. staff welcomes guests on a large family table or a standing desk somewhere

  • any other forms of innovative reception that combines the human touch with technology

Besides that I would love to hear your opinion about the future of the lobby. Let’s go crazy 😉
One idea I have is that at some point a lot of guests will wear augmented reality glasses/ contact lenses. Somehow they connect to the hotel when you arrive. The hotel understands if you are a first time visitors and “shows” you around with the help of your AR device. Regular guests will receive a different message. Happy to hear your thoughts. No worries, I will mention your name I mention your idea.

Have a great weekend


4 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +2

Great question @tobiaskoehler  Any views on this topic that this community can share? Would be interesting to hear from you on what you think is the future of the lobby.
Care to share @Linus.Bihn  @mauritsbots  @MatthiasH @Mariusz Siwkowski ?

Userlevel 5
Badge +2

hi @tobiaskoehler I dont believe myself that the near-modern guest will use AR as much as described. We are currently very much struggling as is with both senior citizens who lack a smartphone and the toddler that operates the iPad better then their parents :) 

however, having said that, i do believe that our generations to come will either start using wearables in stead of a device (glass, lense) and use ring or bracelet in stead of cards, or perhaps even an implant…  

For us, as a service oriented hotel chain, our must is a warm welcome by a member of staff, and because our clientele is from all ages and all origins, we decided to use the MEWS kiosk functionality as a digital registration card only. It is a choice to have guests come to reception so we can speak to them, and provide that extra sense of service and security to them.  

Nonetheless, integrations will be more and more important. eg in communications - if a guest wants to contact us via whats app (we use a fully automated ai bot called Runnr.ai), we need to offer that, and if they ask for extra towels, that should automatically be pushed to the housekeeping department, in the integrated app (Flexkeeping) that we use there. In short term, I believe that the functionality of a receptionist will be completely changed in the upcoming years, where it will be the host or hostess for our guests, but no longer a switchboard operator keeping track of requests and other aspects of a reservation other then the actual stay.  

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

Hi @tobiaskoehler! I am a firm believer that for hospitality to be remarkable, it should always be slightly tailor-made with a human touch, a personal aspect. That aspect can exist in many, many forms though. A modern day receptionist should have the freedom and possibilities to give service to a guest in a form which suits our guests best. It could be anything between an old-fashioned check in from a desk with storytelling and upselling to a fully contactless stay while the receptionist acts more as a lobby host or may not even be present.


AR and AI will never provide that spontaneous umbrella to a guest while it's raining, a hospitable employee would… Ideally, a receptionist should have the time to really connect with guests. Small talk from the heart, listening to guests, surprising them. If we keep working from a static front desk, the procedures lead our service instead of the other way around. Modern tech should give us the possibilities to do so. 

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

Hi @tobiaskoehler , i think in Germany we are still in a very old fashioned hospitality tech stage compared to other countries. I do belive that this have to be changed as processes must be efficient and automated during lack of staff and a word that is going faster & faster. However it will depend on the service a hotel is offering which might be totally differrent ro 1-5 star hotels. We do build our future lobbies in a welcoming open space and include a self service check in area. I do think lots of business travelers are used to this process in airlines/airport and appreciate that service. However it is still necessary to have sbd around to assist and help our guests. 


AR/AI will surely fasten up that tech process