At first glance, it’s easy to be bedazzled by the simple, yet luxurious features of Crystalbrook Collections’ $130-million Riley Resort.

There’s the 1000 square metre sparkling swimming pool, suites with giant bathtubs and ocean-facing beds, the aroma of Asia inside Paper Crane restaurant and 130-odd staff members crisply kitted out in brand new uniforms.

But scratch the surface and it’s clear that Cairns’ newest resort breaks the mould of the average hotel.

The differences are evident from the moment guests walk through the door to find they don’t have to line up at a reception desk to check in.

“This is a hotel that welcomes guests, it doesn’t check them in,” said general manager, Joel Gordon.

Instead, reception staff wander the lobby area with hand-held devices.

Group Director of Hotels Geoff York said it’s an innovation taken from the retail communications industry, such as Apple stores, where cash registers are becoming a thing of the past.

“As you walk through the door and you’re a guest, they’ll come up to you,” he said.

We want to break down this barrier that you had to go up to a desk.”