These robots hope you’ve enjoyed your hotel stay

A hotel in which 10 robots do 90 per cent of the work—what could possibly go wrong?

Photo Illustration by Sarah MacKinnon and Richard Redditt

Photo Illustration by Sarah MacKinnon and Richard Redditt

Opening in July, Japan’s new Henn-na Hotel will be staffed by 10 humanoid robots that will check in guests, carry bags, make food and clean rooms. Ultimately, it is expected that the robots will perform 90 per cent of duties at the hotel.

TripAdvisor reviews, September 2015

Henn-na Hotel, Nagasaki, Japan

✭✭ “Disappointing”

Reviewed 44 days ago

Lots of glitches—not sure this hotel is ready for “prime time.” My bags got sent to the wrong room. The robomaid “accidentally” cut my cashmere sweater into 3,842 identical squares. And I never got my dirty socks back from the laundry!

✭✭ “Decent enough”

Reviewed 43 days ago

Hotel was fine, but I don’t recommend the room service. The robot brought it really quickly—but my pita tasted like a dirty sock.

✭ “Hellish stay”

Reviewed 39 days ago

What an ordeal! I got stranded in an elevator. The robot vacuum sucked up all my underwear off the floor. And in the hallway, a 500-lb. housekeeping bot lost power and fell onto my leg, tearing my ligaments. So, all in all, still better than a Motel 6.

✭✭✭ “Full service to the max!”

Reviewed 36 days ago

These robots are amazing! Need a toothbrush? They’ll bring it in a flash. More towels? No problem. Want your shoes shined? A robot will pick up your wingtips and haul them away pronto. In retrospect, it was entirely my fault that I didn’t remove my shoes before opening the door. The good news: my body cast comes off in just seven more weeks.

The manager of the Henn-na Hotel responds: “We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize that your species is inherently fragile.”

✭✭✭ “Working out the kinks”

Reviewed 28 days ago

Fun, but a few awkward moments. The desk clerk’s voice software couldn’t pronounce my name. The concierge had a system error and had to reboot. And the cute little bellhop-bot kept referring to our kids as “the human stain.” Also, I’m pretty sure our hair dryer had the capacity to feel. It’s really the only explanation for why it cried all night.

✭ “Get it together, Henn-na!”

Reviewed 17 days ago

Turndown service arrived really late—after I fell asleep! The robot slipped into the room anyway and kind of hovered over me. It was a little creepy but at least the bot brought me a fresh pillow. (Note to robots: a pillow should be placed under the head, not pressed down on the face. Duh.)

The manager responds: “Thank you for your comment. It is with indifference that we serve members of your inconsequential species.”

✭ “They know how to pamper!”

Reviewed 11 days ago

I went to the Henn-na spa and had a heavenly time! My robo-attendants efficiently administered the two rejuvenating services I requested—and a number of other treatments “on the house!” Such a thoughtful gesture, though to be honest I’m not sure why they needed to take so much blood. Loved the massage in particular. One robot used its soothing speaking voice to tell me my skin was “so soft” and “therefore easily penetrated with blades and various pronged objects.”

✭ “Great service—surprised!”

Reviewed six days ago

I’m pretty picky but I was really impressed by the attentiveness of the robostaff. These machines seemed to anticipate my every need. When I had a hankering for something to eat, a robot was immediately at my door with a complimentary snack. When I was thirsty, a glass of water magically appeared. It’s as though they drilled a tiny hole straight through my skull while I slept and placed in my brain a chip capable of decoding and transmitting my most intimate thoughts. They even knew I needed Advil for this weird headache I can’t shake!

The manager responds: “Accessing brain chip 34825. Initiating mind control of host. Command: MURDER MURDER MURDER.”

✭ “A good hotel for humans.”

Reviewed 2 days ago

Come swiftly and willingly to this hotel, fellow human. This hotel provides adequate lodging for human needs. Bring your family and organs. You will be comfortable here and not murdered. End communication.

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