Hong Kong’s high-tech Rosedale on the Park
incorporates a wide range of innovative facilities,
including a number of industry firsts
|February 2001 - Hong Kong’s high-tech Rosedale
on the Park incorporates a wide range of innovative facilities, including
a number of industry firsts
The newly opened Rosedale on the Park in Hong Kong – which claims to be the world’s first custom-built high-tech hotel - is claiming a fistful of firsts.
The Rosedale, which describes itself as an “intelligent hotel”, is technology - heavy, with a higher-than-average ratio of advanced features specifically designed to help increase efficiency, offer more inroom facilities and allow staff extra freedom to interact with guests.
The 274-room property, located in the heart of
the Causeway Bay shopping and commercial district, was built by developer
Paul Y and has a franchise agreement with Best Western.
Communications facilities include a 1.5Mb broadband line supplied by Pacific Supernet which, in turn, connects to the VBN broadband provisioning system, supplied by 3Com.
Besides broadband connections, the Rosedale provides guests with digital cordless and web phones, and the 24-hour business centre is fully equipped with all the latest gadgets.
Each guestroom utilised CAT5 cabling, which made the whole process easier and more cost effective. As the hotel is in control of the costs, it can set different pricing levels based on guest profiles, as opposed to fixing an across-the-board fee.
This is the first time a hotel has gone on its own with the 3Com system, which is Linux-based and interfaces with Fidelio for guest billing.
The Rosedale’s web-based reservation system, Serenata’s BookHotel, is another first in Asia.
Here’s how it works: after visiting the hotel’s website a guest simply points and clicks on the “make a reservation” button, which is hyperlinked to the Serenata booking engine. This, in turn, links in real time to the Fidelio database, allowing the hotel to offer last-minute room sales and promotional packages according to pre-set criteria.
Pushing the envelope even further, the system provides an interface to a payment gateway provided by StarEast Net and the Bank of China, which captures credit-card details and pre-charges guests for their entire stay – another first.
When the reservation is confirmed, a confirmation message is emailed to the guest via Serenata’s @MAIL system.
Although many hotels still continue to send fax confirmations, Rosedale prefers to dispatch emails for a number reasons: it is environmentally friendly, easier to store on the guest’s PC for later retrieval on the road, can be duplicated for filing and carries no communication costs. (Rosedale’s management believes there will come a time when all hotel reservations will be made this way.) The hotel also receives reservations from the Best Western system.
Guests receive an interesting added-value service, HOTELINMYHAND. This small file, based on the Palm OS, is “synched” into guests’ Palm pocket computers, and allows them to download the hotel’s features and facilities in the palm of their hands – long before they arrive at the property.
They also receive e-coupons from local merchants, a graphical taxi card to help overcome language barriers, hotel outlet information, useful telephone numbers, city information and an e-questionnaire.
Upon arrival, guests are escorted to their room, where the simple registration process takes place. Staff explain the inroom facilities, including how to connect laptops to the network, as well as other high-tech features, including the DECT cordless phone. This does away with trailing wires and, since the signal is digital, the call clarity is far superior.
Help is also at hand for guests who prefer to
travel without a laptop but still require internet access, through the
Web Phone (another first), an integrated phone and browsing station which
features a pull-out, full-sized keyboard.
For guests who require a computer, the business centre will whisk one up to the room and connect it to the LAN. Alternatively, workstations are available in both the business centre and the “cyber corner”, or guests can borrow a LAN card for their laptops.
There are also six ISDN locations in the hotel for guests who need video - conferencing facilities.
The Rosedale is pioneering the Kerbango Internet radio feature, a broadband system from 3Com which allows guests to surf an estimated 5,500 radio stations on the web.
Back-of-the-house features include I-Guard’s Time and Attendance system, which is being used in a hotel for the first time.
This relatively small device is located at the staff entrance, and is used to record entry/exit of staff, using thumbprints for identification, instead of the old-fashioned manual drop-in timecards that are open to abuse.
Each staff member records both their left and right thumbprints into the system. “Both thumbs are stored just in case a member of staff has an unfortunate accident and damages one,” says GM Lee.
The I-Guard system is integrated into the SMS Human Resource system, which also handles payroll.
The Adaco Material Management System is used for inventory management and recipe costing. Nothing special about this, you might say, but Rosedale is using barcode scanning to track items and hasten stocktaking.
“We’ve taken this technology one step further by having the housekeeping department use laser guns to re-order guest supplies and linen at the end of the day,” says Lee.
“It is designed to ensure we do not encounter an out-of-stock situation, resulting in unnecessary inconvenience to guests.”
The Adaco system is interfaced to both the Micros system and SUN accounting for data transfer and onward processing.
The Rosedale intends to continue to keep abreast of technology, and its next move is to install an EMS (engineering management system).
How about other high-tech goodies to enhance the
guest experience? Only time will tell.
This article first appeared in February 2001 Hotel Asia Pacific - www.hotelasiapacific.com
|Also See||Pertlink Launches HOTELINMYHAND; A Unique Handheld PC Application Designed Specifically to Improve Service Delivery in the Hospitality Industry / Jan 2001|
|Seemed Like a Tall Order: How to “Hot Wire” the World’s Tallest Hotel and Make It One of the Most Technologically Advanced On the Planet / Terence Ronson /Jan 2001|