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Grand Park Orchard offers complimentary smartphone as value-add
Grand Park Orchard is the first hotel in Singapore to equip all 308 guestrooms with a complimentary smartphone solution personalised to guests as an in-room amenity elevating the experiences of guests while ensuring unrivalled connectivity and convenience. This, all-in-one service pampers guests with unlimited international and local calls, unlimited 3G data and Wi-Fi tethering capabilities, an informative city guide, attractive promotions, as well as other interesting features.
Located at the heart of Singapore's premier shopping and entertainment district - Orchard Road, Grand Park Orchard will integrate its ‘handy' smartphone in all 308 rooms and suites by 3 March 2014.
Each personalised handy smartphone is available for guests as soon as they enter their guestroom, giving them instant access to free unlimited local and international phone calls (currently to 27 countries - including popular destinations such as Indonesia, India, United States, China, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea) and complimentary, high-speed data connectivity.
The unlimited 3G Internet connectivity also allows for easy Wi-Fi tethering to other mobile devices such as laptops and tablets.
With handy, Grand Park Orchard also endeavours to be seamlessly connected to its guests, whether through the hotel's telephone contact list or its range of premium offerings, be it dining, spa or concierge services, all available at their fingertips. For guests-on-the-go, they can take the handy out of the hotel to stay connected during the day, and at the touch of a button, dial directly to in-room dining, concierge, or to Spa Park Asia for a much needed spa treatment.
In addition, the handy in-room solution is pre-loaded with useful travel apps, including news services, a currency converter, MRT maps as well as a digital location-based city guide to better explore the city. With dozens of helpful articles and travel tips written by an expert team of local Singapore editors, travellers will have their fingers on the pulse, allowing them to discover the best that Singapore has to offer. Upon check-out, all browsing history, personal information and any additional applications are completely deleted from the device, and the handy is reset to the original factory settings. This ensures peace of mind for the user, while upholding Grand Park Orchard's dedication to safeguarding guest privacy.
The implementation comes after a month of testing, during which Grand Park Orchard received consistently positive feedback about this value-added service from its guests. Survey results showed that 98% of guests found handy useful, while 100% of them said that service standards improved through handy; 90% of guests also mentioned that they will consider staying at Grand Park Orchard again because of handy, and would definitely recommend the hotel to their friends.
Preparations are underway to roll out handy across its two other Singapore properties, Grand Park City Hall and Park Hotel Clarke Quay.
The Gale South Beach installs RoamBoost to enhance cell phone coverage
Insufficient cell coverage at a hotel isn't just a problem for guests; it can also affect internal communications for management, staff and restaurant/nightclub patrons. Such was the case at the Gale South Beach in Miami, Fla., a Menin Hospitality property.
During a $35 million restoration initiative with considerable infrastructure and cosmetic upgrades, hotel management's attention was drawn towards the challenge of poor cellular reception. Cell service was nonexistent on the first floor and basement levels, both of which housed the hotel's administrative offices, the Regent Cocktail Club and Rec Room lounge, lobby, Dolce Italian restaurant and first-floor guestrooms. To address the problem quickly and cost effectively, Menin Hospitality turned to RoamingAround and its RoamBoost cellular signal enhancement solution.
RoamBoost uses an exclusive technology and a network of highly efficient antennas to enhance in-building cellular coverage for all carriers. This solution defeats one of the most complex challenges that hotels face today by enhancing the local geography's coverage inside the building. This ensures that all mobile calls and data communications are conducted successfully.
"Our staff is always moving around the property, making is incredibly difficult to reach them on a landline," said Jared Galbut, Menin Hospitality managing principal. "The best way to connect with team members is on their cell phones. Unfortunately, without cell service, communicating is near impossible. Regent Cocktail Club guests were equally as frustrated, unable to share their pictures and posts with friends on social media."
"RoamingAround installed RoamBoost antennas in the basement and on the first floor, and immediately cellular coverage was spectacular," Galbut said. "We could connect with staff and vice versa, and posts and Tweets from our bar patrons were appearing all over the social networks. Then, sporadic complaints about dropped calls and poor connections were being reported by guests staying on higher floors. We added RoamBoost to our 2014 capital budget, and today, the Gale South Beach is complaint free."
Michael Garvin, RoamingAround president, explained that because RoamBoost is scalable, the Gale South Beach was able to take a phased-in approach and add antennas as needed: Phase I, which was completed mid-August 2013, included eight nodes to cover the back-of-house offices, restaurant, bar, lobby, first-floor guestrooms and back lounge; Phase II was completed this month, and included eight more nodes that were added to cover floors two, three and four.
Econo Lodge's "Room to be Green" program yields results
Econo Lodge hotels, the brand known as the Easy Stop on the Road, will celebrate the one year mark of their Room to be Green program. A first of its kind initiative executed across the entire lodging portfolio, Room to be Green is designed to reduce environmental impact and waste, meet the changing expectations of today's environmentally conscious guests and potentially lower operational expenses, (including energy and water costs) at the property level.
As a result of its program, in the past year more than 830 Econo Lodge hotels helped reduce annual water usage by an estimated six million gallons and energy usage by and estimated twelve million kWh. Additionally, in tandem with American Forests, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of forests around the world, Econo Lodge planted one tree for each Econo Lodge currently opened.
"One year ago, this was just an idea and an announcement. I am so energized by the enthusiasm with which Econo Lodge operators have rallied around our Room to be Green project as we celebrate this first anniversary milestone," said Craig Mustard, head of domestic brand management for Econo Lodge. "Their actions demonstrate that caring for the environment can be done at any level. You just have to start somewhere and we are eager to continue building on this program moving forward."
The Econo Lodge brand required every hotel to implement the Room to be Green program by Dec. 31, 2013. The program outlines three mandatory elements of its initiative:
In addition, the Room to be Green program offers extended Green options that each property may undertake, such as use of ozone washing machines, light dimmers, double-pained or thermapane windows, and rain water collection systems for exterior irrigation.
Signature Worldwide launches mobile training reinforcement system
Signature Worldwide, a training solutions provider, has launched a new mobile training reinforcement system. Their new product, "Signature Cue Tips," provides hoteliers with a convenient way to deliver reminders to employees that keep skills fresh. Each tip is especially designed by Signature's learning and development specialists to ensure that training sticks.
What happens before and after training is even more important to making training stick than what happens during training. And even the most well intentioned training programs fail due to poor planning or poor follow-up. That is why Signature Worldwide views reinforcement as a critical part of their training methodology, which includes assessment & design, delivery, reinforcement and evaluation & measurement.
"Statistics show that 80% of everything learned in a training session will be forgotten within 30 days without reinforcement," said Steve Wolever, CEO of Signature Worldwide. "That is why we are committed to making sure every customer has access to multiple reinforcement methods. This includes everything from face-to-face communication to our new mobile delivery through Cue Tips."
Cue Tips makes sure that every employee has access to the reinforcement they need to do the job right. Tips take only a few minutes of time and are often followed by quick quizzes and feedback to ensure that employees fully understand a topic. This can be done while sitting at a computer or via a smart phone or tablet in the field. Managers have the ability to track participation as well as results to do everything from create company-wide reports to simply identify areas of opportunity for individual coaching.
Bitbuzz launches Hotel Freetime
Bitbuzz, specialists in Wi-Fi solutions for the hospitality sector, has launched a new product, Hotel Freetime, for hotels that want to offer Wi-Fi access to casual visitors in the lobby, bar or restaurant.
Hotel Freetime will provide complimentary 20 minute Wi-Fi sessions without the need for a voucher. The product provides hotels with the ability to communicate with customers and manage the amount of complimentary Wi-Fi people are using in their premises, which is particularly important in busy hotel lobbies.
Hotel Freetime was developed to meet this new type of demand as Bitbuzz, along with many of its hotel clients, sees this as a growing trend. The product has already been taken up by the 145 bedroom Mercure London Greenwich Hotel, a longstanding client of Bitbuzz, which has experienced a big demand among visitors to access complimentary Wi-Fi in the bar or lobby without the need for vouchers.
New members for Supranational Hotels announced
Supranational Hotels, a provider of hotel distribution technology and sales and marketing representation, has announced two new hotels will join their portfolio of hotels to strengthening the brand's presence in Scandinavia.
The brand new 98-room Babette Hotel Guldsmeden, Copenhagen, part of the Guldsmeden Hotel Group, has joined Supranational Hotels in advance of its official launch on 20 February and is the fourth Guldsmeden Hotel in the Supranational portfolio.
In Eslov, Sweden, The Hotel Stensson officially joined Supranational Hotels following a switch from Best Western on 01 February. The 4-star 80-room Hotel Stensson provides guests with an atmosphere of a traditional inn but with a modern day feel with meetings facilities and a classic Swedish restaurant and pub.
Hospitality renovations boost construction industry growth
Level 3 Construction of Carlsbad, California has been awarded the design and renovation of a seaside vacation property, the Blue Sea Beach Hotel in Pacific Beach. The hotel project includes the remodeling of 128 guest rooms, with lobby and exterior construction to be completed by early spring.
Moving inland, Brighton Property Management has awarded another project to Level 3 Construction-renovation of the Westin Sacramento. The project consists of extensive remodeling of the lobby as well as renovation of 100 guest rooms. The project will start in February with a fast-track completion by May 2014.
Level 3 Construction has provided new construction and renovation services to such prominent properties such as the Casa Madrona Hotel in Sausalito, the Lodge at Tiburon, Toll House in Los Gatos and the Half Moon Bay Lodge.
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