The days of the imposing hotel front desk are going the way of the old shoeshine stand.
Instead of the long marble counter, desks that resemble tables or podiums are being set up as more hotels experiment with new check-in procedures aimed at cutting down long lines. It's also designed to make guests feel more welcome.
With the podiums and kiosks, guests can check in, get their keys and check out without ever talking to a hotel employee. They're being planned for hotels that are either in operation or about to be built in the Triangle area.
At the Embassy Suites in Cary, there are three check-in podiums that take the place of the traditional desk. About a quarter of the Embassy Suites properties feature the pods, and a spokeswoman says all of them will eventually.
Front desk clerks will still be around to provide help when there's a problem with the kiosk.