Asure sign that a hotel has its eye on the future is when you buzz reception for extra towels and they’re brought to your door by a waist-high R2D2-esque robot. Aura the Relay Robot can be loaded with small to medium-sized amenities, and programmed to take them to your room. Once it arrives, the robot gives you a call to open the door, and lifts its lid so you can retrieve your items.
It’s not the only digital touch. M Social’s lobby has self-check-in kiosks instead of a traditional reception area, while the in-house restaurant Beast & Butterflies hangs tablets with rotating images on its walls in place of artwork.
The 293-room hotel feels like a studio apartment I want to invite friends over to for a pool party. But if staying in isn’t your thing, the hip bars and eateries of Robertson Quay (Super Loco, Sprmrkt and Brussels Sprouts) are just a five-minute walk away.
Digital novelties aside, M Social is Robertson Quay’s shiny new kid on the block, and the brainchild of iconic French designer Philippe Starck. With its steel, glass and mirrored furnishings, and well-placed spotlights, it radiates energy – definitely not the kind of space that invites you to just have a chill night. Further proof of this is that the television is on the first floor of the two-storey loft room while the bed is on the upper level. In other words, it’s not a space for lounging around and watching TV.