6 Virtual Hotel Reception Software Solutions [+ 1 Better Option]

Did you know that 76% of the hospitality experts we questioned in our survey* said they were planning to reduce front desk staff by at least 25% in the next 12 months?

And almost a quarter (24.5%) of them had already replaced front desk staff completely?

All hoteliers want to give a good impression. But between labor shortages, the rising cost of staff, and guests who expect to do everything digitally, real-life receptionists are no longer the best option.


The same research* found that 82.4% think implementing keyless check-in is a priority, while a full 40% said that their guests now expect to virtually check-in.


That’s where virtual hotel reception software comes in. So we’ve looked at eight popular solutions to help you choose the best for your hotel.


Before those recommendations, we explain our own alternative, Operto Guest, which saves you costs on staffing, gives guests the digital, streamlined stay they want, and could even free up your reception space.


If you want to skip past our discussion on Operto Guest to get straight to the tools, these are the recommended options you’ll see:

  1. Virtual Front Desk
  2. Virtual Office by HotelFriend
  3. Aavgo
  4. Akia Contactless Check-In
  5. Easyway Online Check-In
  6. Greetly

Re-imagine the guest experience.

 Sidestep manual reception services and give guests a tech-enabled stay with self check-in and a branded digital guide from Operto Guest.

*Research from The State Of Tech-Enabled Stays From 2021-2023, Operto Whitepaper.


Our alternative to virtual reception software: Give guests the tech-enabled experience they want

Hear us out: What if your guests could just walk right in, and with no frustrating wait at all, go straight to their rooms?


Imagine how seamless and easy check-in would be for everyone—with Operto Guest, this is a reality.


Guests access their room directly via digital guidance and a mobile key shared in advance.


All the information they need is exactly where they want it: On their smartphone. And they can ask follow-up questions or send requests on the same mobile app.

A graphic of Operto Guest’s screen with notifications
Operto Guest offers a complete digital reception front desk solution

Operto Guest also brings at least 10 advantages:


  1. You save money. There’s no need to pay for a real-life receptionist team or additional hotel check-in software—it’s an all-in-one solution.
  2. You avoid labor-sourcing issues. With fewer staff needed on-site, your business is less vulnerable to hospitality labor shortages or employee churn.
  3. Your guests save time. With no staff waiting behind a desk, guests aren’t waiting in line, getting frustrated, and experiencing a bad first impression of your hotel.
  4. You save time. As a platform that specializes in complete automation for hotels, Operto automatically communicates all the crucial information guests need to know about their stay, including check-in details and on-site amenities.
  5. Staff efficiency improves. Staff don’t have to perform the same repetitive tasks. You get more done with fewer people, and your hotel operations management dramatically improves.
  6. You improve security. Operto Guest integrates with hotel risk management software to verify IDs and check criminal records using AI.
  7. You simplify payments. Guests can pay security deposits within the same web app as part of the check-in process.
  8. You improve communication. Guests can chat with your team through the same web app, so any remaining unanswered questions are sorted quickly and easily, for even happier guests.
  9. Guests get the tech-enabled experience they want. They get access to Operto Guest right after booking, and so instantly have all the details they need. 
  10. Guests get local guidebook-style recommendations. They can see them within the same digital platform, so they can plan ahead and engage with their stay pre-arrival.

Don’t just take our word for it. Prague Residencies, a Czech Republic-based company with 16 short-term apartment buildings and two hotels, used the Operto system to reduce its four front desks to just one. It now runs its entire operation from a single reception.

Operto’s house manual and digital guidebook features
Operto Guest lets you send guests an in-room manual and digital guidebook, so they instantly feel at home

Re-imagine the guest experience.

Sidestep manual reception services and give guests a tech-enabled stay with self check-in and a branded digital guide from Operto Guest.

6 virtual reception software tools for hotels

Operto Guest reduces the lines and workload at your front desk, and gives guests a fantastic digital experience within your own branded web app.


But if you’d like to explore alternatives, consider these options:


1. Virtual Front Desk

A diagram of the Virtual Front Desk mounted system
Virtual Front Desk includes a mounted system that offers all features digitally

Just as it sounds, Virtual Front Desk provides your hotel guests with a virtual reception service. Guests can check in, check out, and ask questions via a touch screen on a mounted tablet. They speak to a real person in a live virtual receptionist call format, without that person having to be on-site.


  • Touch screen tablet with camera and microphone
  • Tablet cradle to hold a tablet of most common sizes
  • Payment processor and terminal to take card payments
  • ID card capture for secure background checks
  • Guests receive check-in information via email, and confirm on arrival
  • Staff can log in to offer service from any web browser, anywhere
  • If no video receptionist is available, Virtual Front Desk transfers the guest to your phone call line or phone system answering service

Reviewers say that Virtual Front Desk “has increased productivity and reduced cost dramatically” and that it enables guests to “get immediate assistance…without having to be ‘face to face.’”


2. Virtual Office by HotelFriend

A man signing his name to check in to a hotel via Virtual Office on a tablet
Virtual Office lets guests check in as they would at a traditional in-person reception, but using a tablet

Virtual Office aims to offer everything you need to manage a hotel or apartment building, including the front desk and back-of-house operations. It lets you coordinate each stage of the guest journey, from bookings to check-ins. It also takes payments and lets you add mobile room keys.


  • Digital check-in via a smartphone or on-site kiosk
  • Mobile keys on guests’ smartphone via Salto smart locks
  • Takes online bookings and instant payments, for rooms and mid-stay upsells
  • Offers pre-stay guest chat and automated emails to keep guests informed
  • Integration and seamless operation with the wider HotelFriend cloud-based PMS

Customers report “lots of positive feedback from our guests, since they are able to check-in through the app and contact us without calling the front desk.” Others called it “must-have software for hotels” that means “you no longer have to wait in a long queue to just get to a room.”


3. Aavgo

A view of the Aavgo system with a real person on the screen
Aavgo is an all-in-one system that connects guests with a real person on arrival

Aavgo is a human-assisted virtual front desk, which works with a kiosk and large screen to connect guests with a real person on arrival. The system does everything from taking payments to scanning IDs and issuing mobile keys.


  • 21.5-inch portrait screen with camera and microphone
  • Mobile key issuer
  • Keycard dispenser for RFID locks that works with a QR code scanner
  • ID and passport scanner
  • Payment processor using cash, cards, Google Pay or Apple Pay
  • Chat, SMS text, or live call with a real person, with multi-language support
  • Room service and concierge requests
  • Digital room control for smart lights or thermostats
  • Mid-stay upsells like extended stays
  • Printer for receipts or email print-outs

Users say that Aavgo is “easy to use” and “convenient for the guest.” One said that “guests enjoy the value-added ability of ordering refreshments, towels, and other items from the convenience of their room,” while another user said that the company’s customer service was “genuinely responsive.”


4. Akia Contactless Check-In

A graphic of the Akia hotel welcome screen on a smartphone
Akia welcomes guests via smartphone to keep everything smooth and contactless

Akia is a contactless hotel operations system that uses text messaging to communicate seamlessly with guests. Features include pre-arrival registration, ID checks, and automatic responses to common guest questions.


  • Digital hotel registration cards to streamline check-in
  • ID verification with photocards and selfies
  • Automated text messaging replies for frequently asked questions
  • Integration with many leading PMSs
  • Integration with TripAdvisor to drive more guest reviews
  • Digital menus and mid-stay upsell links
  • No separate app download needed

Akia users say that it makes self-check-in “so much faster and smoother” and is “easy to understand.” Another said that the automated communication “initiates conversations flawlessly,” and that staff “love that guests can get hold of us…texting is so much simpler!” Users also praise Akia’s customer support.


5. Easyway Online Check-In

A graphic of Easyway’s smartphone upsell and upgrade screen
Easyway can offer upsells, customer sign-in and check-in, chat, and translation

Easyway is a guest relationship management tool, which helps you manage your guests’ journey via a single web-based platform. Guests and staff can use their smartphones to communicate, offer upsells, and provide real-time virtual receptionist service and assistance, entirely remotely.


  • Mobile check-in and check-out
  • Document signatures and legal compliance
  • Guest portal enabling upgrades and in-room upsells
  • Automatic guest messaging via popular apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp
  • AI assistant for automated FAQ responses
  • Customizable logos and branding
  • Automatic translation in 100+ languages
  • Feedback requests and TripAdvisor review integration

Reviewers typically score Easyway highly, and particularly mention its “ease of use” and the “engaging way of communicating with guests” that “reduces the waiting time.” Others liked the “easy upsells,” and said that the messaging saves staff time compared with customer calls.


6. Greetly

A graphic of the Greetly platform on a tablet, smartphone, and computer monitor
Greetly is a digital solution that aims to replace and streamline a traditional reception

Greetly is a customer and guest welcome system, which aims to replace a real-life, traditional receptionist with an easy-to-use messaging platform. Guests can check in using the app, and staff members are notified wherever they are.


  • Highly customizable
  • Works across multiple sites
  • Visitor log book
  • ID verification including document and photo storage
  • Can take legal documentation signatures
  • CRM integration (customer relationship management)
  • Can issue keycards
  • Custom questionnaires to gauge guest needs and customer experience
  • Automated guest messaging
  • Integration with Zapier and IFTTT for increased functionality

Greetly customers like how “quick and easy” it is to use, and say it “increases efficiency at a busy reception.” They praise its “good level of flexibility” and its ability to “alleviate stress” from operations.


Virtual reception software: Going beyond the front desk

Virtual reception software plays a key role in making your guests autonomous as you address staff shortages, changing guest expectations, and the industry-wide drive towards tech-enabled operations. 


For a complete solution, though, you need a platform that brings together more than digital check-in and streamlined in-app messaging. 


By also offering your guests contactless access with technology that integrates with a suite of guest experience and operations management tools, you can optimize the entire guest journey, which means they’ll never have to join file at the front desk again.

Re-imagine the guest experience.

Sidestep manual reception services and give guests a tech-enabled stay with self check-in and a branded digital guide from Operto Guest.