KoolConnect Launches New Era of Luxury Media Solutions at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

  • KoolConnect Technologies, Inc.
  • 11.28.06
KoolConnect Technologies and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, innovators in in-room entertainment via their introduction of the first HD video on demand solution in the hospitality marketplace in 2002, have teamed to introduce what is an entirely new era in in-room entertainment services.

At the newly renovated and highly acclaimed Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, guests can now enjoy not only one of the world’s most advanced fully HDVOD systems with a wide array of compelling HD content, but also one of the world’s first fully IP television systems complete with personal video recording, allowing them to record their favorite television programs as well as an industry first, an integrated home theatre system where they can enjoy concert quality audio and even view their iPod menus over their television.  This can all be controlled with a single, easy-to-use remote control.
Mandarin Oriental knew that they had to do something special for their flagship property in Hong Kong.  “All of our properties are special for their luxurious amenities and services,” said Nick Price, CIO/CTO of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.  “Our Hong Kong property, however, is our flagship and has to serve as the epitome of what Mandarin Oriental is all about.  While our standards across the brand are without par, with the Hong Kong property undergoing an extensive renovation, we had the opportunity to introduce new technologies and services that would make this property truly the most advanced in the world for years to come.”
Since its debut at Mandarin Oriental New York in 2003, Intrigue™ has become the signature in-room entertainment solution for MOHG (Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group), and it remains the world’s most widely deployed HD solution with over 4,000 rooms in service.  Traditionally Intrigue ™ has incorporated a variety of high-touch digital features including TV-based text messaging, virtual concierge services, movies, innovative “mood” options including soothing digital art galleries and music, HD content and a highly sophisticated interface designed specifically for the MOHG chain.   
For Mandarin Oriental’s flagship Hong Kong property, however, Intrigue™ has been upgraded to allow guests to encounter much more than the typical amenities offered at similar hotels. A wave of faster, smarter technologies rapidly being introduced to the in-room industry, combined with alliances amongst some of the world’s finest suppliers of luxury entertainment goods has allowed for the development of feature integration solutions including IPTV (Internet protocol television) channels providing a higher quality FTG (free-to-guest) picture, PVR (personal video recorder) allowing guests and staff to record programs and on-site events, as well as a Worldwide Radio solution featuring music on demand, nearly 10,000 audio stations from around the world and several thousand Internet video streams.
Dave Tahan, chief operating officer at KoolConnect commented on the deployment, “Mandarin Oriental is one of KoolConnect’s longest-standing partners and the recently deployed Intrigue™ solution embodies the brand’s passion for elegance, trend-setting style and innovation. As an example of our teaming for innovation, we recorded the property’s gala opening featuring Bryan Ferry via Intrigue’s™ PVR feature and streamed the live content into guest rooms that evening. It’s now a permanent FTG channel at the property and it’s become evident that the marketing and promotional benefits from this technology will make an incredible impact on our industry.” He said, “We’re delighted to have expanded on our relationship with MOHG and to have formed new alliances with such elite enterprises as Bang & Olfsen.“
With renovations and upgrades topping $140 million U.S., Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong hotel guests will enjoy a 22,000 square foot Mandarin Oriental spa, award- winning meals from such renowned chefs as Pierre Gagnaire and 503 spacious new guestrooms outfitted with one of the world’s leading providers of luxury home theater systems, Bang & Olfsen (B&O). Prior to re-opening, KoolConnect and B&O worked closely on the development of a customized remote that would control all media devices in the room including the Intrigue ™ solution, state-of–the–art B&O flat screen TV’s, a surround sound home theater system, integrated Denon unit with outputs for DVD’s, iPODS and other media devices, as well as a wireless media system for the lavishly designed bathrooms. 
"When we introduced HD, it was an emerging technology and it’s now in over 25 million homes worldwide and growing rapidly,” said Price.  “I believe we’ll see that same sort of trend with PVR and IPTV solutions, particularly in the luxury segment of hospitality.” He said, “Innovative technology is a signature of MOHG, but I don’t believe that travelers to the hotel are prepared for what they’ll find there. The media experience guests are now enjoying at the Hong Kong property is like getting behind the wheels of a customized Rolls Royce - pure, unparalleled luxury.” 

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