A hotel finance director with a vision transforms the guest experience

Hotel Hendricks quickly transitions to a contactless environment with reliable technology from a trusted partner
Calvester Legister, Hotel Hendricks

Hoteliers have long seen the potential of improving the guest experience with self-service-oriented technologies such as check-in kiosks and contactless ordering for in-room dining and other amenities. But guest demand for those and other technologies had been low — until Spring 2020.

When the pandemic hit, hospitality technologies that minimize in-person contact quickly became a must have. Many hotels were left scrambling to quickly transition to this contactless environment — but not Hotel Hendricks in New York City.

Well before the pandemic impacted our lives, Calvester Legister, the finance director for Hotel Hendricks, had a vision to reinvent the guest experience.

With the help of a trusted technology partner, Legister brought that vision to life — and positioned the hotel to tackle the biggest unforeseen hospitality IT challenge the industry has ever faced.

Thinking ahead

To bring his vision to life, Legister turned to Spectrum Enterprise, as other Fortuna hotels had previously partnered with them to successfully implement hospitality technology services. The account team recommended Fiber Connect Plus with Moviebeam. Delivered over the Spectrum Enterprise dedicated fiber network, the solution would enable guests to take advantage of a wide variety of hospitality solutions, services and entertainment options right from their in-room TVs. It would also integrate with the hotel’s property management system (PMS). Legister was sold.

Going all in

Getting the service installed in time for the hotel’s grand opening in 2019 was going to be tricky. Fiber internet needed to be installed and run to the hotel before a city moratorium prohibiting street construction took effect for the holiday season. But the Spectrum Enterprise team and Hotel Hendricks IT staff went all in to get it done. “Even with the pressure of the upcoming moratorium, everyone worked together well. Our account manager did a tremendous job coordinating everything, and we got the fiber laid in time,” says Legister. “We had no problems at all with the install process.”

Tackling the unexpected

When the pandemic struck in early 2020, providing a contactless guest experience became an urgent priority. This was a daunting endeavor for many hotels — but not Hotel Hendricks, because they had Fiber Connect Plus with Moviebeam. With local attractions and dining menus displayed on the hotel TVs, the use of in-room guidebooks and paper menus had already been discontinued. And guests were already able to check out of their rooms without visiting the front desk.

In addition, because Fiber Connect Plus integrates with the hotel’s PMS, Hotel Hendricks has been able to operate more efficiently with the smaller staff they’ve had since the pandemic started. For example, when a room service order is initiated from the in-room TV, it pops up instantly on an iPad in the hotel’s restaurant for fulfillment. Without this solution, staff members would be standing by to answer the phone, confirm the order, then pass it to the kitchen, requiring more people, more steps and more time.

“Fiber Connect Plus has allowed us to continue delivering quality guest services during the pandemic. We haven’t had any downtime, and that stability has enabled us to create an environment where we can thrive while upholding CDC guidelines,” says Legister. “We’ve stayed open during the entire pandemic, and none of our employees have gotten COVID. We could not have done that without Spectrum Enterprise and their technology.”

Partnering together

While Legister and his team have faced their share of unpredictable challenges over the past year, one thing that has remained consistent is the strong relationship with his Spectrum Enterprise account team. “I’m constantly speaking with my account team about new offerings Spectrum Enterprise has that will create even richer experiences for our guests,” says Legister. “When I call, I get people who understand the technology in the hospitality industry; people who know what I’m talking about and can provide the answers I need. It’s really refreshing.”

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