The importance of the humble telephone to your guestroom is often overlooked. Here are some of our top tips on choosing the right phone for your room.
We’ve all seen it: an otherwise beautiful hotel suite, spoiled by a horrible plasticky phone that doesn’t match the look, feel or colour scheme of the room.
The truth is, many hotel owners simply aren’t aware of the sheer variety of guestroom handsets available to them. There didn’t seem to be a single place where you could browse and compare all sorts of hotel-specific phones – so we built one.
The main choices hoteliers face when it comes to handsets?
Design is important; a handset really needs to compliment a room. Whether you want classic designer looks, something ultra-modern or a solid, all-round workhorse, the look and feel of the handset should contribute to the impression you’re trying to create – not clash with it.
When you know what style you would like, then it’s time to think of additional features your guests might need, such as two-line phones for suites, or SIP phones with a USB port for charging guests’ devices.
Is there a big difference between independent hotels and the big chains?
Once, the big chains tended to rely on tried-and-tested, heavy-duty phones such as the familiar Teledex Opal, with boutique hotels more likely to opt for an iconic designer handset like the Jacob Jensen T3.
Increasingly though, hotels right across the board are becoming more aware of the power of a phone to refresh a room and are refusing to compromise on design.
Increasingly, phone selection seems to be all about making a statement. For example, we’re asked for designs with extreme, ultra-modern styling, at the same time as phones combining a retro, GPO-style dial with modern technology.
More important than looks, however is the way mobile devices have changed the role of the guestroom phone. It’s less about making money from calls these days, and more about clever use of custom faceplates and speed-dial buttons to make it as easy as possible for guests to book food, drink, and leisure facilities in-house. Smart hotels help guests to realise there’s no point searching around for the number of a local restaurant when the hotel’s maître d’ is just a single button push away.
Tips for hoteliers on a budget?
If you’re looking to refresh a room, a better handset is a simple way to achieve it, and it could cost less than you think — there are some very good phones available for as little as £15.
Or, for a little more, you can get something like the VTech A2210 — a stylish, hotel-specific all-rounder with heaps of features, a choice of colourways, a five-year warranty, and custom faceplates to give your guests a temptingly easy way to book your facilities. It’s a rising star that you’ll see in many hotels soon.