We all know the hiccups that can mar a hotel stay: long queues at check-in, lost keycards and unmotivated staff. So what to do when the bellhops aren’t hopping?
Enter the FlyZoo Hotel. Located in Hangzhou, China, the 290-room FlyZoo Hotel was built by Alibaba’s online travel platform, Fliggy, along with other Alibaba Group business units, such as Alibaba A.I. Labs and Alibaba Cloud. Its purpose? To leverage cutting-edge tech to help transform the hospitality industry, one that keeps the sector current with the digital era we’re living in.
WATCH: Go inside Alibaba’s new FlyZoo Future Hotel
“As smart technology is reshaping industries, the FlyZoo Hotel represents Alibaba’s endeavor to marry hospitality with technology, and ultimately inspire and empower the tourism industry to embrace innovation,” said Andy Wang, CEO of Alibaba Future Hotel.
It all starts with the FlyZoo mobile app. From there, travelers can book their stays, choose the floor they want and even the direction their room faces. For foreign passport holders, check-in requires just a few simple steps at a kiosk with help from hotel staff. But Chinese travelers can check in via the app and go straight to their room.
FlyZoo features a range of artificial intelligence-powered services to create a convenient, seamless experience for guests. For example, they can choose to use facial recognition – rather than keys and keycards – to access the hotel. That means everything from using the elevator to entering their room is as easy as smiling for the camera. FlyZoo uses the photos taken at check-in to verify that the users are staying at the hotel.
Each room is equipped with a Tmall Genie smart assistant, which helps guests adjust the temperature, lights, curtains and the TV, plays music and even answers simple questions – such as “What is the WiFi password?” – all with a simple voice command. If they want fresh water for the room, or new pillows, Tmall Genie can handle that as well, and they’ll be delivered by an Alibaba-made robot to boot (pictured above).
When it’s time to check out, there are no lines and no hassle. Guests just pack and go. If they have to leave before the standard check-out time, they can choose to tell the hotel in advance by using the app. Their rooms will automatically be released after check-out.
FlyZoo’s technology serves to make a hotel’s services convenient and easy to use. And with hotel staff freed up from the more routine tasks, they can focus on delivering a better experience for guests.
“Our use of intelligent facilities coupled with digital management and operational systems means that hotel employees can focus on providing guests with a level of service that goes the extra mile,” Wang said.