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Whenever I think of a futuristic hotel, the mental movie that plays in my mind is like a scene from the episode of the Jetsons from back in the day.
If you have no idea about the reference I just made, I feel sorry for you, friend. The Jetsons were straight FIRE. ❤️?
Although come to think of it, I don’t think I ever saw any black or brown characters in The Jetsons. ?
What’s hot? ??
?? The Lobby Lounge
?? The executive suite
?? The adjustable mood lighting
?? The semi-panoramic view from the bedroom
?? The adjustable dual-bed
?? The UFO showerhead
?? The ROBOT ROOM SERVICE!!! ?
What’s not? ??
?? The food at the hotel restaurant
?? The price of the hotel restaurant
Doctora’s Rating? ⭐️
Would I stay again? ?
Without a doubt!
The Yuhang District of Hangzhou, China ??
As I searched for another hotel to visit while in Hangzhou, I figured that it would be neat to visit the area that belongs to the famous Chinese Tycoon, Jack Ma.
If you are not familiar with who he is, Jack Ma is responsible for Alibaba and, my obsession, Taobao. Alibaba is an e-commerce site that connects Chinese factories and merchants from all across the world to do business together.
It. Is. GENIUS.
As a result of the success that Jack Ma has had with his technological empire, and as a local from Hangzhou, there are several regions in the city that have a futuristic appeal.
In the Yuhang district of Hangzhou, this is known as the Alibaba territory and is home to the FlyZoo Alibaba Future Hotel.
Purpose of My Trip ?
As previously mentioned in my review of Le Meridien Hangzhou Hotel, I was in the city on an extended business trip. While there, I decided to make good use of my weekends and visit some of the city’s most popular hotels.
The outside of the hotel didn’t look like much.
But, friend, when I walked inside, my spidey senses started to tingle.
FlyZoo Alibaba Future Hotel Check-In Process ?
The check-in process was quite simple and didn’t take long. When I arrived late in the afternoon, the lobby only had a few people in it. I was greeted by Wesley Wan, the guest services manager on duty.
In perfect English, Wesley asked for my passport and my green health code to confirm my reservation. I showed my green health code to prove my clearance to safely lodge due to not testing positive for COVID.
In the lobby, there were facial recognition machines that allowed contactless check-in for Chinese guests (national cardholders). Unfortunately, if you are not a Chinese national, and do not hold a Chinese ID card, the contactless check-in will not work for you as it will not be able to recognize your foreign passport.
That is where Wesley and the other staff members step in.
Wesley informed me that, although I was given a key card, everything was accessible simply by using facial recognition.
The elevators, the room, the facilities – every place that would normally use a keycard – could be accessed by simply looking into the facial recognition machine.
Robots were everywhere.
Something that I noticed about this hotel is that there is a minimalistic vibe in which property amenities are standard (with the exception of the hotel basically being run by smart technology) and facilities are few.
Property Amenities ?
Like most facilities in the international hospitality industry, FlyZoo Alibaba Future Hotel property standard amenities include:
- Room service ?
- Non-smoking rooms
- Accessibility for disabled guests
- Famliy rooms
- Car rentals (most likely will never need this in China)
- Work desk in room with cable management ?
- Private spa bath tub ?
- Hot tub/Jacuzzi ?
- Insanely Gorgeous Pool ? with amazing view
- Mini golf
- Kids’ Club ?
- Seasonal art galleries
- Walking tours (additional charge)
- Happy hour (additional charge)
- Restaurant ?
- Executive Lounge ?
- Room Service ?
- Special diet meals (by request)
- Meeting/Banquet Rooms (additional charge)
- Business center (additional charge)
- Fax/Photocopying (additional charge)
I booked the Hollywood Deluxe with Balcony room on the third floor, however, Wesley surprised me with a complimentary upgrade to the executive suite on the 6th floor!
Friend, I was ready to sign a temporary live-in lease! ?
All About the FlyZoo Hotel Alibaba Room ?
One of the first things that I noticed about the rooms was that they do not have numbers on the doors. The room numbers are holographically displayed on the floor in front of the door.
Everything about this room was beyond perfect.
Alibaba FlyZoo Future Hotel Room Decor
The “living room” with the exercise bike and the unbelievably comfortable sectional;
The TV with the theatrical sound system;
The mood lighting;
The privacy sliding glass doors;
The adjustable dual-bed;
The semi-panoramic view from the bedroom window;
The “Tmall Genie” – Chinese Alexa/Siri – that controlled the room;
The large television that extended a personalized welcome with my name displayed across the screen;
The peak-a-boo reading lights on the wall on each side of the bed;
The toilet in the bathroom with the heated seats and bidet;
Two sinks on opposite sides of the bathroom so that you and another guest can have your own space while brushing teeth, washing hands, etc. Both sinks had small vanity mirrors as well.
Friend, I don’t even know what to call this shower head, embedded in the ceiling, that hovers over you like a UFO, but it was remarkable. I didn’t want the shower to end but this extra comfy bathrobe was calling my name.
The marble in the bathroom was clean, pristine, and very inviting.
As I mentioned, this is the toilet with heated seats and bidet…
Also, just as I raved about the disinfectant slippers that I loved at Le Meridien Hangzhou, Alibaba’s FlyZoo Hotel also had a pair for use.
The Adjustable Dual Bed
It’s exactly as it sounds.
The bed is split into two sides, both of which are adjustable in firmness and height level.
I left the bed on the default settings because the bed was perfectly accommodating for my exhausted body.
Listen, friend, this suite was decked out better than many apartment homes I’ve seen and even lived in!
The hardwood floor coupled with theme-colored rugs added to the special “oomph” of the hotel’s atmosphere.
Is There Room Service During A Pandemic??? ?
Sure is…BY ROBOTS!
It was a little creepy that the robot speaks in a child’s voice, but it didn’t detract from the fact that a robot came directly to my door, rang the bell, and served me!
There are only a few facilities on site for guests to use. All are accessible using facial recognition.
The Gym ??♀️
The gym is located on the same floor as the All Day Dining Restaurant. It’s quaint and personable enough to get in a decent workout while staying at the hotel.
My absolute favorite facility in the FlyZoo Hotel Alibaba is the lobby lounge.
Look at this holographic wine bottle display with a personal video message from Jack Ma.
The Lobby Lounge ?
Friend, this lounge was lit.
Excuse my vernacular but even though I’m an academic professional, l am a millennial, and at times the only vocabulary words that come to mind are from the urban dictionary. ?
LIT. ? LIT. ? LIT! ?
The Lobby Lounge has a stage that is usually occupied by the likes of karaoke enthusiasts in the evenings. I, however, wanted to use the stage to record a show with my business partner for his YouTube channel.
Wesley and the lounge manager were absolutely helpful and allowed us to use the stage – uninterrupted! – to record the show.
FlyZoo Alibaba Future Hotel Dining Options ? ?
All Day Dining Restaurant
All Day Dining Restaurant is the only restaurant in the hotel. The restaurant is buffet-style.
My colleague and I ate there for dinner the night we arrived and again for breakfast the next morning.
The dinner was satisfactory and had many options to choose from but the overall buffet was not worth the price.
The food that I enjoyed the most from the buffet was the lamb, sushi, and dessert.
You can make your own hotpot with this individual serving of boiling water.
Unfortunately, the breakfast was not to my liking. There weren’t as many western options and I honestly wasn’t interested in eating so many carbs – rice, noodles, etc. – for breakfast.
In short, the breakfast was not foreign-friendly.
The hotel is gorgeous.
But the dining is where FlyZoo Alibaba Future Hotel falls short.
Dining Outside of the Hotel ?
FlyZoo Hotel is smack dab beside one of the Alibaba shopping malls and located in an Alibaba shopping center.
Walking from the hotel to the mall is just a few feet/meters. In passing, there were countless Asian and Western cuisines to choose from, including street food vendors.
Additionally, the mall’s food court was plentiful with fast food places and eat-in restaurants to choose from.
What to Expect While Staying During a Pandemic ?
There were many safety protocols in place. Masks were required by everyone in the hotel, whether staff or guests. Additionally, all guests had to show the National green health code, indicating that they recently tested negative for COVID and there were hand sanitization stations posted up everywhere.
Served with kindness and warm-hearted hospitality, Wesley, the human and technological staff were commendable during my stay at the FlyZoo Alibaba Future Hotel.
I appreciate their professionalism and customer care.
So, How Much Does It Cost to Stay Here? ?
A week or two in advance, I booked the Hollywood Deluxe with Balcony on booking.com for 1 night. The total, including breakfast, taxes, and fees was 1001RMB ($154USD).
Overall, I enjoyed my stay at the FlyZoo Alibaba Future Hotel. The next time I visit Hangzhou, I plan to stay there again so I can explore more of the other hotel facilities as well as the shopping mall.
However, I do appreciate the location of FlyZoo Alibaba Future Hotel being next door to a shopping center that has additional restaurants and a supermarket.
Compared to any other hotel that I’ve stayed in throughout my 36 years of roaming the earth, I’ve never stayed at a hotel as technologically equipped nor creative as FlyZoo Alibaba Future Hotel. Not only was the atmosphere futuristic and minimalistic (which I really appreciate!), but it provided a very relaxing environment to rest my overworked mind.
I would like to thank the human staff and robotic servers at FlyZoo Alibaba Future Hotel for their creativity and hospitality. From the moment I entered the building, I knew I was in for a unique experience.
FlyZoo Alibaba Future Hotel did not disappoint.
Question: Would you feel comfortable staying at a partially manned hotel where robots served you? I would love to hear from you about this in the comment section below and share your thoughts with me. ♥️