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Forget robo-butlers – ROBO-MAIDS! New hotel staffed by slave-droids

Do you call room service or roomba service?

A Japanese theme park will open a new hotel in July that is cleaned and operated almost entirely by robots.

Guests will be met by robotic desk staff (so, no good trying to bribe one for a room upgrade) and have their bags carried by mechanoid porters. Even the room cleaning will be carried out by mechanical employees, and instead of keys guests will access their rooms using a facial recognition system.

"We will make the most efficient hotel in the world," the park's president Hideo Sawada told a news conference, Japan Times reports. "In the future, we’d like to have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots."

A single room in the hotel will cost you 7,000 yen ($60), with doubles going for 9,000 yen ($77) for a night's sleep. However, room pricing is set by online auction, so the price varies with demand, although an upper limit of 14,000 yen ($119) has been set for a single room.

The Henn-na Hotel (translation: Strange Hotel) is being set up in the Huis Ten Bosch theme park near Nagasaki, a resort styled to look like a traditional Dutch city and named after one of the residences of the Netherlands royal family.

It's a popular place for Japanese tourists who want to get a taste of the European state without flying 14 hours to get there – although the famous Dutch drug coffee shops aren't included in the theme park.

In July the 72-room hotel will open its doors to the public, with another robot-run establishment of a similar size planned for February next year, once all the bugs have been worked out.

Taking humans out of the equation will save the operators a fortune in wage bills, and guests won't have to worry about how much to tip – although tipping in Japan is usually not done and can be seen as insulting in some situations.

Sawada said that if the pilot project is successful he plans to open another 1,000-robot-run hotels in the coming years, in locations around the world. ®

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