Features Henn na Hotel: The Strange Hotel of Japan

Henn na Hotel: The Strange Hotel of Japan



Henn na Hotel, is the most famous robot hotel in Nagasaki Japan. Its name in Japanese means “strange”. It commenced welcoming guests in its 72 rooms, in July 2015 and has already accommodated some 70000 guests by January 2017.

Henn na Hotel, is the most famous robot hotel in Nagasaki Japan. Its name in Japanese means “strange”. It commenced welcoming guests in its 72 rooms, in July 2015 and has already accommodated some 70000 guests by January 2017.


Having raised its capacity to 144 rooms, it aims to become a low cost but highly effective “smart” hotel.

 

It is powered solely by renewable energy and it is constructed using environmental friendly materials. The robots play an important role in guests’ service.

There are three robots at the Reception Desk that speak four different languages: Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. There is one robot in each room and there are robots acting as chambermaids and concierge. There are vending machines in the restaurants, selling basic meals and beverages.


Although it is a robot hotel, its staff includes humans. To start with, the General Manager, Mr. Takeyoshi Oe is human.

Mr. Takeyoshi Oe was kind enough to answer Tourism Press’ questions, providing information about guests’ reactions as well as the main issues the hotel faces.

  • How many guests Henn na Hotels have so far?

About 70,000 guests so far since July 2015

  • What kind of guests do Henn na Hotel attracts (business, leisure, etc)?

Young, family, and overseas, but several in general

  • Are they overall satisfied from hotel’s services?

Although people feel uneasy when they arrive and nobody is at front desk, they are satisfied with the smooth check-in and enjoy interacting with a female android robot and dinosaur
robots in the check-in process. And they are also satisfied with roboticentertainments of cloak, porters, and Tulip-type robots in each room.

  • What are they saying about robots? Are there any funny reactions?

Since they do not touch and communicate with robots in ordinary life, they seem very happy by taking pictures in front of robots.

  • What are the main challenges that a hotel as Henn na has to face?

When it opened, we realized the tulip-type robots in each room had difficulties with understanding especially children’s voice. Because the opening was July 2015 and many families
visited in the summer season, we had many feedback from them and tried to resolve problems. And now, those problems have been well improved and the robots also became to communicate with two languages (Japanese and English). Handling claims from visitors, we have improved functions each time, and because of installing better functioned robots, we could reduce human staff in the hotel. When its opening, there were 30 staff, but now we operate with total 8 staff, even though rooms have been increased (72 rooms at the opening, but 144 rooms now).

  • Do you believe that robotic hotels will thrive in the tourism industry in near future?

Robot hotels can be a new type hotel in the future. There are many ways in the hotel industry from business type hotel and 5 star luxury hotel. The robot hotel can play on more important roles in the situation of the aging society in Japan where the working population is decreasing in the future.