In-Room Media that "Wows"

By Scott Schreiber, President, Enterprise Hotels, The Kessler Collection | December 10, 2009

With much in the hotel industry becoming commoditized, it's challenging to find new and innovative ways to differentiate properties. Attracting customers is crucial, but in today's highly competitive market, it's equally important to provide those customers with a travel experience that builds loyalty for your brand and makes your properties the destination of choice.

In recent years, The Kessler Collection's (www.kesslercollection.com) clientele has become more discerning than ever before. These guests are travel-savvy, know exactly what they're looking for, and typically have rich media options at home. Hotel management wanted to ensure that they offered at least comparable media capabilities, with the goal of giving guests options they had never before experienced. Management also wanted to find an in-room media solution that not only meets its needs today, but one that would offer a scalable, unified platform that will allow the brand to adopt new technologies as they emerge.

The Kessler Collection chose to work with Roomlinx (www.roomlinx.com) based on its ability to offer a comprehensive, flexible set of features that would let management tailor an in-room media offering to rival what most people enjoy at home. The solution offers guests access to Web TV, HD Hollywood movies, world radio, unlimited HSIA, business tools, and more through the properties' LCD TVs. Plus it provides mechanisms that help management boost revenue.

Management implement the Roomlinx system at the 104-guestroom Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, and the 75-guestroom Bohemian Hotel Savannah in the city's historic Riverfront district.

Guests response has been very positive, and among the most popular features is the ability to surf the Internet with the system's wireless keyboard and mouse on a big-screen TV. This is something people don't do at home, and it's the most commonly mentioned in-room media feature on comment cards. The virtual concierge service is also extremely well received, and guests have noted that they appreciate the convenience of being able to browse the hotel services directory on the TV, including facility maps, room service menus, guest services and phone extensions.

An additional feature that attracted Kessler to Roomlinx was its ability to broadcast targeted in-room advertisements, thus opening up a new revenue stream for the hotel. Local businesses can purchase space to advertise directly to guests via the in-room media. Management also regularly broadcasts ads about the hotels' facilities and can promote special offers, services, products/sales, and daily menu specials in restaurants and lounge entertainment.

Both new hotels opened with highly successful in-house ancillary business. After six months, they continue to out-perform the ancillary business in The Kessler Collection's other properties, and management credits much of that success to the visibility gained through the in-room ads.
 
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