Case Study

BLOC Hotel Gatwick

BLOC Hotel at Gatwick Airport is an advanced concept in hospitality that offers a comfortable night’s sleep at a competitive price. The small but perfectly formed rooms are designed for people who appreciate quality and convenience, but don’t always need the fuss of a traditional luxury hotel.

TIG has played a key role in helping the hotel embrace, develop and implement touchless technology throughout, to offer a safe, hassle-free and ultra-personalised guest experience.

The Challenge

Although Covid-19 was not foreseen when this system was deployed, the touchless design has become a fortunate by-product. Olivier Delaunoy, BLOC’s chief technology officer, comments: “What we’ve created suits today's purpose perfectly and we’re now adapting our technology further to embrace that requirement.”

Originally, BLOC Hotel Gatwick envisaged a revolutionary, seamless and convenient experience for its guests, who would be able to control all elements of their overnight stay from their own mobile device – without even needing to download an app. Cost savings would be achieved through streamlined housekeeping and maintenance, with the infrastructure providing Management with operational insights and real-time diagnosis of everything from lighting status to leak detection.

The Solution

A bespoke cloud-based room control management system was developed for BLOC by Symbiot. It integrates with the hotel’s Property Management System and Point of Sale systems to control the entire hotel experience and environment. It is securely and seamlessly controlled using class-leading hardware from Crestron.

Using Crestron’s wide range of hugely powerful interfaces, Symbiot were able to offer BLOC's guests the ability to control their whole stay by simply using their own mobile device. There are no keycards required: the guest’s room can be located and unlocked from their smartphone, without the need for an app. They can operate the elevator, then control the lights, climate, blinds and TV in their room, all from their own device. When it’s time to leave, they can simply check out on the go.

The solution also offers a fully feature dashboard back-end that allows staff from Maintenance teams, Reception and the Cleaning department centralised control over the room status and equipment. Another benefit is the cost-saving element: improved energy management and operational efficiency is achieved through the automation of appliances and services, which turn off the moment a guest leaves their room, or immediately notify staff when a guest has checked out, putting the room into the 'dirty-room queue'.

The Technology

Initially, BLOC Hotel Gatwick wanted to develop a completely new hotel stay experience that was seamless for its customers. But the technology it needed to control the guestrooms was not available, as no-one had attempted this before in the hotel industry.

Olivier says: “We had to adapt existing hardware and create inventive software to realise our vision. We needed the backbone of the control hardware to be resilient and secure. That’s why we chose Crestron.”

Guests simply use a web-based control system on their mobile device to control their surroundings, check in and out, and open their door – there is nothing else needed in order to access this clever system. Guests receive a clickable electronic key with their confirmation email, and away they go!

The Result

The technology implemented not only offers a seamless guest experience, it also has a useful perk in the fact that it can reduce the risk of contamination, as guests use their own devices from the moment they enter the hotel right up to check-out.

Due to its ease of use, reduced contamination and cost-saving advantages, this touchless, convenient and seamlessly advanced experience will likely become a big part of the future for the hospitality sector!

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