SuitePad Blog / Customer Stories / How Cedar Manor Uses SuitePad to Improve Guest Experience

- Updated on 15.02.24 -

The Cedar Manor boutique hotel in the UK’s Lake District implemented SuitePad as its guest engagement and communication platform in May 2021.

Right after taking the in-room tablets live, the property began experiencing numerous benefits. This includes increased convenience and personalization for guests, improved operational efficiency, and reduced costs.

We got the scoop from Jonathan Kaye, co-owner and director at Cedar Manor, on his experience of working with SuitePad.Afternoon tea at Cedar Manor

About Cedar Manor

Cedar Manor is a ten-bedroom owner-operated boutique hotel in the heart of the world-renowned Lake District. Local and international leisure travelers enjoy the property’s setting in the tranquil town of Windermere which is surrounded by cultural sights and stunning scenery.

At the hotel’s restaurant, guests can enjoy the best of locally sourced specialties and seasonal produce during breakfast and afternoon tea.

The challenges of effective guest communication during the pandemic

In the past, Cedar Manor’s guests could come to Jonathan and his team for information about the hotel and the best tips for restaurants and activities. Alternatively, they could browse the comprehensive hotel directory in their rooms.

Lounge and bar resupply at Cedar ManorHowever, this changed with the emergence of stringent COVID-19 health and safety standards. All non-essential in-room items that guests would frequently touch had to be removed. This included the directory. On top of that, in-person interactions had to be minimized. This gave Jonathan and his team fewer occasions to provide personalized guidance the way they used to.

“We used to do everything for our guests, from booking restaurant tables to programming a walking route into their phone. But with the new health guidelines, we lost the chance for these personal interactions. Since we still needed a way to share information about the hotel and its surroundings, we began looking for and testing tech-driven alternatives,” Jonathan explains.

First, he and his team put together PDF documents with all key details and began attaching them to the pre-arrival email. They also created an info channel for the in-room TVs and an app which offered information guests needed during their stay. However, neither of these solutions brought the desired results.

Adopting SuitePad as a digital solution

“We knew there had to be a better way. For example, our app looked great, but it was hard to get guests to download it. When we first learned about SuitePad, we knew we were onto something. We’d seen a similar tablet during a hotel stay pre-COVID and decided now would be a good time to look into implementing something like this,” Jonathan recounts. When he began exploring SuitePad, he quickly saw that it offered everything he’d been looking for.

  • First, it would replace the physical hotel directory with a sleek digital solution, thus reducing the hotel’s paper waste.
  • The intuitive interface and the option to let the tablets double as in-room phones made them even more attractive.
  • Lastly, they’re easy to wipe down and disinfect, which was especially important given the stringent new hygiene regulations.
These points convinced Jonathan to implement SuitePad at Cedar Manor and get them ready for the reopening after the third lockdown. “When the tablets got here, they arrived fully configured and ready to use. The team at SuitePad had used all the content we sent them to complete the set-up process for us. All we had to do was put the tablets in the rooms and start telling our guests about them.”

External Cedar Manor

The results of using SuitePad to digitize guest communication

1. Increased convenience for guests

SuitePad allows Cedar Manor to offer guests a new level of convenience. It makes all information available to travelers at any time, so they can explore it at their leisure. But that’s only the beginning.

Thanks to the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) option, this even works pre-arrival or while guests are out for the day. For that, Jonathan shares a personalized link to the hotel directory with travelers after they book. They can use it before and throughout their stay to browse the hotel’s offers, pre-book afternoon tea or make dinner reservations. Since all this works via the link, they no longer need to download the hotel’s app.

Guests can also book restaurants directly via SuitePad: “Most places now only accept online bookings and require a credit card as a guarantee. Due to data protection laws, we’re not allowed to share payment information or even dietary requirements though. That’s why we let guests book on their own now. We made this easy for them by linking directly to every restaurant’s online booking platform in SuitePad. That way, they can research nearby eateries and directly reserve whenever it suits them.”

2. Streamlined operations and increased awareness of in-house offers

Windermere suite at Cedar ManorHaving SuitePads in the rooms saves Jonathan and his team time every day. Now that guests can browse the tablets on their own time, the hotel’s staff has more time to complete other tasks. It also helps that updating information is quick and easy in SuitePad’s backend. Now, reprinting and distributing updated directory pages is a thing of the past. All this makes a significant difference since Cedar Manor runs on a small team that has to wear many hats.

Letting SuitePad take over as a virtual concierge has definitely reduced our workload. Of course, we’re still there for our guests whenever they need us. But it’s also great to see that travelers find inspiration for their outings or book add-ons like our afternoon tea via the tablet – without us personally telling them about it,” Jonathan goes on to say.

Given Cedar Manor’s focus on sustainability, there’s one offer Jonathan is especially happy to promote via SuitePad: “Guests who opt out of housekeeping get a free drink at the bar. That’s our way of saying thank you for helping us save resources.”

3. A replacement for old-fashioned phone systems

One of the reasons Jonathan went for SuitePad was that it also offers a tablet-integrated telephone function. This allowed him to replace the old handsets in the rooms and link the tablets directly to the hotel’s phone system.

“We checked with our provider if they could help us set up SuitePad’s digital telephone function in place of the handsets. When they refused, we found a new, more innovative provider. They offered us a more cost-effective deal and happily worked with SuitePad to link the two systems. Now, guests can easily call reception from the tablet and even make local phone calls free of charge. That’s especially convenient for international guests without a UK phone plan,” Jonathan says.

4. Excellent customer support

Apart from the great product, SuitePad stands out to Jonathan for their customer service: “SuitePad’s support team always gets back to us quickly when we have a question, or we want to change how something is displayed. They even respond promptly outside of standard office hours which is great because we can fully rely on them to help resolve any issue right away.”

A word to your peers

Finally, Jonathan has these words of advice for hoteliers weighing up whether to implement SuitePad: “It’s an absolute no-brainer and a worthwhile investment. Providing information to guests without being intrusive becomes effortless with these tablets. SuitePad acts as a virtual concierge and helps travelers make the most of their stay. It can even drive extra revenue by promoting add-on services from any department you want. This is the future of guest service, so I say go for it!Cedar Manor SuitePad installation

(Photo credits: Cedar Manor & SuitePad)

- Published on July 11, 2022

Juliana Hahn

Juliana Hahn

As a freelance copywriter, Juliana specialized in creating content for the hospitality industry. She is passionate about hotel marketing and storytelling.

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