Innovation That Matters

Boutique hotel opens with a no-front-desk invisible service

Travel & Tourism

Philadelphia’s Old City is now home to a new style of hotel that seeks to erase the barriers between visitors and their destination with “invisible” service hospitality.

Located in a registered historic building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Old City, the new Lokal Hotel will offer six units for long and short stays. Each guest space will contain a full kitchen, separate bedrooms, a living room and washer/dryer. Guests will find a carefully selected guide to local eating, drinking and doing opportunities. Most importantly, there is no front desk.

The service provided by the staff will be as invisible as possible, with the Lokal team trying to anticipate needs and provide for them beforehand. The goal is to remove barriers between visitors and their destination to help them feel completely integrated into the neighborhood. The restoration of the building will retain many of the original interior and exterior features, and reservations are available from 1 April 2017.

Other ways locals help visitors feel at home is by welcoming them into their home for chats in the native language and by cooking homemade meals. What could transport systems do to be more navigable for tourists?



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