New York, NY — The Gregory Hotel and The Renwick Hotel – a pair of historic boutique hotels in Midtown Manhattan – are using ALICE’s operations technology and guest engagement platform to improve staff coordination and provide convenient communications options to guests.
Both hotels have a strong legacy of New York City hospitality. The Gregory opened as the Gregorian Hotel in 1903 and quickly became a popular residence for the famous and well-to-do. The Renwick began its life as a home to artist studios and intellectuals and is a member of Historic Hotels of America®. Both hotels were restored (and, in the case of The Gregory, renamed), and reopened as swank New York City boutiques in 2015.
Prior to implementing ALICE, operations at the 173-room The Renwick Hotel (a member of the Curio Collection by Hilton) were managed with pen and paper, with guest calls and requests logged on a shared spreadsheet. Now, the hotel’s front desk, engineering, and housekeeping teams all manage their operations with ALICE, which has greatly increased the efficiency with which the departments can log guest requests and dispatch them to the correct team or individual. Logging guest requests and establishing patterns over time has allowed the housekeeping team, for example, to optimize the replenishment schedule they use to place items like water bottles and towels in the guest rooms. The maintenance team, meanwhile, appreciates how establishing patterns in work orders can help point to more fundamental underlying issues, like plumbing problems across an entire building wing, as oppose to in a specific room. Logging numerous work orders regarding shelving that would come loose from bathroom walls led the team to determine the shelving itself was faulty and that they should replace it altogether, rather than go room by room as issues arose.
Before ALICE, teams at The Gregory were also tracking activities and requests manually, as well as relying on walkie talkies, which were often obtrusively loud and unreliable. ALICE, in contrast, lets staff at The Gregory be specific with their communication. Entering text-based guest requests and work orders into ALICE means nothing can be misheard or skipped over, and attaching images makes communicating the nature of an issue or its location effortless. The Gregory’s Director of Operations, Natalie Bogan, also appreciates how keeping this record of communications and activities makes her job as a manager easier, allowing her to check in every morning or after a long weekend to see instantaneously the status of operations at her hotel. She also keeps her own notes in ALICE, ensuring everything she needs to manage the hotel is in one place.
Both The Renwick and The Gregory are using the guest-facing component of ALICE’s hotel technology, ALICE Guest. Michael Hillier, General Manager of The Renwick, and The Gregory’s Natalie Bogan love the convenience ALICE provides to their guests. ALICE’s guest engagement toolset, which includes a guest-facing app and SMS texting, lets guests request housekeeping, bellman and maintenance services, and communicate directly with the front desk. “Offering guests the ability to text and use the app to place requests makes a lot of sense. We’re on our phones all the time anyway. It’s a lot easier than calling the front desk and potentially being placed on hold, and you can also place requests off-site,” says Hillier. Natalie Bogan agrees, “Texting guests creates an immediately personal experience.”