As the sun sets on the Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, the Italian restaurant Mare comes to life. Chefs bustle in an open kitchen, preparing dishes like risottos and pizzas. Once prepared, the dishes are served to diners by a Ginger Lite service robot from CloudMinds, a China-based company. They may not provide a speedy service, but they ensure there’s no direct contact with guests in a world that’s still not completely free from the shackles of the pandemic.

Humanoid service robots with wheels are no longer a novelty in countries like Singapore. But a high-end beach resort in Thailand using them speaks volumes about the wider digital transformation that’s now sweeping across Southeast Asia’s hospitality industry.

AUTHOR

Xinyi Liang-Pholsena

Xinyi—who is from Singapore but based in Bangkok, Thailand—joins us as a reporter primarily covering travel and tourism with a business lens. She’s spent the last decade writing about the business of travel in Southeast Asia for publications that include TTG Asia, Travel Weekly Asia and Skift.

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