Strange Hotels Japan

A rather lifelike looking receptionist robot, left, greets the guests at the Henn-na Hotel. Pic: AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi.Not exactly the warmest looking of hotel receptions, but it is novel.

A HOTEL being controlled by robots may sound like an uprising from a terrifying sci-fi movie, but relax, it’s just the latest accommodation offering in Nagasaki. Yes, it seems the future has arrived, and not surprisingly, it’s in Japan.

Henn-na Hotel, which translates to strange hotel, is staffed by approximately 80 robots, with just 10 people ‘behind the scenes’ to supervise security and cleaning.

On arrival, guests are greeted by an incredibly realistic female robot that not only looks human, but also simulates the facial expressions and movements of one to make guests feel at ease.

A rather lifelike looking receptionist robot, left, greets the guests at the Henn-na Hotel. Pic: AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi.Source:AP

It looks scary, but this robot is totally friendly. Pic: AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File.Oh I’m sorry, you want a receptionist who speaks English? You’ll have to move down to the end where an arguably less attractive receptionist will take care of you.Need your bags taken to your room? There’s a robot for that. Sure, he looks like he just stomped off the set of Jurassic Park, and it watches you a little creepily as you fill in your forms, but it has a bow tie pill box hat on, so it’s all aboveboard.

From here a robotic porter will take your bags and show you to your room, where you won’t need a key because it will use a facial recognition system to open your door instead. Inside, you can relax and enjoy the simple comforts of your room, where the air-conditioning responds to your body temperature and room facilities can be controlled using a tablet.

If you need anything, you can ask your robotic room concierge — a small lamp-sized character whose name is Tuly, possibly due to looking like a tulip-shaped doll.Choose your own robot adventure. Look closely. The woman with the hat in the middle isn’t human either. Tuly can tell you about the weather, control the lighting, and set the alarm for you. If you want to store your bags, there’s a large robotic arm that will take care of that for you, or if you’re feeling peckish, you can grab yourself a snack at the ‘smart’ cafe. If that’s too much effort though, there are plans underway for drones to just fly the snacks to your room.

From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, this hotel isn’t very human. Pic: AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi.Source:AP

This isn’t about an amusement park gimmick though. The park was opened in 1992 as an “Eco-Friendly Future City” and Henn-na Hotel continues that tradition in its design to maximise efficiency by reducing electricity and waste while making a stay in one of its rooms an enjoyable experience for tourists.

Currently there are 72 rooms opened, with another 72 to be ready in 2016, and while you may expect this high tech heaven to be an expensive way to have some futuristic fun in Japan, prices start at a very reasonable 7, 000 yen, or $80 per night, making it accessible even to budget travellers.

Need your bags taken to your room? There’s a robot for that.Source:Supplied

Choose your own robot adventure. Look closely. The woman with the hat in the middle isn’t human either.Source:Supplied

Get used to electronic devices. Nagasaki’s Henn-na Hotel featuring Robots at your service. tablet.jpg From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, this hotel isn’t very human. Pic: AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi. Nagasaki’s Henn-na Hotel featuring Robots at your service.
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