A recent experience with a rude receptionist at a hotel in Jakarta got me thinking if it’s possible to actually do away with front desk staff. Especially if all you want to do with said staff is commit a certain crime. A quick search on the net yielded a surprising result: there is indeed a receptionist-free hotel and it’s called Hi Matic.
Designed by Matali Crasset, Hi Matic was recently opened in France in 2011. To be honest, I don’t know much about Matali except that I like her weird hairstyle.
I also like her idea of turning really tiny, itsy-bitsy spaces into designer havens.
Matali takes inspiration from traditional Japanese inns (ryokans) where space is luxury so beds are set just slightly above ground and almost right next to the john.
Booking, of course, is done virtually and checking in is automated. When you get to the hotel, you open the front door by keying in the code that was sent to you via email. Once in, you go to one of the interactive screens that will then issue your key! No need for rude receptionists! Brilliant!
The design hotel chain can also be found in the less metropolitan areas of France. If you happen to find yourself in the Meditteranean coast and hunting for Nice hotels, then you can check out Hi.
Hi predates Hi Matic by eight years and was also designed by Matali. Much less stiff or much more comfy (depending on how you want to look at it), Hi looks warmer and more welcoming.
The overall idea of a low maintenance, automated hotel is consistently carried out in the design. And while some people love the whole concept, others reject it, saying the designer sacrificed comfort for design. As for me, I only have two questions:
1.) Much as I don’t like rude receptionists, can I actually live without human interaction?; and
2.) Why the hell are all those girls reading in almost ALL the pictures?
If you understand French, let Matali walk you through Hi Matic here:
*All photos are from Hi Matic and Hi Hotel.