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Business Advice

Hotels enhance products to draw guests

They are spending on upgrading works and new technologies
The Business Times - February 23, 2012
By: Nisha Ramchandani
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Hotels enhance products to draw guests Mandarin Orchard Hotel recently introduced IPTV. -- BT IMAGE

(SINGAPORE) From upgrading works to new technologies, local hotels are enhancing their products and services to keep travellers coming back.

Sheraton Towers, which first opened here in 1985, is spending $20 million on renovation works which will give the hotel's facade a facelift as well as redesign its 412 guest rooms.

The overhaul is geared towards dialling up the experience for customers, with additions to the rooms such as 40-inch LED televisions, while the corridors have been refurbished with energy-saving LED lights.

Refurbishment works are being carried out floor by floor and nine floors have been completed so far, the hotel said.

Meanwhile, Far East Hospitality's The Elizabeth Hotel has given its executive rooms a $3.5 million makeover to incorporate modern furnishings such as LED high-definition televisions and rain-showers in the bathrooms.

The hotel is also offering an executive room promotion ($228) till end March, and sweetens the pot with admission to Sentosa and a trip on the Singapore Cable Car, plus complimentary breakfast, mini-bar amenities, unlimited Internet access, local calls and laundry service.

The 256-room Elizabeth Hotel has 100 executive rooms and four executive premier rooms.

And the Mandarin Orchard hotel has recently introduced an in-room Internet protocol television (IPTV) system in all its 1,051 rooms, which provide customers with access to services such as express check-out, concierge and dining, in addition to the television network. As the IPTV system is developed further, guests will also be able to control room settings through the IPTV.

StarHub, which worked together with the hotel for the product offering, also installed a 'second screen' option, enabling hotel guests to remotely access in-room services from hotel-issued iPad devices, meaning that guests can have IPTV access from anywhere in the hotel.

Guests can also download the application onto their own iPads. This will soon be extended to Android tablets as well.

The hotel's manager Christoph Szymanski said: 'The implementation of our integrated IPTV solution not only adds value to the experience, it also increases the productivity levels of our staff - according us more resources to focus on other areas crucial to our ability to consistently deliver product and service excellence.'

Meanwhile, the Park Hotel Group has rolled out a package across its hotels aimed at business travellers, dangling perks such as complimentary high-speed Internet access, express check-in and check-out, use of meeting rooms as well as free local calls and laundry services.

Singapore's hotel industry has been flourishing, posting a healthy growth in room rates last year, with the average room rate (ARR) gaining 13 per cent to hit $245 while the average occupancy rate (AOR) came in at a solid 86 per cent. This boosted revenue per available room (RevPAR) by 15 per cent year-on-year to $212 - surpassing heights seen in 2008 - according to preliminary estimates released by the Singapore Tourism Board.



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