Aiming to shake up the hotel industry and bring hospitality standards up another notch, the luxurious boutique Emblem Hotel in Prague strives to create a home-away-from-home for their guests, while providing them with the comfort and convenience technology can bring them.
Forward-thinking General Manager, Helena Valtová, speaks to us about how handy not only helps them achieve this goal, but supports the hotel to operate in more environmentally-friendly ways. To add to this, handy facilitates seamless communication with guests regardless of when and where.
What makes the Emblem Hotel Prague stand out from other hotels?
We are aiming to create something truly different — a hotel that stands out not just for its design, but also for its services. We have created a space that is it not just about accommodation, but also about our guests successfully planning a whole day. People come to Emblem with higher than usual expectations and we are happy to keep meeting them. It is not easy to ‘wow’ a modern traveler, but for now we are succeeding. We want to represent Prague as we feel it to be, one of the most charming and extraordinary cities in the world, and we want to be the heart that guides you through it.
“Having handy is about improving the service and the experience, and at the end of the day, to give guests the feeling that they are actually staying at a hotel.”
What was your primary goal for implementing handy at The Emblem?
We do things a little differently here at The Emblem. We know that modern technology has changed the way people go about their daily lives, and we strive to relate to that. I believe the emergence of handy is an outcome of the natural development of technology in hospitality. Our goal is to satisfy our guests' needs and cravings. Whether it’s giving them something they expect or surprising them with something they haven't heard of, we will do it. We have no doubt that very soon guests will expect handy in their rooms, and we don’t feel the need to wait for it to be a norm to jump on board — we want to ‘wow’ them now.
“It’s excellent, because handy is a device that guests can actually take away from the hotel room and use in the city.”
How does handy help to retain brand loyalty with your guests?
When we won the Innovation In Service Award at the European Hospitality Awards in 2014, we knew we have to stay on top of hospitality trends to maintain the momentum. I could imagine our guests staying in a hotel equipped with handy at another destination, and expecting to see it back at their favourite Emblem. handy is another step towards the ultimate guest experience, and it is a great opportunity for our hotel staff to really be a part of the guests’ experience. We can be personal and smart; we can give the guest what they want as if we were reading their minds.
“We see 50% or 60% of our guests with handy devices in their hands all the time."
How does handy help encourage guests to use in-house facilities & services?
Within handy, guests have access to Sub-Home Screen Banners which gives them information about all our hotel services. Wherever they are, inside the hotel or anywhere in the city, they can browse, read city guide content, get excited about special offers, order in-room service digitally, and also give feedback — all within one device. Our guests are especially interested in our restaurant. handy not only helps us make our hotel services completely irresistible, we see our guests exploring the device while waiting for their orders at the restaurant, and we know we made the right choice.
“I’ve seen an increase in the number of reservations we are receiving; handy compliments the services we offer here in the hotel really nicely.”
Can you elaborate more on a specific feature of handy that has proven to be a success case for your hotel?
Our statistics show that the application most used by guests is Google Maps, and this is fantastic news. This is definitely not only because we can reduce consumption of paper maps. It means that guests do take handy with them when they leave the hotel to explore the city.
They are happy to bring with them a travel buddy that will show them the way, give recommendations for food and drinks, and provide them with contacts in case of an emergency. And when they leave the hotel, they can leave this buddy at the hotel and look forward to seeing it again when they come back, meaning they won’t have to overload their own smartphones with extra applications or worry about roaming charges.
“handy is so easy to use, it’s so user friendly; it is only natural for us to take on providing it to our hotel guests.”