Want a new way to travel and stay in style? Want to enjoy hotel amenities without checking in, parking, or waiting in line? If so, consider an auto hotel.
What are Auto Hotels, and How Do They Work?
Auto hotels are self-service, automated, and smart accommodations. They give guests more control, privacy, and convenience. An ideal auto hotel has a drive-through system for booking, paying, and entering rooms. Smartphones, credit cards, and QR codes can be used to enter rooms. Lighting, temperature, entertainment, security, and room service are controlled by voice or phone in the rooms.
Auto hotels are perfect for speedy, innovative travelers. Travelers who want to avoid crowds, noise, and people, especially during the pandemic, will like them.
The Benefits of Staying at an Auto Hotel
Auto hotels have many advantages over traditional hotels. Benefits include:
- Saving time and money: Auto hotels have lower rates because they have less overhead and staff. They eliminate check-in, check-out, parking, and line waiting, saving guests time.
- Auto hotels give guests more privacy and security. Guests can unlock and lock their rooms with their phones from their cars. Cameras, alarms, and sensors monitor guest safety and alert them to issues in the rooms.
- Comfort and convenience: Auto hotels give guests everything they need at their fingertips. The spacious, modern, and cozy rooms have high-quality beds, linens, and toiletries. Guests can customize lighting, temperature, entertainment, security, and room service in the smart rooms.
- Auto hotels offer more fun and novelty for guests who want to try something new and exciting. Romantic, futuristic, and adventurous rooms are available. The rooms have VR headsets, karaoke machines, interactive games, and more.
The History and Evolution of Auto Hotels
Auto hotels aren’t new. They started as love hotels or motels for couples in the 1960s. They now serve different travelers and needs.
Love hotels emerged in the 1960s. Due to the lack of privacy and space in many Japanese homes, love hotels were introduced in the 1960s. They were created for couples to spend time together in privacy. The drive-through system lets guests book, pay, and access their rooms without interacting with staff or other guests. Beds, bathrooms, TVs, and radios were provided. Mirrors, neon lights, and waterbeds decorated some.
In the 1970s, love hotels expanded. South Korea, China, Taiwan, and Singapore, as well as Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, adopted love hotels. Their amenities also improved. Some had jacuzzis, saunas, fireplaces, mini-bars, massage chairs, and larger rooms. Some provided food delivery, karaoke, video games, and adult toys.
In the 1980s, love hotels are regulated. Authorities and the public viewed love hotels as immoral, illegal, and unsafe as they grew. Love hotels were subject to zoning laws, taxes, licenses, inspections, and bans in many countries. Boutique, fashion, and leisure hotels were also used to rebrand love hotels.
Love hotels in the 1990s were innovated and adapted to changing customer needs and preferences despite competition from other types of accommodations. Technology, automation, and smart features improved guest convenience, privacy, and flexibility. They also added romantic, futuristic, and adventurous themes.
Love hotels change in the 2000s. Love hotels started offering fun and comfort to travelers instead of just sex. They started serving business, solo, family, and group travelers. Free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and Netflix were added to improve the guest experience. To streamline booking and payment, they integrated with websites, apps, and social media.
Love hotels are still popular. Auto hotels, which offer similar features and benefits, were inspired by them.
The Different Types and Categories of Auto Hotels
Auto hotels vary. They are classified by location, price, quality, and target market. Typical auto hotels include:
- Budget auto hotels: These auto hotels offer low rates and basic amenities for guests who just need a place to sleep. They have small, simple rooms with beds, bathrooms, TVs, and radios near highways, airports, and train stations. The corridors may have vending, ice, or microwave machines.
- Mid-range auto hotels: These auto hotels provide comfort and convenience at moderate rates. They have medium-sized, cozy rooms with beds, bathrooms, TVs, DVD players, mini-fridges, and coffee makers and are usually near city centers, business districts, or tourist attractions. Smart devices for lighting, temperature, entertainment, security, and room service can be controlled by guests via voice or phone.
- Luxury auto hotels: These auto hotels offer high rates and premium amenities for guests who want luxury and style. They have large, elegant rooms with beds, bathrooms, TVs, Netflix, mini-bars, and massage chairs in prime downtown, waterfront, or scenic locations. Smart devices for lighting, temperature, entertainment, security, and room service can be controlled by guests via voice or phone. Guests may enjoy pools, gyms, spas, restaurants, and lounges.
- Themed auto hotels: For fun and novelty, these auto hotels offer unique and customized features and amenities. They have different themes and designs to suit different tastes and moods, such as romantic, futuristic, or adventurous. Guests may enjoy interactive games, VR headsets, karaoke machines, and other entertainment.
How to Pick the Best Auto Hotel for You
There are many factors and options to consider when selecting an auto hotel. Tips for choosing an auto hotel:
First, decide on a purpose and budget for your trip and stay. What are your travel goals? What is your accommodation budget? These questions can help you choose the best auto hotel for your needs.
Next, compare auto hotels by location, price, quality, or target market. Hotwire, Booking.com, and Priceline can help you compare auto hotels and find the best deal. You can also read customer reviews to get an idea of what to expect.
The final step is to check each auto hotel’s features and amenities. If you have any questions, you can contact the hotel or check their website or app for features and amenities. Auto hotel smart features and amenities can be controlled by voice or phone. Check if the hotel has pools, gyms, spas, restaurants, or lounges.
Follow these tips to find the right auto hotel for your needs and enjoy your stay.
The Best Auto Hotels in the World
Auto hotels are growing worldwide. They originated as love hotels or motels for couples in Japan, South Korea, China, and Mexico. Auto hotels are no longer just for lovers. They’re also for travelers seeking new luxury and convenience. World-class auto hotels include:
- Yotel: Yotel auto hotels have compact, futuristic rooms with smart beds, mood lighting, rain showers, and entertainment systems. Yotel has co-working spaces, gyms, lounges, and restaurants. New York, London, Singapore, Amsterdam, and Istanbul have Yotel hotels.
- CitizenM: Another auto hotel chain, CitizenM offers stylish and cozy rooms with adjustable beds, smart TVs, mood pads, and free Wi-Fi. CitizenM also has art galleries, libraries, bars, and kitchens. CitizenM operates in Europe, America, Asia, and Africa.
- Henn na Hotel: It is a chain of Japanese robot-staffed hotels. Robots can check guests in and out, clean rooms, carry luggage, and entertain them. The rooms have facial recognition, voice control, and smart devices for setting up and ordering services. The hotel has a spa, restaurant, and dinosaur park.
- Mexico’s Autohotel Ritz has luxurious and spacious rooms. The rooms have jacuzzis, saunas, fireplaces, mini-bars, and massage chairs. Guests can control lighting, temperature, entertainment, security, and room service with their phones. The hotel has a pool, gym, and restaurant.
- The Pod Hotel: A minimalist, modern auto hotel in New York with bunk beds, private bathrooms, desks, and TVs. Pod Hotel has rooftop terraces, lounges, cafes, and bike rentals. Manhattan and Brooklyn have Pod Hotels.
- Zoku: Dutch auto hotel Zoku has large, functional rooms with loft beds, kitchenettes, workspaces, and storage. Zoku’s communal spaces include meeting rooms, co-working spaces, game rooms, and greenhouses. Amsterdam and Copenhagen host Zoku.
What to Expect from Your Auto Hotel Room
Auto hotel rooms are comfortable, convenient, and fun. Auto hotel rooms offer these amenities:
- Drive-through booking, payment, and room access. Enter your room with your smartphone, credit card, or QR code. Pre-arrival room selection is also available.
- Modern, spacious, and cozy room with high-quality beds, linens, and toiletries. The room has romantic, futuristic, and adventurous themes. The room has VR headsets, karaoke machines, interactive games, and more.
- Voice-controlled lighting, temperature, entertainment, security, and room service. The hotel’s menu or nearby restaurants can deliver food, drinks, snacks, and other items to your room via hatch or drone. Phones and voice assistants can request cleaning, maintenance, and other services.
- A safe, private space. You can unlock and lock your room with your phone from your car. Cameras, alarms, and sensors keep you and your belongings safe. If you need help, call the hotel or emergency services on your phone or voice assistant.
How to Use Auto Hotel Smart Features and Amenities
Your auto hotel’s smart features are fun to use. Use these tips:
- The auto hotel app or website: This lets you book, pay, access, and control your room. You can also check the auto hotel’s facilities and services, contact customer service or the chatbot, give feedback or ratings, and get discounts or rewards.
- Voice assistant: Use the auto hotel’s voice assistant to control your room’s smart devices. You can also ask questions, get information, make requests, play games, and listen to music.
- Touch screen: The auto hotel’s touch screen controls your room’s smart devices. It can be used to browse the internet, watch videos, read books, and learn.
Tips and Tricks for a Smooth and Enjoyable Auto Hotel Stay
Auto hotels can be fun, but they can also have surprises. Tips for a pleasant auto hotel stay:
- Research before booking because auto hotels vary. Some have better ratings, locations, prices, or features. Hotwire, Booking.com, and Priceline can help you compare auto hotels and find the best deal. You can also read customer reviews to get an idea of what to expect.
- Auto hotels may have different rules than regular hotels. Some have a minimum or maximum stay, cancellation or modification fee, pet or smoking policy, or security deposit. If you have questions, check the hotel’s policies on their website or app or contact them directly.
- Auto hotels provide everything you need, so pack light and smart. However, pack some essentials and extras to make your stay more comfortable and convenient. You might bring toiletries, snacks, drinks, chargers, adapters, headphones, or books. You may also want to pack clothes for the weather and your activities.
- Arrive early and leave late. Auto hotels are popular with budget-conscious travelers and may fill up quickly. Arrive early and depart late at your auto hotel to avoid disappointment. This way, you can secure your room, avoid traffic and crowds, and spend more time at your auto hotel. Check if your auto hotel offers early check-in or late check-out for more flexibility and convenience.
How to Save Money and Get Discounts on Auto Hotels
Auto hotels are cheaper than regular hotels due to lower overhead and staff. These tips can help you get auto hotel discounts and save money:
- Online auto hotel bookings can be discounted with coupons or promo codes. RetailMeNot, Groupon, CouponCabin, and the hotel’s website or app offer coupons. Sign up for hotel or booking platform newsletters or alerts for exclusive offers.
- Use loyalty programs or credit cards to get auto hotel rewards when booking online. Join hotel or booking platform loyalty programs to earn points or miles for free nights or upgrades. Credit cards with cash back, no foreign transaction fees, or travel insurance can be used to pay for your auto hotel.
- Use referral programs or social media to get auto hotel discounts or bonuses when booking online. Referring friends or family to the hotel chain or booking platform can earn you discounts or credits. For special offers, contests, and giveaways, follow the hotel chain or booking platform on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
The Future of Auto Hotels and Travel
Auto hotels offer travelers convenience, privacy, and flexibility. They also use technology, innovation, and automation to improve guest service. As travelers’ needs change, auto hotels may become more popular and widespread. As they incorporate industry trends, they may also become more advanced and diverse in their features and amenities. Auto hotels may develop:
- Solar, wind, or hydrogen fuel cell auto hotels for carbon reduction.
- Auto hotels connected to smart cities and transportation systems like self-driving cars, hyperloops, and drones offer guests easy mobility and accessibility.
- Biometric, AI, or VR auto hotels for a unique stay.
- For a fun and immersive stay, auto hotels are designed according to each guest’s interests, hobbies, or passions, such as gaming, sports, or art.
- Pop-up, capsule, and floating hotels provide flexibility.
The Safety and Security Measures of Auto Hotels
Auto hotels, where guests have less interaction with staff and other guests, must ensure safety and security. Auto hotels take precautions to protect guests, staff, and property. Auto hotels have these security measures:
- Access security: Auto hotels use a drive-through system to book, pay, and access rooms without staff or other guests. Smartphones, credit cards, and QR codes can be used to enter rooms. Phones and voice assistants control room locks. Cameras, alarms, and sensors monitor guest and staff access and activity in the hotel.
- Registration: Auto hotels require accurate and up-to-date information. Guests must show multiple IDs and indicate room occupancy. The hotel records guest contact, vehicle, and payment information. Before letting guests into their rooms, the hotel verifies their identity and eligibility.
- Emergency response: Auto hotels have emergency response systems to handle any issues that may arise during guests’ stays. Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, sprinklers, first aid kits, and defibrillators are strategically placed throughout the hotel. The hotel has trained staff who can provide emergency medical assistance or call 911. The hotel has backup generators, water tanks, and communication devices for power outages and natural disasters.
- Guest education: Auto hotels teach guests how to use their smart features and amenities. The hotel also gives guests safety and security advice to avoid or resolve issues. The hotel encourages guests to report suspicious or unusual activities or people to staff or security.
Auto hotels train their staff to provide good service and security. The staff knows the hotel’s rules, smart features, emergency response systems, and safety and security tips. Staff are trained to identify and respond to risks like fire, theft, vandalism, violence, and terrorism. Auto hotels can keep guests, staff, and property safe by taking these precautions.
In conclusion, auto hotel are a convenient and luxurious way to travel. Self-service, automated, and smart accommodations give guests control, privacy, and convenience. Auto hotels eliminate check-in, check-out, parking, and lines, saving time and money. They offer advanced safety features and let guests unlock and lock their rooms with their phones for more privacy and security. Auto hotels offer modern, spacious rooms with customizable smart features for comfort and convenience. Themed rooms, VR headsets, and interactive games make auto hotels fun and unique.
Auto hotels have evolved since their beginnings as love hotels. Today, auto hotels offer budget to luxury accommodations for different types of travelers. Yotel, CitizenM, and Henn na Hotel showcase their technology and unique experiences. Auto hotels will likely add eco-friendly features, smart city and transportation integration, and personalized stays based on individual interests. Auto hotels will continue to revolutionize luxury and convenience travel.