News for the Hospitality Executive
Vancouver, Wash. (Oct. 12, 2010) – If you didn't think there was anything that could set the Heathman Hotel in Downtown Portland, Ore., even further apart from other luxury lodging facilities in the Pacific Northwest, think again. This month the acclaimed independent boutique hotel has partnered with GBCblue to launch ORION, a transaction-based system that allows guests using their own personal devices to interact with hotel services and order amenities. Through ORION, GBCblue’s web-based comprehensive hotel services portal, guests have the option to use their laptop, a web-enabled cell phone or a branded Heathman Hotel application downloaded to their iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch via the GORION mobile ordering assistant to order room service, purchase an amenity, schedule a spa appointment, request valet service and more directly from the AppleTM app store.
"The Heathman Hotel has a long standing practice of incorporating tradition with innovation," said General Manager Chris Erickson. "We are finding that many of our guests prefer to communicate via their personal mobile device rather than via [a public guest-use] computer or [in-room] phone. The GORION app for ipad/iPhone/iPod Touch allows us to accommodate that preference while still offering our valued guests the personal service they have come to expect from the Heathman. While the app is electronic, a personal concierge will still personally handle each guest's request. So, if guests are stuck in traffic on their way in from the airport, they use the Heathman app on the iPad/iPhone or a link on their web-enabled mobile device to order dinner and a bottle of wine. Our concierge will make certain that their order is waiting in their room when they arrival."
A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Historic Hotels of America, the Heathman Hotel is situated downtown in the heart of Portland's financial and cultural districts. The 150-room and suite facility has been named one of the “World’s Best Places to Stay” by Condé Nast Traveler; one of the “500 Best Hotels in the World” by Travel +Leisure magazine; and has been awarded AAA's 4-Diamond luxury hotel award for 25 consecutive years.
"The deployment of ORION at the Heathman Hotel proves that smaller, independent properties with limited technology resources can easily and inexpensively deliver and array of relevant property-specific content to their guests' own Internet-enabled devices in a beautiful branded experience," said Joe Adkisson, GBCblue Executive Vice President. "ORION gives the Heathman the opportunity to rival what big brands do in terms of content and functionality, but in an affordable and streamlined format.
"We are thrilled that the Heathman Hotel is one of the first loyal GBCblue customers to incorporate our secure Business Center technology, ORION Splash (customizable HSIA splash page), the ORION content-delivery platform, and the GORION mobile solution," he said. "Today the Heathman can boast a completely branded, immersive experience delivering relevant content (online room service, tours and concierge services) at virtually every guest-facing technology touch point. This is truly a prime example of how GBCblue is leveling the playing field for hotels across the globe by providing an e-commerce platform that is second to none."
THE ORION DIFFERENCE
Adkisson explained that what sets ORION apart from other interactive customer experience solutions on the market is its ability to give guests something more than a cold, static menu and room service phone number when they order a service or amenity online. If the order doesn’t "go somewhere," he said the system totally fails the guest who is expecting a heightened level of service.
"When guests take the time to use an online system, it should just work, and work well," Adkisson said. "It's the difference between providing a warm, personalized guest experience vs. an icy or cold, non-interactive one. In addition, GBCblue doesn’t require hotels to purchase a piece of expensive, unsecure, hardware to deliver content. Instead, we use the guests own devices to deliver attractive, relevant content to guests that results in an immediate response. All these elements went into the Heathman Hotel's decision to partner with GBCblue."
The Heathman's Erickson said he was also attracted to the ORION solution because it was a seamless extension of the hotel's personal concierge and critically acclaimed room service departments, and because the company always does business with sustainability in mind, and as a result, they prefer to work with local vendors to reduce their carbon footprint whenever possible.
"GBCblue is not only a fellow Pacific Northwest company, but they came to us with a unique approach to our existing personal concierge service making it easily accessible to those who choose to communicate on their PDA," Erickson said. "Each concierge request delivered through the ORION system will be handled by one of the personal concierge staff so that there is a human touch to each request. In addition, GBCblue listened to our requests for an interactive map to be incorporated into the iPad/Phone app that highlights local areas of interest -- including jogging routes, pub crawls and wine tours. It's like bringing a concierge with you when you leave the property. GBCblue even developed a new audio file feature just for The Heathman. It's an outstanding solution."
GBCblue and The Heathman's are proud to let you view the new ORION-powered portal at www.Heathman4Starservice.com or download the free app from the Apple app store.
GBCblue is a leading innovator in guest computing technology and support services and is trusted by major hotels in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K. and the Caribbean. GBCblue is focused on providing the hospitality industry with the finest remotely managed, self-service, automated business centers, public computing, in-room applications and fully hosted web-based property guest portals. GBCblue supports both Microsoft and Apple operating systems.
GBCblue’s ORION system allows hotel operators to easily create their own customized web-based property portals. These portals allow your guests the ability to directly interact with property services, such as ordering room service, amenities or other property services right from their laptops or web-enabled phones. The new GORION product is an iPhone/iPod touch/iPad application that puts the power of the ORION portal directly in the palm of your guests. With direct integrations available into POS, PMS, CRM and CMMS systems, you can streamline your guest services and increase staff productivity while providing your guests with the highest level of service.
Discover what GBCblue can do for you to add incremental revenue and reduce costs at www.GBCblue.com , call sales at 1-888-GBCblue or email email@example.com to request a personal call back.
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