The Covid-19 Pandemic has hit the tourism businesses hard particularly hotels and they have been trying to come up with captivating solutions to stay afloat.
There are relative plenty of movie scenes out there warning us about the many ways that robots could take over the planet. But one hotel in South Africa recently became the first establishment on the continent to introduce the use of robot staff, showing how these mechanical friends can actually save the day without replacing their human counterparts.
Hotel Sky, in the heart of Sandton, has many reasons that guests would visit, from the amazing backdrops all around the hotel, to great food and entertainment, or its newly-hired AI employees,Micah, Lexi and Ariel.
Whether you’re dining in one of the hotel’s restaurants, enjoying a sundowner in one of its cocktail bars, chatting to an AI-enabled robot, or listening to the automated grand piano play a song, Hotel Sky says it promises an experience “like no other”.
MD Paul Kelley says the hotel offers a five-star experience, a four-star product at a two-star price. Though a budget-friendly hotel, it doesn’t lack in any necessities or luxuries
Lending a helpful hand to the human staff at the property, these robots are the hotel’s answer to travelers’ increased desire for socially distant interactions. Lexi, Micah, and Ariel can deliver room service, provide travel information, and carry up to 300 kilograms of luggage each from the marble-floored lobby to the rooms.
Guests have the option of interacting with staff members or using the self-service offerings, which are controlled through the Hotel Sky application. The hotel features a self check-in facility, as well as an application to access the room, contact staff, and order food.
“It’s important to note that the robots in no way replace human beings or jobs. People are at the core of our business and the hospitality industry as a whole, so the robots supplement the guest experience,” says Herman Brits, Hotel Sky’s general manager.
“Our guests have had so much fun interacting with the robots, as it’s a very exciting and novel addition to a hotel stay,” Brits adds. “There is a balance between robot and human interaction. The robots will never replace the people at our properties, as our staff matter so much to us.”
With Lexi, Micah, and Ariel each donning their own individualized, colorful outfit, Brits describes them as “fashionistas at heart with a love for trends, hospitality, technology, and South Africa.”
Hotel Sky is set to open another property in Cape Town in a few months , with three new robots expected to join the staff there.