Welcome to hotel Strange: The world’s first-ever robot-run hotel opens in Japan

July 20, 2015

Japan, ever a nation to set a precedent with pioneering  advances in tech, has taken hospitality to a new albeit  non-human level. The wonder-filled nation is now hosting the first ever robot-run hotel.

Situated in the Nagasaki Prefecture as part of the Huis Ten Bosck theme park in Japan, the Henn-na Hotel, which translates as “Strange Hotel”, is a sneak-peak of what the world of services would be like if the planet was overrun by AI. Henn-na, which is ninety percent run by robots, has already begun admitting guests.

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And while the premises is devoid of the human touch, top-notch service is still achieved. Speak Japanese? A Humanoid robot is summoned for your assistance at the reception desk. Or if you speak English, you’re greeted by a robotic dinosaur – which will serve you just as well. In either case, you’ll be able to exchange animate dialogue as the robots engage you in conversation. And if you’re a robot  – we’re concerned about how you’re able to read this article all together.

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After you’ve been checked in, more functional droids surface to assist in lugging your belongings to your designated room. 

Room’s are accessed via facial recognition technology. Other perks include a radiation panel that detects body temperatures, and adjusts the room’s climate accordingly. The hotel as a whole thrives on energy-saving features.

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With human resources cut out of the equation and energy-saving features, the hotel will enjoy economies of scale and therefore cheaper rates as compared to old-fashioned, human-run hotels. The end product is a tourist attraction that is as futuristic as it is low-cost, and can open its doors to just about anyone that chances to be in Japan. 


While it’s the first of its kind in the nation, the plan is to build 1000 more all over the planet. But in the here and now, all it takes is a return flight to Japan and a booking at the Henn-na Hotel will admit you into the future. Room rates begin at JPY7,000 – approximately $60 for a single room, to JPY18,000 – approximately $153. A second phase to the hotel is due to be completed in 2016, by which point rooms are expected to be doubled.

We hope you enjoy your stay at Hotel Strange, where your human needs will be embraced by cold-boned, but just as warm technology. And for what it’s worth, Robots don’t accept tips. 

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by Ghassan Khayyat
Ghassan was tuned into the writing world on a transistor radio-wave of an unbeknownst frequency, once upon a daydream dreary. With a firm belief in Dr. Seussims and all things gadget and gizmo-tronic, he tinkers before he speaks, and chooses his words technologically. He is Editor for T3 Middle East’s Levant English publication and English website, and Associated Editor for the GCC English publication. Reach him at ghassan@t3me.com.