Fusing Design with Technology - UK B&Bs
08 February 2017 15:40
UK Bed and Breakfasts – the poor cousin?
According to the Travellers Choice Awards in 2017, half of the ten best B&Bs in the world are based in the UK; the Bed and Breakfast sector is worth £2 billion, consisting of over 25,000 owner-managed businesses*
The rise in popularity of boutique hotels is mirrored in the luxury B&B sector and as such, both areas are enjoying rapid and sustained growth. Accounting for an estimated fifth of the UK’s serviced accommodation market, B&Bs surely represent a core segment of hospitality technology providers annual budget?
“That’s not the case” says Airwave’s Sales Director, Paul Chambers “hospitality integrators almost exclusively focus on hotels. Why? simply speaking, the larger the property, the more profit involved and as a consequence, B&Bs are typically off the radar”.
Off the radar maybe, but demanding guest expectations remain the same whether the property is a global chain, boutique hotel or B&B.
Recognising the importance of the B&B sector, Airwave Europe’s policy of “no job is too small” grants smaller properties access to the full benefits of hospitality dedicated technology.
Why pay extra for commercial TVs?
A common question when purchasing TVs for small properties is: why pay extra for a commercial television screen?
“You’ll probably be able to pick up cheaper TVs from a supermarket or online retailer” says Airwave account manager Wayne Bowring, “but this is usually a penny-wise, pound-foolish strategy”.
As an example, commercial screens offer longer (up to five year) warranties and more importantly, consumer sets bought for commercial environments are not covered by a warranty - a concern considering the greater demands placed upon them by careless or clumsy guests.
Away from warranty concerns, it’s worth noting that TVs manufactured for commercial use are specifically designed for the environment they operate in. As an example, all hospitality televisions have volume-limiting functionality, preventing guests from disturbing neighbouring rooms. Screens can be “locked” to prevent setting changes and inconveniencing a room’s next occupant.
Wake-up alarms automatically reset daily, to avoid forgetful guests ruining subsequent occupant lie-ins and all commercial TVs can be “cloned”, enabling quick, uniform and seamless updating of settings.
The icing on the cake, all commercial screens feature customisable welcome pages, enabling the upload of property images and a welcome message, offering an updatable, personalised branding experience.
Servicing the UK’s Bed and Breakfast market
The luxury B&B market’s focus on design is key, but surely this concept is reserved to colour schemes, soft furnishings and artwork?
That’s not strictly the case – frequently owners request a solution that quite simply, looks good!
Paul Chambers: “We’re often tasked to provide technology options in keeping with design and décor. That might seem strange, but when you consider a property’s investment in furnishings, it starts to make sense”.
Top of the agenda is the aesthetics of bedroom technology. Surely a television is a television?! well, not really. For design conscious B&Bs, there are a number of things to consider: do you want in-room movies whilst avoiding the associated hardware? Does the television need to be flush-mounted to a wall? What about the size of the bezel? How important is screen size?
“Size is a much-debated topic” says account manager Barrie O Neill, “does a B&B go for a ‘home from home’ experience and mirror ever increasing screen sizes or should the TV be subtle and removed as a focal point?”.
A seemingly simple topic but a multitude of details to consider, experts in hospitality technology, Airwave work with customers to find the right solution whatever the budget.
Airwave Europe has been serving the hospitality market for over 20 years and is the UK's largest supplier, installer and integrator of television, networks and AV equipment. Benefitting from partnerships with premium manufacturers such as Samsung, Philips and LG, Airwave’s buying power ensures industry-leading prices and a long list of happy customers.