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High-tech hideaway

11 August 2011

Eccleston Square Hotel officially opened at the beginning of this week (8th August 2011) and is already garnering buzz for being Europe’s most high-tech hotel. Set behind a striking late Georgian façade, this ingeniously renovated 39-bedroom hotel offers latest technology and brings to London something completely unique.

Systems Integrator, SM Contracts, has aimed to deliver the most advanced bedroom interiors. The rooms are managed by VDA’s Micromaster, an intelligent on-line system, which controls access to all of the guestrooms as well as the lighting, curtains and temperature within the rooms.

When guests reach their room, the Micromaster key card triggers a sequence of events to “welcome” them as they walk in for the first time: the curtains partially open and close, showing the guest that they are electronically operated, the “smart glass” bathroom wall turns opaque and the bathroom mirror TV turns on.

The guest controls the room using VDA’s Vitrum glassware collection. These beautiful touch sensitive keypads have etched icons for each room function and are totally intuitive to use. Micromaster sends information about the status of the guestroom to the hotel’s building management system, enabling staff to set the room to a dormant mode, switching unnecessary items off and turning down the heating/cooling when the room is vacant, thus saving energy. Mike Perks of VDA explains: “VDA’s priority has been to introduce simple-to-use technology that will enhance the guest experience and contribute to the hotel’s positioning as ‘an ultra hi-tech urban cocoon’. The Micromaster and Vitrum interfaces are not only completely in keeping with the high level of design and luxury throughout the hotel, but the system is also a completely customisable innovation that lowers the property’s power consumption and carbon footprint.”

In addition to free super-fast Wi-Fi, free London calls and worldwide VoIP calls at cost, the rooms feature 46” 3D Panasonic LED TVs with enhanced audio using an independent sound bar and subwoofer, HD Movie and 3D channels, 3D Blu Ray DVD players, 3D eyewear and a library of 3D movies that are provided free of charge. All rooms are equipped with Sky HD, allowing access to Sky’s content of sports and movies (including 3D). The 3D story continues throughout the hotel as the bar and library areas are equipped with the huge Panasonic 103” 3D Screens. These rooms are available to guests and to hire for private screenings and meetings.

Digital convenience is everywhere. UK, US and European power sockets are provided within the rooms. Portable players, iPads, iPhones and PC‟s can be easily charged or connected to the room TV via in-wall docking points. Thought has even been given to providing charging points on either side the bed; these remain active even when the guest leaves the room and when other systems are switched off. In addition, every bedroom will boast its very own.

Another first: every bedroom offers the ‘world‟s best beds’ sourced from the Swedish manufacturers, Hästens. Retailing at around £12,000 each, they are electronically adjustable and feature relaxing massage programmes that synchronise with the inspired Hästen’s Mind Spa TV. Relaxation or fitness menus coordinate with massage, light and music sequences.

Robin Courtenay of SMC, the integrator who has designed and installed the systems commented: “Eccleston embraces the digital world like no other hotel and captures the very best of in-room entertainment and luxury. Within this hotel many guests will experience 3D TV that they’ve never seen before and will operate the room in a totally new and pleasurable way. The hotel recognises that technology has become a crucial part of travellers’ lives and seamless integration of personal electronic devices such as smart phones and PC’s is extremely important and something that’s been unseen at this level before”.

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