Hotel Belle Epoque: Leveraging a Reliable and Easy-to-Use Platform to Deliver an Authentic ‘Bern’ Experience

“In the beginning, we used an older PMS system that was not cloud-based. There were always technical problems that were difficult to resolve and frequently disrupted the flow of service. With Stayntouch, we found a cloud-based and flexible PMS that was robust, unfailingly reliable, and incredibly easy to set up and use 一 really, an ideal choice for an independent boutique hotel.”

—Dirk Raufeisen, the Director at Hotel Belle Epoque

The Boutique Hotel Belle Epoque is a traditional and independent boutique hotel nestled in the middle of Bern, offering guests an authentic stay in Switzerland’s historic federal capital. Belle Epoque’s ideal guest journey is based on total immersion: Dirk Raufeisen, the Director at Hotel Belle Epoque explains that, “Guests at our hotel enjoy personalized hospitality as well as an experience unique to the culture of Bern. We want our guests to forget everyday business life and immerse themselves in a world rich with history and hospitality.
As an independent luxury boutique hotel, the hotel needed a PMS that was reliable and helped them get the most out of a small but dedicated team of hoteliers. “In the beginning, we used an older PMS system that was not cloud-based. There were always technical problems that were difficult to resolve and frequently disrupted the flow of service. With Stayntouch, we found a cloud-based and flexible PMS that was robust, unfailingly reliable, and incredibly easy to set up and use 一 really, an ideal choice for an independent boutique hotel.”

(1)

Stayntouch PMS Delivers Unburdened Service, Without Interruption

Technology exists to unburden staff and facilitate great hospitality. And the foundation of great hospitality is built on technological reliability. No matter what other features a platform might have, if it doesn’t function correctly, hotel operations 一 and the guest journey 一 will grind to a halt. This is especially true with independent boutique hotels. Before Stayntouch, Belle Epoque relied on a legacy desktop-based PMS system that was costly to maintain and 

notoriously unreliable. Although they knew that a cloud-based PMS would free them from maintaining complex on-site servers, they knew that not all cloud-based systems were alike. When hosted on independent servers, a “cloud” PMS can suffer from performance and reliability issues that forces hotels to navigate a byzantine labyrinth of outsourced service providers… while their guests are left waiting for service.

That is why reliability was the deciding factor when it came time for Belle Epoque to invest in a new PMS: “For me, the most important factor in selecting a PMS is reliability and round-the-clock stability,” Dirk explains, “Stayntouch PMS is incredibly reliable, allowing our staff to deliver exemplary service without distraction and without interruption.” This is because Stayntouch PMS is hosted on Amazon AWS, offering unparalleled performance, reduced load times, unlimited usage scalability, no scheduled downtime during upgrades, and system uptime in excess of 99.97%.

(2)

An Intuitive UI That Cuts Training Time and Expands the Pool of Potential Hires

“We have an extremely dedicated staff,” Dirk explains, “but the team is not very large.

We needed a PMS that a team member can pick up and learn easily, and won’t get in the way of their interactions with guests.” Stayntouch features a colorful and intuitive user interface that utilizes advanced “drag-and-drop” and “select-and-click” functions that make it easy to learn and easier to use in the field for the staff at Belle Epoque. “Stayntouch’s user interface is very clear and well designed,” Dirk said, “Everyone on our team was able to work with it without much

  experience or training.” This ease of use has positive benefits throughout the employee lifecycle: Because the system is easy to learn, Belle Epoque can hire a wider range of staff based on their ability to engage with guests 一 not just on their ability to “get” technology. The Belle Epoque was able to leverage Stayntouch’s remote, in-person, and self-directed training resources to get new hires quickly up to speed and serving guests.

(3)

Great Service Means Never Telling a Guest “That’s Not My Department”

With a PMS that enables staff to manage operations from any location, on-property or off, and from any device with an internet connection,

staff at Belle Epoque are able to break free from the front desk and meet guests wherever they are, while operators can manage rates and access hotel KPIs from their home office or a business dinner. This level of flexibility enables Belle Epoque to streamline communication and enhance the productivity of a lean team. “At Belle Epoque, we never want to force a guest to come to us for assistance,” Dirk explains, “We should be the ones proactively reaching out to our guests. 

Because we have a small team, our associates invariably wind up wearing different hats. Stayntouch directly facilitates this proactive philosophy by letting every staff member access reservations, room status, and housekeeping or maintenance no matter where they are in our hotel. This means we can immediately address our guests’ questions or requests, without having to make them wait while we contact another department.”

A cloud-based platform also reinforces consistent service. Dirk remarks, “The fact that Stayntouch is not PC dependent has been a lifesaver. With our previous PMS, if it’s desktop workstation failed, there was very little we could do until we got it running again. With Stayntouch, we can immediately continue working by switching to another tablet or mobile device.” 

The Belle Epoque also utilizes Stayntouch’s 360° reporting and analytics dashboards: “It’s incredibly easy to create custom reports that help us keep a close eye on relevant KPIs and the profitability of our company.” The Stayntouch reporting module lets hotels automatically schedule custom reports based on frequency and time of day, while its analytic dashboards give managers a complete view of their hotel’s performance in near real-time.

(4)

Stayntouch Allows Belle Epoque’s Guests to Skip the Crowded Check-In Line and Get On With Their Stay

Travelers visit Belle Epoque to receive an immersive and luxurious taste of Bern 一 not to wait in a crowded check-in line. “Stayntouch’s mobile check-in option has been a guest favorite,” Dirk explains, “It gives many guests the opportunity to shorten the check-in process significantly and gives our guests a socially-distanced option to check into their room.” Whether guests choose the traditional check-in method with a staff member or a self-service method, guests benefit from a streamlined and simplified check-in experience enhanced by mobility. Stayntouch’s mobile self-check-in option also frees up staff resources, meaning that associates can spend less time performing administrative tasks, and more time actually engaging with and serving their guests.

(5)

Hotel Belle Epoque Benefits from a Strategic Partner, Not Just Another Tech Vendor

For Belle Epoque, Stayntouch has been more than just another tech vendor.

With a dedicated virtual or in-person implementation team, a dedicated client success manager (CSM), 24/7 “follow the sun” customer support delivered by industry and technology experts, and a library of training and product resources, Belle Epoque relies on Stayntouch to be a strategic partner throughout every stage of the customer lifecycle. According to Dirk, “Working with Stayntouch has been fantastic. We thought the transition from an on-premise to cloud-based PMS would be difficult, but our 

implementation phase went without a hitch. In the end, it only took two weeks, and the Stayntouch team was there to make sure everything went smoothly and all of our staff were up to speed. Even after implementation, Stayntouch has not only been there to make sure our systems are operational, but also to ensure that the PMS meets our business goals. While other tech platforms seem to disappear once you sign the contract, Stayntouch has remained a valuable partner in our success.”

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