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Experiences in Global Travel

Having just returned from a trip to Germany, seeing how this tech-forward country functions in the hospitality space was eye-opening.

Our modern and sleek hotel was manned from 10 AM to 2 PM, after this its lobby was locked, and the staff was gone for the day.

If you had checked in, your room key enabled you to access a side door directly to the elevators. If you had not checked in, you were guided to an ATM-like machine that asked for your name and confirmation number, after which you could pay your balance and obtain your room key via a vending machine-type slot. (see actual photo below)

The process was seamless and efficient, what it was not was hospitable.


As someone who likes to work in a hotel lobby and not my room, this created a dilemma as the lobby was closed after 2 PM. I also assisted vendors who were trying to deliver goods after 2 p.m.

What did work were the cost savings, ease of check-in, and room instructions which explained everything from how to work the lights to how to run the AC and Wifi.

So how do we walk this fine line between cost savings and technology without losing the personal touch?

This particular hotel could have shuttered the check-in desk but kept the lobby open for those who wished to work. A nice outdoor patio would have been an added bonus.

Making sure their vendors arrived during staffed hours would have kept guests like me from feeling like I was responsible for vendor access. Offering coffee or soda vending would have assisted in offering creature comforts without staff.

I love visiting other countries and learning how they approach hospitality. This particular visit was another lesson learned on how to approach this brave new world of tech in the hospitality space.

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