Hospitality Technology (HT) magazine has named the winners of the 2015 Hotel Visionary Awards. Every year, HT presents a select group of lodging companies with accolades for outstanding achievement in delivering technological excellence. This year’s honorees are Hilton Worldwide, Fontainebleau Hotel and SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts.
Now celebrating 11 years, the Hotel Visionary Awards are presented in two categories: infrastructure/back-office technology, and customer-facing/in-room technology. In order to ensure that companies from across the industry are recognized for their efforts, consideration is given to size, resources and individual market segment benchmarks. Winners are selected by HT editorial staff and members of the HT advisory board on a basis of innovation, thought leadership, execution and forward-thinking vision.
“The 2015 Visionary Award Winners illustrate two of the most important technology developments impacting hotels today: mobile tech, and data intelligence,” says Abigail Lorden, HT’s group editor-in-chief. “As these two technologies overlap — and an increasing amount of guest interactions become both mobile and data-rich — it will become vital that hotels push for innovation from their technology partners to deliver the necessary experience on the front end, and integrated intelligence on the back end. HT is honored to recognize these companies for their particular efforts.”
The winners were announced at the Hotel Technology Forum (HTF) on Thursday, April 23, 2015. The 2015 HTF, held April 22-24 at the Gran Melia Resort in Puerto Rico, is produced by Hospitality Technology, and brings together senior-level hotel technology executives for three days of networking and education, focusing on consumer trends, innovation opportunities, and the role of technology in empowering success for lodging companies.
The 2015 Visionary Award Winners
SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts was selected as an Infrastructure/Back-Office Technology Innovator for a major infrastructure upgrade and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project known as Project Fusion. The goal of this undertaking was to improve business processes, enhance collaboration and support, while laying the foundation for future growth. SilverBirch launched Project Fusion in order to fully integrate all departments fostering seamless communication and the transfer of data so teams can work together effectively. The streamlined ERP enables centralized information to be pushed out to hotels and allows employees to concentrate on running hotels and not extracting information. By standardizing technologies, systems and processes, SilverBirch has positioned itself for increasing its portfolio size while improving efficiencies and reducing administration time and costs.
“We’re proud of this award because it helps validate the effort and hard work the SilverBirch team put into this multi-system deployment,” says Walid Salem, Vice President, Information Technology, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts. “In addition, it is positive for the hospitality industry as a whole, because it demonstrates how we are committed to implementing and sharing best practices, and growing the industry.”
Hilton Worldwide was chosen as a Customer-Facing/In-Room Technology Innovator for its development of a one-stop mobile solution that addresses consumers’ expectations around how they engage with brands and how they are able to use their smartphones as part of the hotel experience. Hilton’s digital check-in with room selection is an industry-first technology that addresses travelers’ desires, allowing check-in and room selection right from a smartphone. Through the Hilton HHonors app, guests now can plan their trip, reserve and choose their room, order in-room items and check out, ushering in a new era of digital-driven hospitality where the smartphone becomes the “remote control” for consumers’ entire travel experience.
“We are thrilled to be recognized as a 2015 Visionary Award winner for our work on digital check-in with room selection,” says Rich DeStefano, Sr. Director, Mobile Products, Hilton Worldwide. “We’re so proud of building technology that our guests love — more than 90 percent say they would use it again — and this honor only further emboldens our efforts to explore new innovations that will simplify and enrich the guest journey.”
Fontainebleau Hotel has been named a Customer-Facing/In-Room Technology Innovator for its rollout of a guest-facing mobile solution that integrates with the PMS to improve operational efficiencies. Recognizing the rise of the smartphone and guests’ desire for command and control of their travel experience from their smartphone, Fontainebleau implemented the StayNTouch platform that allowed guests a branded mobile experience for mobile check-in, checkout, and service requests while also expanding pre-arrival and on-premise marketing. The system also offers two-way integration with the 1,504-room resort’s core systems to offer both guest service mobility and guest engagement. In addition to improved guest reviews and reduced front desk lines, Fontainebleau saw 141% ROI in the first 30 days after rollout from revenue generated by targeted marketing for extended guest stays and late check-outs.
“Fontainebleau has a reputation for delivering an exceptional customer experience by going above and beyond expectations,” John Garland, Vice President of Finance for Fontainebleau Hotel reveals. “Leveraging technology and strategic business partnerships is a natural progression as we continue to strive for excellence. We are deeply moved that our efforts have been recognized, not only by our guests, but by Hospitality Technology.”
Past Visionary Award Winners Include:
- Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (2014)
- Red Lion Hotels (2014)
- La Quinta Inns & Suites (2014)
- Hyatt Hotels (2013)
- Conrad Hotels & Resorts (2013)
- Red Roof Inns (2013)
- Choice Hotels (2013)
- Flamingo Las Vegas (2012)
- Gaylord Entertainment (2012)
- La Quinta Inns & Suites (2012)
- Hilton Worldwide (2012)
- Choice Hotels International (2011)
- Morgans Hotel Group (2011)
- Galt House Hotel (2011)
- Royal Caribbean (2011)
- CityCenter (2010)
- Courtyard by Marriott (2010)
- JHM Hotels Group (2010)
- InterContinental Hotels Group (2009)
- Harrah’s Entertainment (2009)
- Hyatt Place (2009)
- Thayer Lodging Group (2009)
- MTM Luxury Lodging (2008)
- The Peninsula Hotels (2008)
- Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (2008)
- Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (2007)
- Ginn Resorts (2007)
- Hilton Hotels Corporation (2007)
- Rosewood Hotels & Resorts (2006)
- Harrah’s Entertainment (2006)
- MGM Mirage (2006)
- Wyndham International (2005)
- Sea Island Company (2005)
- Marriott International (2005)
- Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (2005)
- Hyatt International (2005)