Griffin Group has three properties: two 4-star; Hotel Kilkenny & The Ferrycarrig, as well as the 5-star Monart Destination Spa. Michael Griffin and his brother run the company and are third-generation hoteliers after their grandparents started the business in the late 1950’s with a small guesthouse.
They have recently set up and started using Vamoos for all 3 of their hotels in order to reopen their doors post-COVID-19. We spoke to Michael about how it’s allowed them to quickly and easily set up and use their contactless guest app.
How has reopening been for you?
“Very well. We had been working on a reopening plan since late March and had been reviewing steps/measures taken in other jurisdictions such as Denmark, Germany, Singapore and Korea. When the Irish government began to provide a roadmap to reopening we were already very well positioned in our thinking, resources, and training requirements. There are always things to learn or the possibility of the unexpected, but so far we are very happy with the safety measures and the positive feedback from our guests and staff on re-opening.”
How are you and/or have you been adjusting to COVID-19?
“We are heavily invested in correct distancing; bookings required for mealtimes, team members trained in and utilising correct PPE, maintaining tracing data for public health, best in class sanitisation and sanitisation products, and consistent training, supervision and communication of our protocols to all stakeholders. So far we have received consistent praise from our guests on their safety and endorsement from our team that they feel confident in providing our services to guests. We have had a few guests (2) who were very dissatisfied that they could not drink all day in the bar, but this is a national policy and outside of our direct control.”
How did you hear about Vamoos?
“I literally did a web search for something along the lines of “hotel guest messaging app”… I came across multiple solutions.”
Why did you choose Vamoos?
“I was impressed with the speed of the response to my initial enquiry and the Demo which happened the very next day was highly impressive. I knew that if a tangible/workable demo could be constructed that quick, that once I could get my hands on the software we could really turn it around quickly. The demo also highlighted an intuitive back end CMS and the learning curve was very flat. I was highly impressed with the “Things to Do” feature that also answered a constant demand for our 4-star guests.”
What are some of your favourite features?
“Today my favourite feature is that our guests can live book a table in the restaurant. Yesterday my favourite feature was the mobile check-in and check-out. And before that, my favourite feature was the local points of interest which give guests a richer, engaging experience in the location they’re visiting. As we move along I keep finding new favourite things!”
What are the biggest benefits of using Vamoos?
“The simple learning curve has proved to be adaptable and provides a very slick interface to the user.”
Do you see a big potential for Vamoos? What are your future plans for the app?
We are pushing with our other technology providers to integrate online check-in and booking tables all within the app. I look forward to bringing these features to our guests shortly. We also see opportunities here to build other experiences with our guests and we will discuss these with Vamoos as we mature out our offering.”
Would you recommend Vamoos to other hotels?
Have you had any feedback from guests?
“Yes – very positive. We include a guide to download the app in our confirmation letter e-mails and send out a pre-arrival email to guests arriving just before their stay, highlighting how to download the app and the current features.”
As a hotel owner, what would be your one piece of advice to other hoteliers right now?
“I think given the reality of our “new normal” and the implications of COVID-19 in the near and medium-term, utilising user-friendly technology to upscale the service of a business is a powerful win for everyone. There will be some guests who will not want an app, however, in my opinion, the demand for integrated solutions which offer better services via easy to use technology for traditional businesses provide a positive, relevant brand relationship with the ever-growing and demanding “always connected” demographic.”
How going paperless allowed this hotel to simplify process, improve guest experience and become more environmentally friendly.