Located in the heart of the picturesque Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, the Kimpton Vividora hotel is one of the gems of the Catalan hotel industry.
With 133 rooms offering a perfect balance between luxury and local authenticity, this property stands out for its exceptional guest experience, the quality of its services, and its commitment to the environment. Through STAY, the hotel has further personalized the guest experience. Digitalization, sustainability, and guest stay optimization go hand in hand at Kimpton Vividora.
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The scarcity of staff, common in the sector, leads to longer wait times and neglected areas
Jorge Más-Yebra has been the Director of Operations at Kimpton Vividora since March 2021, following a meteoric career at this 5-star hotel. He started as the Director of Food and Beverage and now oversees the overall operations of the establishment.
Más-Yebra shares with us the idiosyncrasy of the Kimpton brand.
"It is an American brand born in San Francisco. Our hotels offer an elevated guest experience, a lifestyle approach. It's a 'new luxury' chain based on personalization, aiming to make the guest feel at home. In this regard, the approach is different, achieved in a more informal way than traditional luxury. It is perceived throughout the stay, through the staff's demeanor and attire, the decoration of the facilities and dining areas, closely related to the Gothic Quarter where the hotel is located. Our essence is local and urban."
Kimpton Vividora considered implementing guest experience technology for two reasons: to reduce the carbon footprint and, simultaneously, to optimize the guest experience so that customers feel at home. At the same time, Kimpton Vividora began to experience a widespread issue in the hotel industry firsthand. The shortage of staff and the difficulty in hiring waitstaff inevitably lead to longer wait times, frustration, and a reduction in revenue, as the hotel struggles to provide food and beverage services in any location within the property.
“Our luxury is rooted in personalization, and to make guests feel at home, we aim to digitize our stay.”
Director of Operations
STAY implemented functionalities to serve food and drinks at any point in the hotel 24/7
Among the solutions available in the market to address the challenges of staff shortage and carbon footprint reduction, STAY was the chosen one.
"Our primary need was to be sustainable and digitize information and service catalogs. With STAY, we can display all the information to our guests. Our main concern is their well-being, ensuring they are aware of everything we offer."
The Director of Operations at Kimpton continues.
"With a simple QR code, designed to seamlessly blend with the hotel's décor, we have achieved our goal. On the bedside table in the rooms, guests have access to all hotel services, schedules, or the 'forgot, we got' service, a directory of everyday items not commonly found in hotels, from hair straighteners to tweezers. Previously, we used a paper booklet, which was costly in terms of both carbon footprint and time. Now, we manage the content instantly."
With STAY, they can also inform guests about the rest of the services, the kind of service you expect to enjoy at a five-star hotel.
"For example, information about airport transfers or other points of interest in Barcelona. But also, reservations for our restaurants, automatically through our menus, and bookings for massages with an external company we collaborate with. All of this adds value. STAY helps us with upselling and cross-selling, and the way our guests access information is engaging—it's all easily navigable, intuitive, and promotes interaction."
The other STAY solution that captivated Kimpton was the Ordering PRO and room service functionality.
"At Kimpton Vividora, we have several points of sale, including the main lobby under the name GOT, where we have a bar service that doesn't operate 24 hours. Additionally, we have the rooftop with a pool. We realized that we were losing revenue by not being able to serve at the pool 24/7, meaning there was a gap between the rooftop opening hours (8 am) and the pool bar (10 am). We discovered that with the Ordering PRO functionality of STAY, we could address these shortcomings using QR codes and the same number of employees."
When the guest scans the QR code and places an order, the notification reaches many of the involved employees in the form of an automated email.
"We have greater control over operations, enhance the guest experience. But above all, even if there are no waitstaff 24 hours in the lobby or at the pool, we do have personnel who can attend to an order at all times. For example, a cocktail in the early morning when the bar is already closed. Thanks to STAY, this problem has disappeared."
As a result of constant feedback with STAY, the system has been integrated with the hotel's POS, Symphony, which will greatly enhance Kimpton's service excellence once implemented.
"The concept of ordering, paying, and receiving the ticket directly without having to manually input the order is perfect. It reduces wait times, as the order will automatically reach the kitchen and the bar. In essence, fewer steps. The same applies to payments; we were looking for a system that records them without the need for a card machine or waiter."
Ordering PRO is also designed to offer various payment systems, from Google Play and Apple Pay to the option of charging it to a guest's room.
"If the order goes straight to the kitchen, human errors, which are common in the traditional system, are avoided. Likewise, human errors in taking personalized orders are also prevented."
Taking advantage of the opportunity, Más-Yebra points out other STAY functionalities that help them achieve an unforgettable and memorable stay every day.
"The room service functionality through the guest's smartphone has been a clear improvement. Previously, we received orders verbally, and there could be errors, misunderstandings in customization requests. Moreover, wait times may not have been appropriate, as one person handled orders over the phone and could be doing other things. But now, each order is received directly into the system. It automatically reaches many of us, reducing wait times and the margin of error. Moreover, we can interact with the guest, informing them that we have received their order."
For example, upselling options.
"If the guest has ordered a burger without a drink, we can communicate with them: 'Hello, I noticed you ordered a burger, how would you like it cooked? Would you like a Coca-Cola? Can I serve you a beer?'"
The Director of Operations at Kimpton Vividora doesn't want to forget about Instant Feedback, the feature that allows guests to answer questions about a specific service during their stay, in a matter of seconds.
"It allows us to identify if there has been an improvable experience and act in time, before the guest leaves. We receive notifications for each guest opinion, and we can identify areas for improvement. For example, if we receive feedback multiple times that a room service arrived lukewarm instead of hot, etc. It serves to identify areas for improvement, yes, but also to motivate my team because the feedback is generally very positive."
"STAY is very versatile; Ordering has increased our revenue; Room Service eliminates errors and allows us to interact with the guest and upsell; and with Instant Feedback, we identify areas for improvement in time.".
Director of Operations
The implementation of STAY has elevated guest satisfaction, increased revenue, and reduced wait times
Jorge Más-Yebra reaffirms the results that the implementation of STAY's Guest Experience OS has brought to Kimpton Vividora.
Regarding the digitization of their catalog and service directory, they have virtually eliminated all paper from rooms, menus, and restaurants. They can still accommodate customers who prefer to avoid using smartphones because they are compatible, but the carbon footprint has been significantly reduced, which is also part of a memorable guest experience in the current times.
Moreover, by making almost all services bookable through the guest's smartphone, Kimpton has achieved excellence while maintaining its brand image (even by installing QR codes that complement the room aesthetics).
"We have all been surprised by the results, especially in F&B, and it's important that we maintain our essence, based on outstanding customer service, luxurious yet informal. Our revenue has noticed it, despite the nature of our service. Keep in mind that we are a hotel type in the center of Barcelona; the customer may spend more time exploring the city, where they find numerous dining options."
Both Más-Yebra and Kimpton Vividora confess that they believe in hotel technology, as long as it complements people.
"We are a luxury five-star hotel in Barcelona, and the difference is made by the staff, the human touch. I am a fervent believer and follower of this philosophy, which is why I work in this sector. What happens? Sometimes, human capacity falls short, and operationally, we have challenging days. That's precisely where STAY complements us perfectly. We are a 'lifestyle' hotel, and it is crucial that we adapt to the new times in every aspect, not just in technology. That's why we are an inclusive hotel in every sense."
Benefits are numerous.
"Wait times have been reduced, revenue has increased. And all of this, with the satisfaction of our staff. It's easy for them to use. Changes always generate resistance, but over time, they have seen that it is helping them tremendously. The Kimpton staff has realized that it is a tool that complements them. STAY helps to decompress situations of frenetic activity.".
Jorge Más-Yebra explains, in a very visual way, the reasons why he would recommend the implementation of STAY to a colleague in the profession.
"STAY makes your life easy. It helps you in your day-to-day operations, it's an ideal complement. And from the perspective of an Operations Director, STAY allows us to reduce our carbon footprint and paper usage in the rooms, improve communication with guests, attend to neglected F&B areas, enhance wait times, and showcase our service catalog in the context of a five-star lifestyle hotel. Guests are delighted, and within the framework of a 5-star hotel, people appreciate the service because it's clear, simple, very versatile, and there's nothing to fault."
The Director of Operations at Kimpton Vividora concludes his reflection with praise for the Customer Success service of STAY.
"The aspects that needed refinement were discussed directly with the STAY team, and the attention they provided from the beginning to ensure the system runs like clockwork has been crucial to fully convince us. We are very pleased, satisfied, and our guests and staff are too."
“Our luxury is rooted in personalization, and to make guests feel at home, we aim to digitize our stay.”"STAY makes our lives easier, aiding us in our day-to-day operations and serving as an ideal complement. Both guests and staff are delighted, as it helps ease the pressure during moments of frenetic activity."