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Marjolein gauges:

Will the hotel still have a reception desk in 2025?

”No. Research by GuestCompass shows that the reception desk will disappear. It is also possible to receive hotel guests well. How? You can read that here ”

Column december 2020 

“Less is more!” Minimalism is hot, also in hotels, but you can exaggerate. Some things should never be missing. Like… yes, indeed: personal service! Where are the hotel employees when there is no more counter?

 So maybe you should keep that reception desk anyway. Or can you do without? 

GuestCompass will find out.

Our observations

A warm welcome and a personal welcome are the keys to a good start to a hotel stay. However, that reception at your reception desk must be fast and smooth: check √. Long lines and having to wait means sighing guests: #fail. There go your positive reviews. Then it is better to let your guests check in themselves and help out if necessary.

Advantages and disadvantages of the reception desk

A reception desk offers top personal service. It is therefore a nice extra sales moment. Promoting that spa package or Valentine’s dinner for a while. That’s how you do it when you give the room key. Yet this personal reception also has a disadvantage: it is labor-intensive. When busy, queues quickly arise and no guest wants to wait (long).

Advantages and disadvantages of the reception desk

A reception desk offers top personal service. It is therefore a nice extra sales moment. Promoting that spa package or Valentine’s dinner for a while. That’s how you do it when you give the room key. Yet this personal reception also has a disadvantage: it is labor-intensive. When busy, queues quickly arise and no guest wants to wait (long).

Our vision

Flashback to the first self-check-in counters at Schiphol: first three flight attendants assisted per counter, nowadays there are three flight attendants for ten or more counters. In other words: practice shows that a self-check-in system works well. Also in hotels. Guests can easily register their own arrival, as long as a hotel employee is present for support and additional questions.

 

What trends do we see?

Self check-in is done worldwide. Often (in advance) via the smartphone. It functions as a registration tool, payment device and digital room key. And if possible as a source of information. Local restaurant and tour tips can be found online or in the hotel app, and you can also make a reservation there. If the guest is unable to resolve the matter, the hotel employee will assist. Usually, because robots can possibly do that too. At Hilton they have Conny.

 

What trends do we see?

Self check-in is done worldwide. Often (in advance) via the smartphone. It functions as a registration tool, payment device and digital room key. And if possible as a source of information. Local restaurant and tour tips can be found online or in the hotel app, and you can also make a reservation there. If the guest is unable to resolve the matter, the hotel employee will assist. Usually, because robots can possibly do that too. At Hilton they have Conny.

 

“Will the reception desk still exist in 2025?”

 

What does our panel say?

A large majority of our expert panel wants to keep the reception desk. Perhaps not always in the same, familiar form (reception can also take place in the hotel bar or behind a table), but the personal contact remains. “There will always be hotels with a physical reception, and at the same time there will be more and more hotels where guests can check in themselves. There is a market for both, ”says one of our hotel professionals.

A majority of hotel guests also think that the reception desk will remain. They do not make any statements about what it will look like in the future. This requires further investigation. What exactly do hotel guests expect from a reception desk?

The traditional reception desk will disappear. With the help of new technology, guests can often check-in themselves faster and easier. The hotel employee will stay; personal contact and extra service remain important. And that is exactly what a hotel employee can offer if he or she does not have to stand behind a counter all the time ☺.

More about our panel

Together with a panel of seven different hotel experts, we explore the hotel amenities of the future. In addition, we asked 482 hotel guests in the Netherlands and Belgium for their opinion about these facilities.

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