The Reason This Cape Town Hotel Is Giving Guests Phones

Updated on 7 December 2017

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Find Out The Ingenious Reason This Cape Town Hotel Is Giving Its Guests Smartphones

Today’s young and hip travelers “value high-speed internet as highly as they value having a bed in their room”.

This is according to Reinard Korf, operations manager at The President Hotel in an article on news website, The South African.

To make sure they are in step with what their customers want, the Cape Town-based hotel brand began incorporating a mobile tech solution to enhance their guests’ experience.

They now offer its in-house guests complimentary ‘Handy’ smartphones, “and a chance to bring that essential commodity – the hallowed ‘internet connection’ – outside of the hotel”, the article states.

Handy OS is the world’s first mobile operating system tailored for the hospitality industry, according to the company, and is the flagship product from Hong Kong-based Tink Labs Limited. Customers are able to make calls and send messages using the devise, however it also has added services such as providing details of services available at the hotel as well as nearby activities such as tourist attractions and brand promotions, according to TechCrunch.

The user can also connect to the hotel’s telephone system to order room service, call a different room via their room number, and according to the article, you can even call helpdesk if you’re out and need help talking to a cab driver in the local language.

According to UK hospitality industry platform, The Caterer, Handy is used in hotels including the Ritz London, the Royal Lancaster London and Montcalm Royal London House and includes among its partner hotels, The Sheraton, The Hyatt, Intercontinental, MercureCrowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.

The 4-star President Hotel, which is situated in Cape Town’s Bantry Bay, is the first hotel in South Africa to provide in-house guests with the Handy smartphone, according to an IOL article.

What you need to know about the high tech solution The President Hotel is using to cater to its i-Generation customers.

1. Free Handset, Free Data, and Free Calls For Its Guests
Upon arrival at the Cape Town resort, guests receive a free ‘Handy’ smartphone. The handset comes with unlimited 4G data as well as unlimited call time, for both local and international calls.

According to an IOL article, with this new “travel buddy”, the hotel aims to equip visitors with a better way to discover and experience what the city has to offer.

“This will give global travellers the ability to stay connected with friends and family without the hassle of buying a local SIM card, or the worry of roaming charges,” the article states. With the unlimited 4G mobile data the user can surf the internet, download their favourite apps and connect to their social media.

2. Handy sets are connected to the hotel’s security department
Along with the ability to stay connected to the outside world, safety is another benefit of the innovation, The South African article adds. The devise is able to connect the guest to the hotel’s security department and with “one push of a button” can alert security staff to their situation as well as their location should the need arise.

3. A Lost-and-Found app-system looks set to be the next ace up their sleeves
The hotel is aiming to launch a lost-and-found app that will allow guests to find any belongings they’ve left behind once their stay has ended, according to the article. The guests will be able to order their belongings directly via a courier, delivered to their home without having to pick up the phone or speak to a staff member, the article adds.

4. Customers Love The Service
Although customers experienced a bit of ‘confusion’ at the start, Reinard says in The South African article, that once guests understood the device, they began to receive positive feedback.

“It took some time to educate guests on what it was and how it worked as they have never experienced anything like it, and so naturally were a bit sceptical. When our guests started using the phones, however, they fell in love and the feedback has been overwhelming,” he says.

He also adds that they discovered that the ability to call nationally and internationally for free was the most popular feature.

“This device has now become such an essential feature that we need to place an ‘out of order’ sign on the rooms should a phone need to be replaced,” he says.

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