Whine Wednesdays: Centralized Hotel Elevator System With External Floor Selection


Our Whine Wednesday topic today is related to hotel elevators and those properties that have chosen to install a centralized system requiring to select the floor outside the actual elevator cars.

This often causes confusion, especially with guests who aren’t familiar with either the property or the elevator system resulting in long lines and futile rides.

I’ve stayed at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver this week and they have installed such a system several years ago yet it never gained much popularity among the guests including myself.

I’m not exactly sure what moved the Hyatt to decide that this was the right system to use for a busy hotel lobby because while in theory, it should be working well it actually confuses many of the guests.

You have to select your desired floor on the screen and then the panel will assign you an elevator:

There are 5 different elevators (A-E) and guests are directed to get into the respective elevator cars. It doesn’t really make sense how they are assigned especially when guests of different floors are mixed.

The real downside: If a guest notices a wrong choice has been made and they need a different floor there is absolutely no way to make a different selection until the elevator car has reached the pre-selected destination and the guest can get off before selecting a new floor on the panel.

You won’t believe how often this happened during the course of just one week. The system is absolutely hideous and I’m sure it cost the hotel a pretty penny too to install it.

Why such a complicated solution for something as simple as an elevator?

I think when the Hyatt Regency underwent a renovation quite some time ago the management was persuaded by the architect to install something fancy without really considering the implications of it. I think I’ve seen this same system in 1-2 other hotels since and the same problems developed there.

Mostly it’s confused guests blocking the panel so you can’t even select your own without interfering. I usually offer help and just ask them where they want to go but is this really how a hotel should be organized?

In the case of the Hyatt it got so bad they even assigned bell staff next to the elevator to do the selection during busy arrival times. Sometimes the old-fashioned, simple things are still the best!


These modern elevator systems that some hotels have installed really do more harm than good to the convenience level of the property.

Guests who aren’t familiar with the system are confused, often board the wrong cars and then get dumped somewhere on a random floor that belongs to other guests and they can’t correct their selection once in the elevator. A really bad solution if you ask me. Simple if you’re a regular but still annoying if you encounter people who have problems with it day in and day out.

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