By Terry Trucco
The massive, inquisition-style check-in desk, once as basic to hotels as beds, pillows and running water, occupies a spot high on the endangered amenity list. But so, in some cases, do check-in staff members.
First came hotels like the Fitzpatrick Manhattan, where guests are seated at a small table opposite a staff member. Call it check-in as tete-a-tete, where conversation ensues and amenities are explained before the guest rises and heads for the room.
Next came hotels like Andaz Wall Street and Cooper Square, where guests are greeted by staffers with notebooks or hand-held devices. Though this Apple Store approach eliminates even the smallest table or desk and personalizes check-in, some guests have complained that the approach makes them momentarily uncertain about what to do when they enter the hotel. (more…)