The experience of talking to a human is not necessarily insincere. They’re paid to do their job… they’re not going to be disingenuously nice to a mean person, for example. The experience of humans at a hotel front desk are vital, and not just because we are social creatures. When a hotel becomes like every other hotel, you don’t have any differentiation, and therefore you just become about location and rate. When a hotel becomes a commodity, we’re just like any other business. How’s the airline experience?
This is hospitality, and with design directions being similar, across the board, from midscale to luxury, the only way to stand out and rise above your competitors is through hospitality and service. There’s still a level of hospitality that some people operate at, and some guests require, that will always demand a human to human experience. Of course their will be automated and efficient hotels with gimmicks or fads, and their guests will enjoy the fun, but it’s the classical spots that rely on consistent service that will have people go back, again and again.
I don’t mind the idea of little mouse like roomba robots silently rolling around, cleaning up in a hurried fashion. =)
Would you check in with a retinal scan and Velociraptor with a blue bow tie? Frankly, I would. Once.