At Your Service

Presenting the latest innovation and trends in hospitality technology and the products that are revolutionizing the service industry.

hotel technology

LuMINN Hotel Minneapolis is Elevating Guest Engagement via Intelity/INNCOM Integration

Guests are controlling room lighting, temperature, alarm clock and more PLUS accessing hotel services and information directly from the Intelity bedside tablet

Guests staying at the LuMINN Hotel Minneapolis, an Ascent Hotel Collection Member, are controlling their room environments and engaging with the property in exciting new ways. Since adding Intelity in-room tablets to each guestroom – which are interfaced to the INNCOM by Honeywell Integrated Room Automation Systems (IRAS) – guests are controlling room temperature, lighting, and alarm clock directly from their guestroom tablets. Guests can also access the hotel’s mobile app, powered by Intelity, which provides a direct link to hotel information, services, concierge, transportation, maps, directions and more.

“Adding in-room tablets to each room brings another element to the guest experience,” said LuMINN Hotel Minneapolis Owner Harshal Patel. “Today, everyone is tech savvy and has a smartphone or tablet. Enabling guests to use an in-room iPad as an alarm clock or to request amenities or control elements of the room like temperature and lighting is an engaging way to exceed their expectations, and it’s a service that not many hotels are offering.

“LuMINN isn’t the biggest hotel and adding in-room tablets wasn’t in my budget, but I believed it was a necessary investment that would instantly add differentiation and boost guest satisfaction and loyalty. The Intelity ICE platform is extremely intuitive, and it came with an already-established interface to INNCOM. Partnering with Intelity just made sense.”

While saving energy is of the utmost importance to Patel, he said it was not the key reason he was eager to offer room-control functionality on the in-room tablet.

“Being able to turn off lights or raise or lower room temperature through the tablet is a perk, especially if it lowers my energy bills, but it’s not the reason I was excited about the technology integration,” Patel said. “I’m more concerned with providing convenience to my guests and not requiring them to get up from our comfortable beds to turn off the lights or turn on the Do-Not-Disturb button in the hallway. Many travelers already have ‘connected homes.’ With Intelity + INNCOM, they can now be connected to their rooms in the same way. It’s fun, it’s interactive and it’s elevating the LuMINN Hotel Minneapolis experience.”

Solid Integration Partnership

INNCOM began working with the LuMINN Hotel Minneapolis in early 2017 when it was previously known as the Federal Plaza Hotel. Installation included the INNCOM E528 thermostat that provides energy control, humidity monitoring and motion detection for a more efficient HVAC system. The E528 series thermostat serves as the network gateway for guestroom controls, including the Intelity in-room tablet interface. Also featured in LuMINN guestrooms is the INNCOM EVORA Switch Series. EVORA enables guests to control lighting independently in the Entry, Cove and Window areas of the room or all together.

Michael Asmussen, Engineering Manager for INNCOM by Honeywell, said the company has a “healthy partnership” with Intelity and explained that any property with a networked INNCOM system can leverage the EMS to connect to Intelity in-room tablets that INNCOM does not offer.

“The synergies between INNCOM and Intelity are beneficial for all hoteliers,” Asmussen said. “Whether a hotel starts with INNCOM and adds Intelity or vice versa, our proven and compatible interface gives guests to control their room environment. The two-way communication is completely transparent to the guest. All they see is a fun, new, and interactive way to connect to the room. For guests, it’s nothing short of magic; for owners and operators, it means better efficiencies and lower energy costs.”

Gregg Hopkins, Intelity’s Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, said the two companies have been working together for almost eight years.

“The Intelity / INNCOM relationship is very strong,” Hopkins said. “We are giving hoteliers the ability to offer a flexible user interface that gives guests more control over their stay experience. It’s the next generation of self-service that today’s modern travelers are looking for. We are thrilled that the LuMINN Hotel Minneapolis is LIVE with Intelity’s in-room tablets, and we look forward to working with INNCOM at more properties soon.”

Small Inn is Big on Guest Engagement with Intelity

Mobile app powered by Intelity is improving communications and streamlining check in at the Jackson’s Falls Country Inn in Milford, Canada

This month the Jackson’s Falls Country Inn in Milford, Canada, began engaging with its guests via a custom mobile app powered by Intelity. Equipped with the Intelity mobile app, guests staying at the nine-bedroom boutique inn and restaurant in Prince Edward County (PEC) have more control over their stay, including the flexibility to use their mobile devices to check themselves in and out.

“Jackson’s Falls Country Inn is a small family business,” said Lee Lewis, property owner and chef. “In the past, it was difficult to connect with guests. If I was in the kitchen preparing dinner, I wasn’t easily accessible to answer questions. Also, travelers seldom arrive right at check-in time. Because we are in the heart of wine country, guests may stop at a winery, tour a local brewery or just sightsee around PEC before arriving at the Inn. They shouldn’t be rushed or feel stressed because they are running late. The beauty of being on vacation and staying at a small country inn is having the freedom to roam, relax and enjoy life on your own terms. With Intelity’s mobile app, I don’t have to wait around for people to check-in; I can be off tending the organic garden, preparing a meal or refreshing a room. And, when guests do arrive on property, rather than searching me out, they can check themselves in using the mobile app. They don’t have to engage with staff unless they want to.”

The mobile app from Intelity gives guests greater control over their stay by turning their mobile devices into guest service tools, whether they are physically on premises or offsite – literally anywhere else in the world. Orders and requests can be placed even before guests arrive at the Inn. The app facilitates room service requests, schedules wake-up calls and valet assistance makes a restaurant reservation, and easily checks guests in and out.

“The mobile app isn’t replacing personalized service, it’s enhancing it,” Lewis said. “Perhaps a couple that just checked-in gets to their room and realizes they’re hungry, but they want some downtime in the room before venturing out again. Through the app, they can order a bottle of wine with a local cheese plate to be delivered to the room. Without the app, that service wasn’t previously available. We are so happy to have found Intelity. There are a lot of mobile app developers out there, but few have the functionality of the Intelity mobile app.”

By June, Lewis said she plans to add the lobby tablet solution from Intelity. By placing a tablet computer in the lobby, those guests who prefer not to download the Inn’s app will have access to the same services via the tablet. Intelity’s lobby solution will provide a resource for guests to find information to frequently asked questions and solve common needs. It will reduce strain on staff and enable them to focus on more detailed guest requests and operating procedures. Intelity’s lobby solution will provide general information on Jackson’s Falls Inn and Restaurant, offer maps to local attractions and much more.

“We are delighted that this rustic, casual and cozy country inn is relying on Intelity to better engage with its guests,” said Gregg Hopkins, Intelity chief sales and marketing officer. “This is a one-of-a-kind lodging experience that fuses European and First Nation cultures in its dining room and décor. Through our app, Jackson’s Falls Country Inn and Restaurant can share its rich history with guests. The Public House Restaurant, comprised of a dining room, bar and guest lounge, was originally built in 1870 as a one-room public school house. Guests enjoy local wines and craft beers on tap here while indulging on indigenous wild foods prepared by Lee. Then, they can retreat to the inn which lodges the nine guestrooms. It is the perfect venue for small events, corporate retreats or travelers just looking for some quiet, country charm. More importantly, Jackson’s Falls Country Inn is proof that you don’t need to be a large resort to benefit from Intelity’s guest-service tools. Size doesn’t matter; it’s guest engagement that counts.”


Hilton Inn at Penn Named Winner of Intelity’s ‘ICEvoice Challenge’

Property to receive Intelity’s voice concierge solution enabling them to make voice requests via Amazon Alexa devices in guest rooms

Why are hoteliers eager to add voice-command technology to guestrooms? Just ask the Hilton Inn at Penn, winner of Intelity’s ICEvoice Challenge. Earlier this month, Intelity asked its customers to state how they envision using the company’s newest solution that enables guests to use voice commands for requesting services and controlling the in-room environment. The reply from the Hilton Inn at Penn was short, sweet and on point: “We currently use Intelity with our guestroom iPads and are looking to grow from that success.” And grow they will. Within the next six weeks, the AAA four-diamond hotel, located on the University of Pennsylvania campus, will receive ICEvoice FREE, forever.

As the ICEvoice Challenge winner, the Hilton Inn at Penn will receive:

  • Amazon Echo voice activated speakers for every guestroom, including integration to Intelity’s trademarked, award-winning ICE HUB: Control Panel, at no charge.
  • Development and implementation of unique phrases and commands the hotel desires.
  • User training, integration coordination, installation, and configuration.
  • 24/7/365 technical support from Intelity’s team of experts to ensure services work as planned.

“We are thrilled to be the Intelity ICEvoice Challenge winner,” said Hilton Inn at Penn Director of Operations Wesley Clark. “We were always proud to be featuring Intelity iPads in every room; it’s something not many hotels can boast about and we see it as an elevated service differentiator. It’s so cool that now we will be adding a voice concierge to our rooms. It’s going to bring that ‘wow’ factor to service delivery. ICEvoice won’t replace the bedside tablets by any means; it will simply do things faster. Being able to speak a request vs. place one through the iPad will save our guests time and it will add personalization. We’d like to thank Intelity for making this opportunity possible. It shows us that Intelity really values our partnership – and we share that sentiment. We can’t wait to be live with ICEvoice.”

Other ICEvoice Challenge submissions from customers said they would use Intelity’s voice solution to greet the guest by name when a guest enters the room and provide them with the hotel’s Wi-Fi password, introduce itself to guests as their virtual butler when they first enter the room and detail the intricacies of the property, order the hotel’s car service for a specific time, and, speak to international guests in their preferred language.

Webinar Answers ‘Voice’ Questions

In addition to announcing the contest winner during its “Say Hello to ICEvoice” webinar yesterday, Intelity Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Gregg Hopkins showed participants why migrating to voice technology is so important to hotels today. According to statistics released by the Smart Audio Report:

  • 3 million U.S. adults have access to a smart speaker; 19.7% of U.S. adults use smart speakers of which 57.8% are male and 42.2% are female
  • Amazon is leading the smart speaker market with 71.9% penetration, followed by Google at 18.4% and others at 9.7%
  • Two-thirds of U.S. voice-activated speaker owners said they are using them to entertain friends and family, with 60 percent using the devices to play music for guests, 30 percent asking it to answer a general question, and 28 percent asking it for weather updates.
  • 31 percent of smart speaker owners are asking their virtual assistants to control other devices in the home, with 61 percent controlling devices in the living room and 38 percent controlling devices in the kitchen.

“One in six adults in the United States own voice-activated smart speakers,” Hopkins told webinar participants. “The adoption rate of such speakers over the last three years is now outpacing that of smartphones and tablets. People are replacing time spent with other devices to use smart speakers. Just over a third of Americans are ditching their smartphones to spend time with the speakers, while 30 percent are using the devices instead of watching television.”

What does this mean for hotels?

Intelity Chief Technology Officer Chris Grey explained that voice technology is becoming widely popular because of its speed and convenience; voice search is much faster than web or mobile search, citing that humans speak 150 words per minute vs. typing 40 words in the same amount of time. Voice-enabled devices are responsible for 1 billion searches performed every month on devices like Amazon Echo, according to Smart Audio Report.

“Adding a voice concierge solution isn’t as easy as just buying an Echo for every guestroom, plugging them in and hoping they work,” Grey said. “It takes a lot of integration to funnel voice requests into the operating system to become a text ticket, then sends it to Intelity’s request manager so the right staff member fulfills the request and delivers it to the guest in a timely manner. This level of service is one of the most exciting things to come along in the last 5 or 10 years, but it doesn’t happen by magic.

“It took Intelity 10 years to build a robust platform that makes voice requests possible,” he said. “If a guest realizes while unpacking her suitcase that she forgot a toothbrush, she doesn’t have to stop what she is doing to call the front desk to have a toothbrush brought to the room – or leave the room and walk down to the gift shop to purchase a new one. The guest simply says ‘Alexa, ask the hotel to bring me a toothbrush.’ Within minutes, the toiletry arrives. In this case, voice technology is not just informational, it’s interactive with the guest, making their experience more personalized than ever. Soon, integration between ICEvoice and our ICEbedside tablets will enable guests to say ‘Alexa, ask the hotel restaurant what’s on the menu.’ And, Alexa can reply ‘See the iPad in the room for a complete menu listing.’ It’s simple, as long as a hotel has the Intelity Interactive Customer Experience – or ICE – platform.”

Art Ovation Hotel Elevates its Gallery Experience with Intelity

Guests take Intelity’s portable In-Room Tablets with them as they tour the hotel, learn about each piece of art and its artist, and purchase the works.

Something extraordinary is happening in Sarasota, Fla. This month the Art Ovation Hotel Autograph Collection® opened its doors at 1255 North Palm Avenue as an active host, facilitator, patron, and partner of the arts. To enhance the hotel’s art gallery experience, the property equipped each of its 162 guestrooms with portable in-room tablets from Intelity. Guests can click on the Ovation Arts icon in the hotel’s mobile app, powered by Intelity, to see objects on display throughout the property, and they are encouraged to take the in-room tablets with them as they tour the gallery. Uploaded videos provide details on each work and its artist, and guests can purchase pieces directly through the mobile app.

Using Intelity tablets, our guests are engaging more closely with local artists and learning about their artistic expressions on display throughout our hotel,” said Front Office Manager Egemen Alici. “Together with the Ringling College of Art and Design, we are presenting an evolving array of unique, immersive, artistic experiences supported by exceptional hospitality in a dynamic, art-centric environment. Intelity is helping us bring these art experiences to life through the mobile app they created. Guests can view videos of the displays on their tablets prior to seeing them face-to-face, or they can tour our exhibitions with tablets in hand – and even buy art on the spot using the Ovation mobile app.”

At Art Ovation Hotel, guests are invited to interact and be part of the rotating art exhibitions that include live performances, tours, classes, talks, and workshops. All artists are local, and most originated from Ringling College. Works are donated to the hotel and exhibited throughout the property. Eighty percent of art sold goes to the artists and 20 percent is given to the Ringling College Fund. Artists visit the property daily; some perform while others draw in front of guests to get them more engaged.

Mobile Messaging

Soon hotel staff will begin using Intelity’s new mobile messaging portal. Part of the ICE platform, the messaging portal will enable guests to place requests with hotel staff via the messaging channel they choose, whether it be SMS text or social media. Whether the guest is at home, in route to the hotel, or touring the art exhibit, staff will have the messaging tools they need to reply to guest requests instantly and deliver on requests efficiently.

“The Art Ovation Hotel offers something imaginative, inspiring and extraordinary,” said Gregg Hopkins, Intelity Chief Sales, and Marketing Officer. “It presents an evolving array of unique, immersive, artistic experiences supported by inspired technology in a dynamic, art-centric environment. What’s really cool for guests is that they can preview all art on display first from their guestrooms by using our convenient iPads. They can also use them to request room service, set wake-up calls, request valet service, make dining reservations, facilitate check out and much more. But even before they step foot into the hotel, guests can use Intelity’s ICEweb to get a more complete, personalized look at the property. No matter how visitors prefer to interact with Art Ovation Hotel, Intelity is powering the engagement process every step of the way.

“We are thrilled that Art Ovation Hotel is a new Intelity customer,” he said. “We look forward to expanding our relationship and bringing the hotel’s dynamic art environment to life with our ICE solutions.”

Intelity Solutions Helping Hotels Achieve Higher AAA Diamond Ratings

Recent updates to AAA Diamond Rating Guidelines reflect the importance of connecting travelers and hoteliers via mobile technologies such as mobile apps, mobile keys, and mobile concierge

AAA has revised its Approval Requirements and Diamond Rating Guidelines to now “reflect the importance of connective technologies that allow guests and lodging operators to interact on an increasingly personalized basis.” What this means to hoteliers looking for a higher AAA Diamond Rating is they will now be expected to connect their guests to hotel staff and services by smartphones and tablets and keep them engaged via mobile apps, mobile keys, and mobile concierge services.

Here are a few ratings criteria that AAA inspectors will be looking for when reviewing property technologies:

  • Guest Services Category – Guest service is available by alternate means (digital application, texting, in-room device)
  • In-Room Dining – Service number is answered within three rings, or instant access is available through other device/system
  • Check-Out Services – Alternative check-out methods are available (mobile/online/in-room device)

“As developer of the world’s first and most widely used integrated guest-services platform, Intelity’s award-winning Interactive Customer Experience™(ICE) technology is equipping hotels with the guest-facing tools they need to improve their AAA Diamond Rating,” said David Adelson, Intelity CEO. “ICEapp, ICEweb, ICElobby, and ICEbedside are giving guests fingertip connectivity to the hotel along every step of their journey, from the moment reservations are made till long after travelers check out. By giving guests direct digital access to request things like room service, housekeeping or wake-up calls, hoteliers are revolutionizing and personalizing the guest experience.”

Connective Technology & Lodging Approval Requirement

To be classified as a “Distinguished” hotel and achieve a 3-Diamond rating, hotels much provide wireless Internet access throughout the property and include an additional connectivity option, such as a mobile device available for check-in/out.

A “Refined” hotel with a 4-Diamond rating must provide superior Internet speed and capacity throughout the property, must support remote guest-service access through mobile devices PLUS offer one additional technology feature, such as mobile key access.

The “Ultimate Luxury” classification for a 5-Diamond hotel rating requires “leading-edge technology” and must provide advanced guest connectivity capability across all guest interactions including front-desk, bell service, concierge, maintenance, food and beverage, housekeeping, and recreation, PLUS the hotel must offer one additional technology feature, such as mobile key access.

“Intelity has developed the guest services technologies that AAA inspectors are looking for to allow guests and lodging operators to interact on an increasingly personalized basis,” Adelson said. “Our MiKEY module facilitates Mobile Check-in, Mobile Check-out, and Mobile Key functionality. When guests download the hotel’s mobile app onto their devices of choice, as long as the app is powered by Intelity, they can book a hotel, check-in remotely, skip the traditional front-desk check in and use their smart device to securely unlock their room door. Even more exciting, our new ICEvoice virtual concierge solution enables guests to make service requests, adjust room controls or listen to music with just a few simple voice commands.

“We encourage any hotel looking for innovative, fun and interactive ways to improve their AAA Diamond rating to reach out to Intelity,” he said. “We’ve got the tools needed to connect hoteliers to guests, thereby serving them better than ever before. You don’t have to be a luxury hotel to offer AAA 5-Diamond service. All you need is Intelity.”

Marmara Park Avenue Opens with Intelity’s ICE in Guest Rooms

New luxury boutique hotel, Marmara Park Avenue, aims to provide the quintessential New York experience, and to further this, the hotel has partnered with leading hospitality technology provider Intelity. This partnership allows the hotel to offer guests modern, high-tech touches to enhance their stay using ICE (Interactive Customer Experience™) guest service technology.

“It’s important to us to offer guests everything they need or want to take advantage of their time in this beautiful city, and our hotel’s digital amenities will play an integral role,” said Nur Ercan-Magden, General Manager of Marmara Park Avenue. “The entire hotel is mainly outfitted with items and art created locally, but for our guest services technology, we chose to work with Intelity because of its reputation for sophisticated, world-class solutions.”

Each of the hotel’s 128 guest rooms comes with an Intelity in-room tablet installed with ICE that functions as a digital alarm clock-radio and a personal virtual concierge. Guests can access and request a full array of services, from scheduling wake-up calls to reviewing restaurant menus.

A new mobile guest app downloadable to personal devices also provides guests with a digital portal to key information for planning their stay and communicating directly with hotel staff. Even before they arrive at the property, guests can use the app to enhance their stay.

The benefits extend beyond just the guest-facing features. Automatically included with ICE is the ICE Control System (ICS), a management system that allows staff to easily update content and track usage of both the in-room and mobile applications. A built-in ticketing system notifies managers of new guest requests via desktop or mobile devices and also allows the requests to be assigned to specific departments. Staff can also message guests with important information or marketing promotions.

Intelity CEO and President David Adelson said, “Marmara Park Avenue is a perfect fit for our technology because guests who stay there will find it to be perfect tool for staying connected with not only the hotel staff but also the surrounding area in a city that can be overwhelming to some with so much to see and do. ICE will enable the hotel to give the support and attention each individual guest needs.”