When Stephen Johnston, Managing Director and General Manager of Boston Harbor Hotel, first heard some of the selling points about Intelity’s ICE, he was naturally skeptical. From increased revenue and guest satisfaction to a stronger ability to communicate with hotel guests, it sounded too good to be true.
Understanding the growing importance for weaving technology into the guest experience, Stephen and his hotel’s management team knew that hospitality technology was no longer a “nice to have,” but rather a “must have.”
“When Intelity was first presented to me, I was intrigued because at the time the Boston Harbor Hotel did not fully utilize technology, and we were looking for new ways to do so.”
Now, seven months after installing Intelity’s ICE Bedside on tablets in guest rooms and launching an ICE Mobile hotel app, any doubts have more than dissipated. The numerous benefits realized through use of the platform surpassed expectations.
I haven’t had a single person who has come to me and said ‘we miss the old ways.
– Stephen Johnston, Managing Director and General Manager
Most print materials, such as newspapers, were able to be largely removed from guest rooms and replaced with digital content on the hotel tablets. Within a year of installation, newspaper costs alone decreased by 90 percent.
Guests have embraced this new hotel technology wholeheartedly.
“We listen to our guests a lot and value their feedback,” Stephen said. “We’re very engaged as a Forbes Five-Star hotel. In the year since we have added the hotel tablets to the rooms, I have received so many positive comments from our guests. Guests appreciate this new and efficient way to interact with the hotel, and we enjoy being able to offer the conveniences of technology without compromising our high standards of service.”
About 80 to 90 percent of guests use the platform as the primary method of placing requests and communicating with hotel staff. The hotel app and tablets offer a new interactive guest experience.
Guest usage: 80 – 90%
In-Room Print Costs Decreased 90%
Total Annual In-Room Dining Revenue Increased 16.4%
Stephen said, “It’s really just ease of use. It’s a hassle-free interface that is easy to navigate. There is also a touch of novelty attached to it. People are intrigued when they see that by simply pressing a few buttons, wonderful food appears at their door within 30 minutes.”
And whether it was the fluid user experience or added convenience to the guest room service ordering process, the hotel’s total in-room dining revenue increased a total of 16.4 percent over the previous year.
Stephen and his staff were surprised at this increase in revenue because the hotel’s in-room dining figures have been rather consistent in the past. He credits the introduction of Intelity’s ICE because it was “the most significant change introduced to the in-room dining service in recent years.”
The hotel was able to use the platform for digital marketing, advertising, and improved in-room/mobile upselling. For instance, once guests completed an order using the hotel tablets, they were prompted to add other items to complement their order, such as appetizers or desserts.
Leading up to the holiday season, the hotel ran a special pop-up whiskey bar. A push notification was sent out to guests via the hotel room tablets stating, “Tell your friends you are going to be late to dinner,” along with the times the bar would be open. In only an hour, the hotel recorded revenue intake of $700.
Overall, Stephen looks forward to figuring out more creative ways to put INTELITY Staff to good use for engaging guests.