INNOVATIONS IN HOTEL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
BARTECH AND BEL-AIR: A PERFECT MATCH
Customization, quality and unobtrusiveness persuaded executives of the distinctive Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles to choose Bartech minibars. It will install them in all of the Bel-Air's 91 rooms and suites.
One of only 30 hotels in the U.S. to receive the Mobil Five-Star Award, the Hotel Bel-Air chose Bartech's minibar for its flexibility, design and quiet operation.
“We chose to work with Bartech because of the level of customization available, which is in line with the overall philosophy of the Bel-Air, where no two guest-rooms or suites are alike,” says Roland Venturini, resident manager. “Many of our suites have been customized to our guest's specification, so it was important that our minibars reflect our unique design concept.”
The Bartech minibars include Bartech's Silent Compressor Cooling Unit, offering quiet operation, high reliability and substantial energy savings, especially when compared to absorption cooling systems that use potentially hazardous ammonia. The Bartech unit uses an electrically powered compressor that pumps a “CFC-free” refrigerant through a sealed system.
“We have customized the product so that it is in line with the distinctive design and atmosphere of Hotel Bel-Air,” he says. “Many of our guests consider the hotel to be their home away from home, so we wanted to incorporate unique touches.”
Not only do they look good, the Bartech minibars are quiet: Audible output is shrunk to 24.9 dB, well below the 31 dB ambient noise level typical of hotel rooms.
LodgeNet Entertainment Corp. and LG Electronics USA plan to deliver a full complement of high-definition broadcast, satellite-delivered premium content and video-on-demand entertainment enabled by industry-leading content security technology. The HDTV solution utilizes Pro:Idiom, a premium content protection technology that ensures robust security for content. The offering includes a boxless platform that incorporates the digital tuning and video-on-demand system components into the cleanest possible in-room presentation, say the companies.
Showtime fills the guest-room with unlimited entertainment. The lineup includes what it calls “Hollywood Hits No One Else Has,” critically acclaimed original series, original pictures, one-of-a-kind live events and championship boxing. Circle 77
TotalVision is a provider of In-Room Entertainment. Its systems include Video on Demand, just-released movie selections, Internet television with wireless keyboards, cutting-edge games with wireless game pads and in-room Internet wiring services. TotalVision solutions are accomplished through state-of-the-art digital equipment.
ATM Systems provides elegant, custom ATM solutions for the hospitality industry. Whether one prefers traditional or more contemporary designs, the company ensures that it will provide ATMs an elegant appearance that blends nicely with hotel décor.
AUDIO SYSTEM UNITES MULTI-USE ROOMS
The Sheraton Gunter Hotel in San Antonio boasts roots dating back to the first year of the Republic of Texas, when it operated as the Frontier Hotel. Today, the 322-room property is just a short stroll from the popular River Walk area and a convenient venue for meetings and social functions.
As such, flexible and dependable sound systems are increasingly important for conference planners looking for ways to make their events stand out. When a ballroom is divided into smaller units, an audio room combining system allows combining of the audio from one or more rooms and separates it depending on the configuration of the rooms. An attendee can walk into a seminar in Room B of a ballroom, and his friend who is registering for the event in the pre-function room can hear the same speaker.
FSR has been engineering and manufacturing audio combining systems for more than 21 years. Designed for hotels and conference centers with divisible, multi-use meeting rooms, the ML-116 Ballroom Combining System unifies the audio system of each room being joined together with the simple touch of a button. A microprocessor-based system, the ML-116 can combine from two to 16 rooms. Or, by installing additional chassis units, one can combine up to 254 rooms.
For the Gunter, Robert Slaughter (designer/project manager of Hairel Enterprises) and Stevel Oliver and Tony Duran (Swank Audio Visuals) planned a system that would provide maximum client friendliness and still meet budget requirements. “This is the 17th FSR system I have installed and we'll continue to install FSR systems at every opportunity,” Slaughter says.
While the technology is complex, the operation is not, claims FSR. The user interface allows a catering staff to feel comfortable operating it in minutes. Circle 80
Card Scanning Solutions has developed check-reading capabilities as a value-added feature of its IDScan line. Within seconds of placing a check in the scanner, the system's optical character recognition technology will pull the check amount, bank information and issuer information, as well as the routing number, account number and check number from the check's face and parse them into text fields of a database application. A 24-bit color image file of the check can also be automatically saved for archiving and security purposes. Circle 81
Web Server Option
The Explorer XP Series of Matrix Switchers from FSR, Inc. offers a blend of features, performance and value. Available in composite video, S-video, component video and RGBHV, the unit can be supplied with or without stereo-balanced audio. Now, with optional web server, the Explorer XP also offers more choices for remote control; it provides access to all set-up and operational modes from anyplace on the network. Circle 82
In-Room Minibars, Safes
HiPro is Dometic's new generation of in-room refreshment centers. Designed for freestanding or built-in applications, modular systems offer four options for product display. Dometic ProSafes with automatic motor locking feature security for valuables. Options include electronic lock, digital display and sizes to hold a laptop computer. Circle 83
Tracking and Reporting System
TIG Global launched an RFP tracking and reporting system. The RFP Availability Reports, which compiles all individual inquiries and group leads submitted through websites' RFP and Contact Us forms, enable hotel clients to garner valuable qualified group leads, gauge potential revenue opportunities, close Internet-driven group business and measure realized incremental revenue generated through TIG Global's turnkey Internet marketing program.
Curved Shower Rod
The Donner curved shower rod from Creative Specialties International, a division of Moen, is a heavy-duty rod with a curve that provides an additional six inches of showering space. The rod is available in polished stainless and brushed stainless steel finishes to coordinate with most existing bathroom decors. It is five feet long, one inch in diameter and fits all standard size shower curtains.
Electronic Wine Chiller
Say good-bye to melting ice and tepid wine. The Sharper Image offers a plug-in device that serves as an electronic thermostat that keeps wine at its optimal serving temperature for hours. Select one of 10 presets (ranging from 37 degrees F to 122 degrees F) and a blinking LED indicates that wine is chilling or warming. Works indoors or out with a 12-foot plug-in AC/DC adapter cord.
The Andis Quiet Turbo 1600 hair dryer has 70 percent less noise, claims the company. The noise has been reduced without diminishing the dryer's 1600 watts of drying power from its long-life motor. The dryer mounts on a wall with a metal mounting plate and sports an LED nightlight.
Carpet Design Tool
Hospitality, from Brintons, is a compilation of coordinated carpet patterns created by members of Brintons' design staff. The 13 sets of patterns include large-scale organics, combined with smaller scale geometrics in contemporary, Asian and retro themes. An accompanying CD allows designers to recolor, with Brinton's color palette, any patterns shown in the album on their own computer. Through this interactive media, designers can print out their pattern and color selections, as well as request printouts and samples by email. Circle 88
Ozone Laundry System
IndustrOzone Technologies has launched the PolarWash commercial ozone laundry system. With five new model offerings, the system is said to provide substantial cost and energy savings and deliver cleaner and longer lasting linens. The system is designed to work effectively in cold water. It offers enhanced safety features including a built-in electric surge protector and an automatic turn-off pressure switch for the generator. Circle 89
The one-watt Tetra Power White LED Lighting System from GELcore, LLC offers a bright, low-voltage, low-maintenance alternative to older technologies such as white neon tubes or fluorescent lamps. The system is said to last up to 50,000 hours and provide 10 times the brightness of traditional white LEDS. The system is available with two or three LEDs per foot. Circle 90
Property Management System
SoftBrands introduces Medallion 6.0, a Windows-based property management system. From premier and group properties to highly specialized boutiques and city center properties, Medallion meets varied business and operational requirements. It is highly configurable so it may be matched to the way individual properties are managed, such as selling by room type, or by rooms with packages, or negotiated rates. Circle 91
Sugar Foods Corp. introduces La Brea Bakery Artisan Croutons. Using hand-crafted techniques, including the use of a heritage starter and a precise, slow-rise method, the natural leavening process produces deep complex flavors, textures and creamy-colored interior that make the loaves ideal for croutons. Flavors include rosemary olive oil and roasted garlic. Circle 92
Touchless Tank Flush
TimeMist, Waterbury Companies, Inc., has created a toilet handle that looks like a normal handle but isn't. The handle allows patrons to walk away after usage, utilizing infra-red technology. The result: fewer germs are spread, reducing cross contamination.
The Retro desk model telephone from Telematrix adds distinction to lobbies and common areas. Phone features a stylish brushed pewter finish, eight-step handset volume control and single-line operation.
Hotel Web Pro is a single source for all Internet services, including website design, optimization, ad management and booking engine or connectivity. It offers a responsible outsource partner for branded hotels, offering services that complement the services offered by the brand. For independent hotels, Hotel Web Pro provides all the services needed to compete effectively on the Internet. Circle 95
Oxia hand-held oxygen canisters are the perfect new-age amenity for hotel rooms, claims the company. Smaller than a 500-ml bottle of Evian, the canisters are filled with a mixture of 90-percent pure oxygen and 10-percent nitrogen. To use, one simply holds the device to his or her mouth and inhales from the mouthpiece. Canisters are both durable and refillable.
Ad Panel Receptacle
United Receptacle has added a new three-sided ad panel receptacle to the Classics by Howard Products line. This new receptacle has three large, changeable message windows that can be used to generate revenue by selling the ad space to advertisers. Or, ad panels can be used to prominently display one's own ad or corporate logo. Circle 97
Shoes for Crews introduces Doc-Trends II for women with a lug sole and contemporary looks. Designed for the most demanding workplaces to protect from slips and falls. Circle 98
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