No concierge. No room cards. No room telephones. Only robot receptionists, facial recognition machines for room access and Tmall Genie to fulfil your requests. FlyZoo, Alibaba’s futuristic hotel, now opens for reservations at a starting price of RMB1399 (US$201) per night.
Located in touristic HangZhou in where Alibaba headquartered, FlyZoo’s pricing is even higher than nearby 5-star hotels such as JW Marriott and Sofitel, with starting prices at RMB 947 (US$137) and RMB 998 (US$145) respectively.
Last month, we wrote about FlyZoo as not just Alibaba’s attempt to solve high labour costs and homogeneity in the hotel industry, but also a glimpse into how Alibaba, by integrating all its services into one gargantuan ecosystem, is re-imagining the hotel industry.
Hotel guests will be able to access hotel rooms, gym, and restaurants with its face recognition machines and your data will automatically be stored on AliCloud. Talk to a Tmall Genie, a smart robot, if you have any requests. Buy any of the hotel furniture you like with ease with Alibaba’s Tmall app. Wang Qun, CEO of FlyZoo Hotel pointed out they will continue to make hotels smarter and more automated and replace all repetitive work of hotel employees.
Besides Alibaba, other Chinese Internet powerhouses are also exploring hotel business opportunities offline. Tencent’s Alexa-like Qrobots can be found in Chimelong Penguin Hotel guestrooms. Baidu partnered Beijing Intercontinental Hotels Group to enable voice-controlled assistant in hotel rooms.