What is a hotel self check-in kiosk?

A hotel self check-in kiosk is a dedicated machine that allows a guest to check themselves in when they arrive at a hotel. 

A hotel self service kiosk will often be found in a prominent place in the lobby, such as near the front desk, and modern models will tend to feature a touch screen and perhaps a key card dispenser.

It’s an enabler of hotel self-service – the practice of allowing guests to undertake tasks usually performed by staff. This might also include chatbots or online booking tools.

But in truth, hotel self check-in kiosks are quickly being overtaken by another, even more convenient technology: hotel self check-in via smartphone. A hotel self check-in app allows a guest to check in (and out) wherever and whenever they choose, and up to 24 hours before they arrive in the case of Little Hotelier.

This streamlines the check-in process even more than walking up to a kiosk: it grants guests access to convenient, contactless check-in, hotel keyless entry, and in some cases easy payment at check out.

On top of offering your guests a better experience, a self check-in hotel system gives owners far greater clarity and control over guest movements, while significantly reducing the time and effort spent on each booking.

While a dedicated hotel self service kiosk might feel like a bridge too far for small, independent properties, an app-based contactless hotel check-in system will often be faster, simpler and cheaper to implement.

So, if you recognise the value of a self check-in solution at your small hotel, which should you choose?

5 hotel self check-in solutions for small hotels

Which hotel self check-in solution should you choose as a small, independent hotel? Five of the very best are listed below.

Little Hotelier

Little Hotelier is the ideal solution for any small hotel looking to implement seamless check-in features quickly, easily and cost-effectively. As an all-in-one solution for small hotels, Little Hotelier has far more power and functionality than other self check-in solutions on the market. You can closely track all guest movements, schedule housekeeping based on check-in/check out times, and take payments through the same system.

  • Little Hotelier is a complete online reservation and property management solution built with the needs of small properties in mind.
  • Incentivise remote/early check-in by creating online codes that allow guests to check in through your website 24 hours ahead of time, and let them check in as soon as they arrive – no queues or wait times for them, no work for you.
  • Enjoy a powerful yet simple to use desktop solution, or manage check-ins and check-outs through the Little Hotelier app (Android and iOS). 
  • The self check-in functionality in Little Hotelier’s Front Desk software can help you save vital minutes on each guest.
  • Automatically send customised pre check-in and post-check out emails, offering guests information before their stay and reminding them to review your hotel afterwards.

Reduce wait times and enhance guest satisfaction with the best hotel self check-in software.

Use Little Hotelier’s hotel management system features to streamline your guest’s check-in process.

Learn more


While similar to Little Hotelier in a lot of ways, SiteMinder offers hotel software aimed at larger properties. While the self check in functionality offered by the solution is extensive, headlined by a simple online check in process, the solution may be overpowered for a small, independent property, who will be paying for functionality they don’t need.

  • High levels of integration with hotel websites and other systems for a smooth and streamlined booking process.
  • A smooth self check in experience for guests activated, through a simple ID upload, digital signature, and terms & conditions check.
  • Extensive integration with distribution channels and advanced booking engine capabilities.
  • Global reach with multi-currency and multi-language support.
  • More complex and expensive, aimed more at large hotels than small, independent properties.

Visit website


A company that focuses purely on hotel check-in solutions, Roommatik offers the self check-in kiosk hotel solutions mentioned at the top, as well as key card dispensers and mobile/online check-in software.

  • Kiosk products, and automated key card issuing including check-out for car rental.
  • Designed to facilitate fast, autonomous check-in in under a minute, and 24/7 reception with minimal staffing.
  • A standalone self check-in solution that may be difficult to integrate with your existing tech.
  • Complex and quite costly, so less suitable for smaller properties.

Visit website

TMRW Hotels

TMRW Hotels is an app that is designed to give a hotel guest almost total control over their experience. They can book, check-in, choose their room, open the door with a digital key, check-out and fix up their bill, all through a single app. While this system has obvious benefits for high volume hotel chains, it may be less desirable for small, independent properties.

  • TMRW allows you to hand over a significant amount of front desk work to the guest.
  • Paper-free digital check-in and eco-friendly digital room keys.
  • Personal room selection (similar to choosing your seat on a plane during check-in).
  • The level of automation results in a lack of connection with the guest, which may not be ideal for small, independent hotels.

Visit website

ICG Check In Online

ICG is a Spanish technology company that designs solutions for hospitality, retail and hotel businesses. Their Check In Online offering is the most basic on this list, but does what it says on the packet, allowing guests to scan IDs, sign the relevant documents and make payments. The main issue is with integration – the solution is primarily built to work with ICG’s FrontHotel PMS.

  • A fast and 100% digital check-in process designed to reduce front desk queues.
  • Document scanning, digital signature functionality, and the ability to take secure payments.
  • Works best with ICG’s FrontHotel PMS.
  • Higher setup and operational costs, and from a company with English as a second language.

Visit website

hotel self check-in kiosk

Benefits of using contactless check-in for hotels

Why invest in self service/contactless check in? Compelling reasons include:

Less work

Free your front desk from time-consuming admin that the guest can do themselves, and allow your team to focus on higher value tasks. 

Greater clarity and control

With guests checking in ahead of time, you get a better understanding of when they’ll arrive, allowing you to better control your resources, from scheduling housekeeping to staffing your front desk.

A better guest experience

Self check-in means guests don’t have to wait – they can grab their key and go straight to their room. They’ll appreciate the convenience, which will be reflected in your reviews.

Automate follow-up

If a guest can also check themselves out, a smart system like Little Hotelier can send them an automated email thanking them for their patronage and asking them to leave a glowing review.

6 advantages of hotel self-service technology

With even the most exclusive and luxurious hotels now offering self-service functionality to guests, the technology has reached a tipping point where small, independent hotels can no longer ignore it.

The good news is that self-service tech brings a wealth of advantages to the hotels that implement it, including:

  1. Efficiency

Technology processes information faster and more accurately than even the best hotel workers. By implementing self-service technology you can expect to be more productive while experiencing fewer errors.

  1. Convenience

When a guest arrives, they can check straight in. When they want to order a drink, they can unlock their phone and do it in seconds. No waiting in line or on hold – self-service tech maximises both convenience and control for your guests.

  1. Clarity

Self-service tech minimises the opportunity for misunderstandings. All messaging is carefully crafted and served up at the appropriate time. You can even avoid messages being lost in translation, as communications can be translated into a guest’s preferred language in real time!

  1. Savings

Why waste your workers’ valuable time on simple, boring and laborious tasks when technology – and your guests – can do the hard work for you? By taking care of the low value busywork you can do more with less, saving hotel costs on labour and hiring, as well as the costs incurred from the inevitable mistakes that come from manual work.

  1. An enhanced guest experience

The other major benefit of offloading the low value work to a hotel automation system like Little Hotelier – which has a Front desk software that can save you as much as 35 minutes per booking – is that you and your team can focus on the high value stuff, like creating experiences that blow guests away and have them coming back for more.

  1. A better bottom line

All of the above, plus the ability for automated self-service messages to drive bookings and upgrades, means that this technology can have an incredible impact on revenue. Little Hotelier, for example, drives an ROI of 63x.

Choosing the best hotel self check-in kiosk for small accommodation providers

Now that you know a few of your options, what should you look for when choosing the best possible self check-in solution for your small hotel? Important considerations include:

  • Functionality: Does the solution do everything you want it to do in terms of check-in, check out, payments and more?
  • Integration: Will the solution integrate with your current software to ensure all the tools talk to each other, allowing you to create automations?
  • Usability: Is the solution simple to use, and built specifically for small, independent hotels?
  • Cost-effectiveness: Does the solution represent good value for money? Are the costs clear and simple to understand?
  • Trial period: Can you test the tool before you commit to it?

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).