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Intelity Makes Changes to Meet Hotel Design Needs

The impact of evolving hotel technology has led to the need to rethink traditional guestroom design,
and with the new ICE Sapphire, Intelity looks to inspire change

ORLANDO, Fla., June 5, 2013 – With more than half of luxury hotel operators looking to increase IT spending in the next year, advanced hotel technology is increasingly becoming an expected feature in guest rooms rather than just an amenity.
Hotels are exploring ways to incorporate the most cutting-edge innovations without interfering with the property’s intended guest experience, style and branding.
Chris Grey, chief technology officer of leading hotel technology firm Intelity, said in-room technology has a large impact on the overall experience a hotel is able to present its guests.

Intelity’s ICE on iPad at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

"Hotels shouldn’t be willing to partner with companies that can’t improve the guest experience with their technology’s design,” Grey said. “It’s not a wise investment if the technology isn’t able to serve a purpose while still enhancing the look and feel of the guest room.”
President of sfa design Kara Smith said in-room technology has become a large consideration in hotel guestroom design, though the basic factors of guestroom design have remained constant. The California-based interior design firm specializes in luxury hospitality and boasts clients such as the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills.
Smith, who has worked at sfa design for 12 years, said attitudes among hoteliers about technology’s place in the guest room have shifted over time.
“About five years ago, almost every client came to me saying they wanted technology as a complete component of the room. They tended to want a ‘cleaner’ look,” Smith said. “Now I’m really seeing a change in that and a preference for using technology to create an added luxury to the room. It’s about adding an experience you don’t necessarily get at your home.”
Grey said Intelity’s team of designers and developers plan to release a new technology, ICE Sapphire, next week that will allow hoteliers to match the look of the interface with the hotel’s general style. The new platform provides guests with access to all of a hotel’s services from a native or web app on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs. ICE Sapphire features complete flexibility in design, with the ability to use custom fonts, colors, images and several different themes to choose from.
“Hotels are starting to realize the benefits of developing an app to communicate with guests,” Grey said. “Our aim is to go above and beyond by providing technology that’s functional and also elegantly designed. These days, it’s not just about what an app does. It has to look good while doing it.”
Smith said she also feels it’s important to select technology that is able to harmonize with the rest of the room.
When sfa design worked on rooms at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles, a principal concern was prominently displaying the in-room iPads, which feature Intelity’s ICE. The iPads had to be installed in a way that made them easily noticeable and accessible to guests.
In-room tablets, such as those installed by Intelity, have increased in popularity among sfa design’s clients recently, especially because “guests really love them,” she said. The tablets for Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles provide access to guest services such as making housekeeping requests, placing orders for in-room dining, and scheduling spa reservations.
Not all in-room technology is embraced by guests, though. Smith said having too many gadgets or too many wires in a room can frustrate and overwhelm guests.
“Technology just for the sake of having technology in the room is not good for guests, who don’t want to have to overfamiliarize themselves with a ton of gadgets. However, there’s still a need for great technology, like in-room iPads, heated bathroom floors or motorized drapes, and that’s really come into play in guestroom design now.”
Smith said she offers the same advice about incorporating technology into guestroom design to all of her clients.
“Keep it simple. Keep it with what a guest would want to use.”
Grey said as technology develops, it’s becoming more capable of meeting the design needs of hotels.
“Our company has learned so much since we first began doing this six years ago,” he said. “Technology has come so far in such a short period of time. Hotels shouldn’t have to sacrifice the guestroom experience to upgrade the technology. It’s about finding the right tech partners that can understand your goals and present you with a flexible technology that can meet your needs.”
For more information on Intelity, visit
About Intelity  
Intelity, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is the creator of the world’s first fully integrated enterprise platform, ICE (Interactive Customer Experience™), and now also ICE Sapphire, which includes a guest service interface in addition to a back-end management tool that measures ROI in real time and integrates with more than 35 hotel management systems. The customizable interface allows guests to arrange services via an in-room touch screen tablet; smartphone and tablet; TV; laptop; or touch screen. Since beginning operations in 2007, the hospitality solutions company has become a pioneer in hospitality technology with the deployment of ICE across six continents in almost 500 hotels worldwide, including all major brands and many significant independents. The New York Times called ICE “the digital edge” for hotels. The ICE platform has also been recognized industry wide, earning Intelity the industry’s “Most Innovative Hospitality Technology” award in a vote by hoteliers and the Business Traveler Innovation Award for Best Travel Convenience & Efficiency Innovation. Become acquainted with ICE and learn what Intelity’s hotel partners are saying on the Intelity website For more information, please call 1-888-RevPAR-1 (1-888-738-7271) or follow us on Twitter (@Intelity). 

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Chantelle Marcelle
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