The new Renaissance Allentown Hotel, which opened in January 2015, provides new in-room tablets with charging docks in guest rooms, each fully installed with powerful guest services software by Intelity, thus allowing the hotel to replace traditional alarm clocks and printed materials for a truly immersive digital experience. The award-winning ICE solution transforms these in-room tablets into a virtual concierge that hotel guests can use to perform a variety of tasks, including scheduling wake-up calls, browsing the Internet, and ordering room service.
Hotel General Manager Scott Bullock said, “We are enthusiastic to be able to offer our guests luxury, modern convenience through this partnership with Intelity. It also allowed us to replace in-room alarm clocks and print compendiums, eliminating expenses and offering our guests a multi-use differentiator in guest rooms.”
One of the primary benefits of the ICE software is that it is capable of integrating with several other back-end systems at the hotel, including the Guestware ticketing system and MICROS Simphony point-of-sale solution. These integrations will allow all guest requests and orders to be automatically sent by the ICE software to the other respective hotel management systems, which eliminates the need for manual entry and reduces potential user errors.
“The potential impact on the hotel’s operations is truly exciting,” Bullock said. “I was impressed when I learned about the capability of the ICE system to allow guest activity to streamline so efficiently with the rest of our systems while also providing real-time insight into our guests’ needs.
The 170-room hotel is the first to be constructed in Allentown in 35 years and marks ongoing efforts to revitalize the city’s downtown. It has already created 150 jobs, the majority of which have been filled with Allentown residents.
Nearly $1 billion have been pledged to the overall efforts to reinvigorate the city, and the hotel is seen as a step forward to those invested in local recovery. Its strategic location in the heart of downtown, directly connected to the new $200-million hockey arena, PPL Center, is expected to help increase traffic to other area businesses. The space the hotel provides for meetings and events is also expected to provide benefits.
Intelity Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing Dennis Martin said, “This hotel signifies a major change in the community and the direction it’s heading in. Featuring our innovative ICE Bedside solution on in-room iPads fits in perfectly with that forward-thinking vision by making a statement centered around the technology needs of today’s travelers.”
The Renaissance Allentown Hotel here recently opened amidst the city’s boom in economic development.
“The Renaissance is in the middle of a renaissance,” said Scott Bullock, the 170-key hotel’s general manager. “There’s a whole rebirth of office buildings, apartments, restaurants and us; the city is just booming right now and, when it’s done, there will be more than $1 billion in investments in new-build enterprises in Allentown within this two- to three-year period.”
As such, it was important for the hotel to open with leading-edge advancements, and one way it accomplished that was to add in each guestroom new in-room tablets with charging docks, powered by Intelity’s guest-services software. The ICE solution transforms the tablets into a virtual concierge, allowing guests to perform tasks like scheduling wake-up calls, browsing the Internet and ordering room service. “We did this to differentiate us from the marketplace and put us as the leader,” said Bullock. “I think this is the way that the industry will go in the future.”
Bullock noted that, aside from the pen and pad, the iPad eliminates paper from the guestroom. “Our guest directory and room-service menu, local attractions, anything a guest would need is on the iPad,” he said, noting that it’s a cost-saver and a time-saver since the hotel no longer needs to reprint compendiums anytime the room-service menu changes or a new local attraction opens up.
And, it’s beneficial for guests, too. “They can order food directly from the iPad,” he said, noting that there’s customization in the system. “If you’re ordering a steak, what pops up next is how well you want it cooked, and it even suggests wine pairings.”
Additionally, the iPad also replaces the guestroom alarm clock. “It’s also the radio; we have preprogrammed stations with different genres of music,” said Bullock. “It unclutters the room. We’re looking for a very clean, sleek look in the guestrooms.”
Bullock noted that the ICE solution is one key component to the hotel’s overall technology strategy. Additionally, the hotel also has Android tablets as menus in the restaurant. This allows the property to update menus more efficiently, whether it’s to add a special or take something off. Additionally, the hotel can create personalized menus for group dinners and business dinners. “We can put the company logo at the top and put limited choices on it [if they want],” said Bullock. “It’s customized.” The hotel also put in-room tablets in the meeting rooms. “If you go into the meeting room, our banquet captain will give you a tablet that controls the lights, TV, sound and the electronic drapes.”
“There’s definitely a cool factor,” said Bullock of all of the hotel’s technology platforms, and the Intelity solution in the guestroom in particular. “We’re way ahead of a lot of hotels as far as technology goes. Hopefully, we’re giving the traveler what they expect, or even exceeding their expectations, when they come in.”