Guestline

Guestline are experts in cloud-hosted property management, distribution and digital marketing technologies for the hospitality industry. The solutions enable independent hotels, groups, pub companies and serviced apartments to achieve maximum occupancy at the most profitable rate.

Rezlynx Property Management System

Guestline’s Rezlynx PMS is a fully configurable, PCI compliant property management system to enable any sized hotel or group to manage their bookings and operations efficiently and profitably. It is updated in real-time, and incorporates a comprehensive rate and availability management tool to ensure that revenue is maximised at every opportunity.

Secure Payment Solutions

Our secure payment gateway enables hoteliers to process card payments in a PCI compliant way. Our clients benefit from a safe and secure method of storing and processing credit card details which can form part of the hotel’s overall PCI compliancy policy.

Guestline Support

Offering ongoing UK support 365 days a year, our service commitment goes far beyond just our technologically superior software solutions to deliver outstanding quality and reliability.

Channel and Distribution Manager

Guestline’s Channel Manager distributes your live inventory to a wide range of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and the Global Distribution System (GDS), with minimum effort and cost. It can be seamlessly integrated with Rezlynx PMS so that bookings, regardless of their source, flow directly into the PMS without the need for time consuming manual data entry and allocation.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Industry joins forces to promote staying in a pub

The pub sector has joined forces behind a new industry initiative to promote staying in pubs as an alternative to hotels.
The second Profitable Beds in Pubs event took place in London this week, with representatives from: the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, Guestline, In a Pub and Stay in a Pub hearing from delegates on the growing consumer trend of overnight pub stays.

Speakers highlighted the importance of businesses standing out in an emerging marketplace and provided tips on maximising offerings and connecting with customers. Topics discussed included digital marketing for pub accommodation, revenue management, the importance of managing guest reviews, the impact of tourist accommodation legislation and a presentation of research findings on pub accommodation.

ALMR Director of Communications Tony Sophoclides said: “Buoyed by a burgeoning consumer preference for boutique and character-driven accommodation, pubs are in a great position to capitalise and evolve their businesses. It is absolutely vital that any pubs looking to begin offering accommodation, or enhance their current accommodation offerings, are fully aware of the opportunities and pitfalls of this exciting sector.

This was a great event and an important step in helping pubs utilise their rooms. The ALMR will be working closely with its members and is excited to help promote this dynamic and growing aspect of the UK’s pub market.”

Stay in a Pub Director Paul Nunny added: “With the sector in its infancy, it is important to learn how we can continue to make gains with pub accommodation. As 80% of consumers want to book accommodation online, it is imperative that we are aware of the opportunities in relation to digital marketing, revenue management and getting to grips with TripAdvisor. This roundtable event ticked all these boxes.”

Guestline Head of Marketing Andy Craddock said: “The Profitable Beds in Pubs initiative and this event are unique opportunities to share, learn, discuss and implement good practice in developing profitable accommodation in the sector. Guestline is delighted to be a key part of making that happen.”

Fuller’s Head of Hotel Operations Mark Fulton concluded: “The annual Roundtable event is an excellent opportunity to openly discuss the challenges and opportunities facing us in the years ahead. It is an uncertain time at the moment, but well -run pubs serving excellent food that have beautiful bedrooms are well-placed to capitalise on the increase of tourists to the UK and the increasing popularity of “staycations.” Stay in a Pub provides managed and tenanted businesses with the perfect platform to publicise our businesses with rooms, and encourage commission-free bookings, and I look forward to working more closely with them this year.”

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Dolby Hotel in Liverpool achieve record breaking room rates, occupancy and yield with Guestline solutions

The Dolby Hotel, a 64 bedroomed property in central Liverpool, have reported strong increases across the board since implementing Guestline hospitality software solutions.

These include Guestline's award winning property management system Rezlynx, Guestline's robust EPoS, Guestline Distribution and PCI Solutions.

Cloud hosted and used in thousands of properties worldwide, Guestline's solutions embrace next generation technology and empower hotels with revenue generation capabilities, flexibility and enhanced control.
Gavin Shelton from The Dolby Hotel Management Team explains, "2016 average room rate was up 4% on 2015 which had previously held the record for the highest we have achieved to date. I genuinely did not think we could ever make an improvement on 2015 as this had beaten the previous record by 10%. Implementing Guestline was the best decision we could have made at The Dolby Hotel. We have substantially increased the number of direct bookings we take via our own website, which I attribute to bookers taking advantage of the easy to use Online Booking Manager.

The easy to use, yet very powerful rate control, has allowed us to use rate restrictions to improve length of stay during high demand periods, and this has contributed hugely to our record-breaking figures. The comprehensive Channel Manager connects to all of the top performing channels in real time allowing our complete available room inventory to be on the market at all times."

The Dolby Hotel have seen overall turnover up by 6% on the previously recorded best year and yield up by 7%. Reduced operating costs, together with streamlined, automated processes, have allowed the team to concentrate on their guests. In addition, by using one of Guestline's many user-friendly interfaces, they have successfully increased the number of TripAdvisor reviews five-fold following the implementation of Guestline and TripAdvisor's latest tool, Review Express.

To arrange a demonstration of the suite of hospitality software solutions available from Guestline, please visit www.guestline.com or contact us via enquiries@guestline.com

Monday, 13 March 2017

Guestline and Tierney's invite Irish hoteliers to popular Connect event in Limerick



Guestline has teamed up with their Irish partner, Tierney’s, to host a second Irish Connect event in Limerick, aimed at the Irish hospitality market.

Being held on 5th April at The Hunt Museum, hoteliers will learn about the latest technological innovations in the marketplace from industry experts and can share fresh ideas with like-minded hoteliers from across the region.

Guestline, market leaders in property management, distribution and digital marketing solutions for the hospitality market and their Irish partner Tierney’s, a leading independent IT solution provider, will be hosting this event in Limerick.

They will be joined by key industry partners, Google, Cadenza, Digital Alchemy and GuestRevu who will be demonstrating how hoteliers can convert their online presence into bookings; how to drive reviews to TripAdvisor; how to maximise business intelligence and how to effectively communicate with hotel guests after the reservation process.
‘With today’s traveller embracing online and mobile platforms more than ever before, it’s becoming significant for hoteliers to be ahead of the digital curve and ensure they are capturing their share of mobile bookings and utilising their guest data more intuitively. Our partners, Google and Cadenza will help delegates explore how hoteliers can stand out from the crowd online and understand guest loyalty more effectively.’

James Cannon, Head of Commercial Development at Guestline 
With reviews also having a major impact on traveller’s booking decisions, GuestRevu will demonstrate how valuable it is for hoteliers to know what guests are saying to help them increase loyalty, growth and profitability. Additionally, Digital Alchemy will demonstrate some great tips for finding hidden revenue and keeping guests spending within the hotel.

This is the ideal event for hoteliers interested in driving their occupancy and increasing revenue. It will be relevant for general managers, owners and operators, revenue managers, operation managers and front of house managers who work in independent hotels or groups.

The event is free to attend. As numbers are strictly limited, the event is expected to be booked up early so hoteliers need to register their interest ASAP here

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Guestline taps into the Hostel marketplace at STAY WYSE in Amsterdam


With the Hostel market blooming and savvy millennial travellers opting to explore the world and use hostels as a cost-effective alternative to hotels, there has never been a better time for hostel owners and operators to fine tune their offering.  
Recently Guestline attended STAY WYSE, the industry-leading event dedicated to the sector. Now in its second year, the conference has rapidly established itself as the place to meet with new trading partners: from buyers, to operators, investors and suppliers. Guestline attended as an opportunity to showcase their cloud hosted solutions to a wide range of successful hostel operators.

Flying the Guestline flag was Alex Wigmore -  Strategic Sales Consultant at Guestline - who has spent many years in the hospitality industry providing property management solutions to independent and group properties throughout Europe, including hotels, hostels and student accommodation.

Due to the fantastic organisation of the event by the STAY WYSE team, Alex was able to have 25 meetings all in one day! Held in the historic stock exchange building in central Amsterdam, the day could only be described as a roaring success.

With attendees from across the globe, there was a clear vision of how important the use of social media is for the sector. Youth travellers are incredibly ‘social’ and therefore one of the best ways to entice and introduce them to hostel brands is via those very channels.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Blogs are a brilliant way to connect with potential guests and extremely helpful in encouraging repeat bookings by keeping them engaged in hostel brands long after they have ‘checked out’.
It is refreshing to see operators, particularly at the event, understanding the value of investing in not just a quality property management system but also in their company and the people behind it.
Price is not necessarily the main driver anymore for hostel companies to consider – product quality and guest experience delivery, plus supplier support and development are key to helping businesses grow.  Investors are looking for a ‘partnership’ rather than a traditional B2B transaction which is something Guestline are very proud of being recognised for.
The importance of a solution provider that can offer a “one-stop solution” was also recognised. Guestline’s product suite ranges from cloud hosted PMS, Distribution and EPoS all the way to website and blog design and implementation.
Guestline are really excited to be working with operators in the hostel marketplace and will be sharing the very latest product enhancement and development plans in the coming weeks.

Click here to arrange a demonstration of Guestline solutions with Alex.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Innkeeper's Lodge, managed by Mitchells & Butlers, select Guestline's suite of hospitality solutions for their 51 sites


Innkeeper’s Lodge are the latest hotel group to select Guestline’s comprehensive suite of hospitality software solutions. Opting for Rezlynx, (Guestline’s cloud hosted property management system), CRS (Central Reservation System), Guestline Distribution, PCI (Guestline’s integrated payment gateway) and WebSuite, (Guestline’s digital marketing solutions) will provide Innkeeper’s Lodge with scalable, functionality-rich next generation technology.

Owned and managed by Mitchells & Butlers, a leading restaurant and pub company in the UK, Innkeeper’s Lodge required a technology solution that could deliver multi-property management across the 51 properties in the portfolio.


Quote from Mitchells & Butlers “ Guestline’s user-friendly interfaces, secure data storage, transparent management reporting and enhanced control of rates and room inventory across all channels were some of the many factors taken into consideration when we evaluated the marketplace and selected Guestline. Operational issues such as overbookings and system accuracy levels were previously an issue, and frustrations with down time and system reliability encouraged us to seek a replacement solution provider. We are very pleased that Guestline can provide us with a comprehensive suite of solutions that, amongst many positives, offers live availability across the entire portfolio to allow Innkeeper’s Lodge teams to cross-sell where appropriate and ensure revenue is optimised at every opportunity.

When selecting Guestline, seamless integrations with 3rd parties in order to maximize operational efficiency and ensure the company stayed current and competitive were major selling points, along with the need for a system that could allow full control of the properties preferences.  We’re delighted to be working with Guestline.”

The provision of training and implementation is a core part of the Guestline support programme and ensures customers optimise their use of an accessible and reliable solution with proven success. The team at Innkeeper’s Lodge have welcomed Guestline’s support team.

Guestline has attained Level 1 compliance hosting and payment processing and is listed on the VISA approved merchant list. Innkeeper’s Lodge will benefit from a safe and secure method of storing and processing credit card details, which will form part of the hotel’s overall PCI compliance policy.

Rupert Gutteridge – Sales and Marketing Director at Guestline explains, “It is of upmost importance to us that our customers get exactly what they want in the way of interfaces. Our systems are developed with the user at its core and Rezlynx is a system that allows seamless integrations across a wide range of services, which is continually added to without penalty to the properties. 

To offer a complete, sophisticated, yet easy to deploy and use property management solution has always been our priority at Guestline. We are extremely pleased to welcome Innkeeper’s Lodge to our expanding customer base and look forward to a long and successful working relationship with the team.”

Innkeeper’s Lodge have also selected Guestline’s digital marketing solution, developed specifically for the hospitality industry. WebSuite offers customers bespoke website design, access to the custom-built CMS (Content Management System) and fully responsive websites built for all devices. Bringing full control in house, this allows the properties to make changes as and when the need arises, ensuring events, updates and offers promotional functionality are utilised at all opportunities.

To find out how Guestline solutions can help you, please arrange a demonstration here.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Property management systems: the heart of a hotel’s IT setup



Sitting at the heart of a hotel’s IT setup, a property management system is key to many operators’ business. Ross Bentley explores the latest trends

A property management system (PMS) is a fundamental part of any hotel’s operation. It sits at the heart of the property’s IT system and its core function is to manage room bookings and inform staff and managers how many rooms have been sold or are vacant for any particular night, as well as the rates for individual rooms.

PMSs can also interface with electronic locking systems, allowing key cards to be encoded and managed. Many larger hotels also integrate their energy management system with their PMS to set room temperatures upon guest check-in and automatically switch to energy-saving mode when they check out.

Likewise, because they are at the centre of operations, PMSs have traditionally linked to telephony and in-room entertainment systems, restaurant and bar points of sale, and golf and spa booking facilities, so in-property services that have been used by a guest can be centrally captured and billed for.

In addition, PMSs are being integrated with travel management systems to manage corporate bookings, as well as revenue management systems, so rooms are sold at the right rate, at the right time.

More recently, the advent of the internet and online bookings has meant that PMS providers have opened up their systems to be more outward-looking. A PMS can sit behind a property’s own website and offer availability and current room rates to online bookers. PMS providers have also partnered with third-party websites, social media platforms and online travel agencies (OTAs), such as Booking.com and Expedia, to enable hoteliers to maximise their revenue by updating their real-time availability to these different channels and manage the different terms and conditions from these sites.

Continuous innovation

With this history of continuous innovation it comes as no surprise, then, that PMS companies are continually innovating and adding new modules to their systems to provide hoteliers with supplementary functionality.

Guestline, for example, recently launched a new price comparison tool called Price Assure to enable hoteliers to display live OTA prices on their website to drive direct bookings. Guests can compare the total cost of their stay on the hotel’s website against five other online channels to give potential guests the assurance that they are getting the best rate on the market if they book direct.

Another PMS provider, Infor, has introduced several new modules, including an activity scheduler that manages any activity that might take place within a hotel, taking into consideration factors such as the duration of the activity, any age restrictions, equipment hire and even if any car parking spaces might be required.

According to sales director for hospitality, Calum McIndoe, another addition to the Infor suite provides hoteliers with “a 360° view of the guest” displaying their historical spend and preferences and suggesting future offers for them based on this information.

McIndoe says: “Twenty years ago, hotel management technology was about the need to sell rooms, while a decade ago it was about selling rooms at the appropriate rate. After this it became about managing and promoting an entire suite of services, such as spa, golf and restaurant. Today, it’s about understanding the guest and maximising the guest experience.”

However, according to Thomas Messett, chief marketing officer at hospitality technology provider eviivo, not all operators require this level of functionality, which is aimed at larger hotels or hotel groups who are seeking more sophistication from their systems to support their marketing and rate management.

Eviivo, he says, targets properties with a smaller footprint – the sub-50 room category, such as pubs with rooms, boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts. Its suite of products includes a booking diary with a website that can take online payments and can also share availability across core OTA websites.

“Not all operators need complexity,” says Messett, who believes from a technology point of view that many properties need to get the basics right before they start considering any bells and whistles.

He adds: “Across our sector, 66% of properties still do not offer booking and payment on their own website and 69% don’t have websites that are responsive to mobile devices.

“We are offering technology that allows small businesses to compete online for an average of £40 per month.”

Move to the cloud

A key development in the PMS world that has helped models such as those offered by eviivo come into the market has been the move to cloud-based systems.

Rather than a hospitality operator owning the software and running it on a server kept on their premises, today in the UK the majority access their system via the internet with the system hosted remotely by a third-party provider, in much the same way we access e-mail services like Gmail or online banking services.

This cloud computing, software-as-a-service model means access to PMS systems tends to be more affordable for operators and more straightforward to manage and upgrade.

At Hotelogix.com, co-founder Aditya Sanghi predicts 2017 is likely to witness more operators migrating to cloud-based solutions.

He said: “Owners are beginning to realise that the cloud-based PMS is much more than an instrument to organise internal operations – it is an integral part of the business’s development and growth, helping the hotel scale and increase profitability.

“This paradigm shift has contributed to the gradual demise of on-premise systems, especially in the small and mid-sized segments of the market. In countries like the US and UK, the vast majority of hotels adopting management technology are opting for cloud-based systems over legacy ones.”

Cloud-based PMSs are also increasingly being built on common web standards and open application program interfaces (APIs), which makes them more open to integration with external systems and mobile apps.

Sanghi continues: “Since the modern PMS is cloud-based and supports real-time integration to a variety of third-party tools, they are used for a lot more than just hotel management today. All the property’s information flows through the system, and the data can be mined to provide the hotel’s administration with valuable insights that enable further optimisation.

He says revenue managers, for instance, can use pricing trends to compare their rates against the market and determine their performance, and whether they should increase or lower rates.

Other examples include Guestline’s cloud-hosted PMS, Rezlynx, being able to interface with a third-party tool called GuestRevu, which can be used to automatically send hotel guests a customised email after checking out, encouraging them to send feedback as well as enabling them to post reviews directly to TripAdvisor.

Properties using the software can see all the comments, but only the TripAdvisor reviews are public, providing the hotel with valuable feedback.

Rezlynx also interfaces with third-party ResDiary, offering hotels a cloud-based restaurant reservation system for confirmed reservations, enquiries and table management.

Mobile access

The delivery of PMS via the cloud has also made possible the shift to users accessing the system from their mobile devices – a major trend in the PMS space.

A key benefit of mobile access, according to Kate Fuller, marketing manager at Guestline, is that property owners and managers can access their systems on any device at any location and see in real time how room sales are going for a particular day or what the rates are.

“From a managerial perspective, mobile access allows managers to keep on top of operations on the go and off-site,” she said.

From an operational point of view, mobile access can improve the way information about services is shared across a hotel, especially if it is a large property or there are multiple sites.

Maintenance and housekeeping teams, for example, can use a tablet to tell the PMS system whether a room has been cleaned or to log any issues.

Some hotels use mobile access to improve their check-in and check-out processes. In place of the reception desk, staff can now greet guests in the foyer with a tablet device in hand.

Guest service apps

Of course, it is not just hotel staff who are turning to mobile devices these days. Guests are also increasingly likely to interact with hotels through their smartphone. Messett at eviivo says a survey of 5,000 properties in the UK found that more than two-thirds of same-day room bookings came via a mobile device.

This move towards mobile has given rise to the guest service app – third-party apps that integrate with PMSs and can be downloaded by guests to use from their smartphones.

Guestline, for example, has integrated its system with a concierge app called Butlerpad which, among other things, enables guests to book a table at a hotel restaurant, send a message to housekeeping, request room service or order a poolside drink – all from their phone.

The latest app that Guestline has incorporated is Keez, which allows guests to check in to their pre-assigned room and open their door, as well as order room service, all from their smart phone.

Different apps have different pricing models. With some, guests are charged to download the app, while others are free but take a commission on any services booked using them.

Another example is Infor’s interface with an app called Hotelbird, which guests can download onto their phones and use to check in and check out as well as unlock the door to their room.

McIndoe at Infor says: “It can also be used to push offers to guests using real-time marketing. This isn’t for everyone but for tech-savvy, younger guests who are used to using their smartphones in this way, this kind of self-service is important in their stay.”

Leading guest service apps

iRiS Guest Valet
Enables guests to interact with a range of in-house facilities and services and even control the in-room television via their mobile.
www.iris.net
Butlerpad
Enables guests to access concierge services, research local attractions, and book theatre tickets and restaurant tables at nearby venues.
butlerpad.com
Keez
Allows guests to check in to their pre-assigned room and open their door, as well as order room service from their mobile.
keezapp.com
Hotelbird
Enables guest to check in and check out and make payments direct to the hotel from their smartphone.

Lindeth Howe hotel drives revenue with Guestline

The property
Overlooking Lake Windermere in the Lake District, Lindeth Howe is a four-star country house hotel with 32 rooms, a bar, a swimming pool and a newly-refurbished restaurant.

The challenge
The hotel’s owners required a fully integrated property management and booking system with automated processes that would help them become more efficient and drive additional revenue. They didn’t want disparate systems from multiple suppliers.

Lindeth Howe hotel
The solution
The hotel installed a number of Guestline products, including Rezlynx PMS, Distribution Manager and Online Booking Manager.

The outcome
Since the system has been installed, occupancy has increased by over 11% year-on-year. The team boost room sales by creating promotions that can go live immediately and accessing more channels. There is more flexibility to open and close channels depending on performance.

As the systems operate in real time, the hotel can sell down to the last available room.
They now only need to update their rates once as the system automatically distributes them across all online channels.

Prior to installing Guestline solutions, they used to manually update their rate card on 13 separate channels, which took one to two hours per day.

General manager Alison Magee-Barker says: “The system is multi-functional and has helped us improve the way we do things and the time it takes. This has resulted in significant business improvements and revenue gains, which we hope to continually take advantage of.”


Thursday, 26 January 2017

Thank you for staying with us, See you soon!


So - there you are! You’ve just said goodbye to one of your hopefully happy guests. If you are hoping to see them again soon, have you had a chance to chat to them and perhaps make another booking for them prior to completing the check-out? Great, well done! It’s amazing how many guests aren’t asked whether they have plans to come back.


I’m guessing you’ve budgeted to have more direct bookings and “win” back some of the business currently being delivered by the OTA’s whilst still maintaining a good relationship with them too. Perhaps you’ve set it as a KPI target.  Let’s take a closer look at the possibilities of “winning back” some bookings and - more importantly - the rules of engagement.
You’ll know that you no longer receive guest email addresses via the majority of the OTA’s prior to the guests arriving; that is because they own the relationship until the point of arrival. On check-in, however, you can request that  the guest provide their own email address, but please be sure you comply to the strict regulations of capturing data – this is absolutely critical. You can find out more at: https://ico.org.uk/media/1555/direct-marketing-guidance.pdf
Now, let’s say you’re fully compliant and your registration card allows guests to opt in to your marketing campaign (Yay, hoorah, yippie!) then you need to save/link and update their profile and handle it with care, as this data is a bit like a gold mine, but more of that later. Sadly, the same applies if they chose to opt out of email marketing (boo!). #Justsayin … it might be a good time to check how easy it is to subscribe to/unsubscribe from your marketing on your website too; YOU must allow contacts to unsubscribe and ensure they are removed from any future marketing campaigns. Another important factor you should consider when capturing data is this: GDPR General Data Protection Regulation - https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/
In essence, the more quality data you capture then the bigger your chances are of winning direct business from that and also capitalizing on what you really want: the direct guest relationship.
For instance, you could segment your data and launch a targeted, direct closed user group offer to a select group of contacts – maybe based on the room type or package they have booked previously and offer a value-add to motivate them; this could be with an upgrade at a higher rate. Alternatively, you could launch a campaign, perhaps based on the channel they have booked through in the past, and offer a voucher towards additional services you have available at your property.
There are a number of possibilities and of course you need to make sure you always have a compelling offer and message too. The other option is to work on winning back more guests booking direct by seeking feedback from your guests; remember: feedback is a great gift.
Either way, it’s always really good to capture quality data as it means you can stay in touch with your guests, and you should also keep them engaged with your property and your brand. Guestline has a number of hospitality solutions and services available to help you in your sales and marketing efforts; feel free to contact us – we promise we won’t send you endless sales and marketing information either!

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