Should You Ditch the Front Desk?

What if you could side-step the front desk and go directly to your room or sit down with a drink and some food while someone checked you in on a tablet? An article by Joe Brancatelli, a columnist for The Business Journals, describes various forms of check-in that are eliminating the need for the traditional front desk.

The style of communicating with guests from behind a barrier is certainly losing momentum. Many luxury and high-end hotels want to make a much more personalized connection with guests, especially younger generations who often seek out unique experiences.

A few of examples of the trend mentioned by Brancatelli:

  • Courtyard by Marriott who turned to “welcome pedestals”.
  • Hyatt’s Andaz where hosts greet guests with a beverage offer and tablet.
  • citizenM which uses kiosk check ins and has a café in place of a lobby.

We think this statement by Michael Schneider, director sales and marketing for The Alex hotel in New York, gives hoteliers some food for thought, “Nine out of ten people contact the front desk if they have a problem or need a service, so why would you get rid of it?”

Few hotels have completely adopted ditching the front desk. Still, we have reimagined so many other parts of the guest experience, why not the front desk?

Have you adopted a new check in process or added any unique amenities to your lobby?

Read more about hotel check-ins: