Technology upgrades at Amagansett’s Inn at Windmill Lane have been pretty major this summer. We recently sat down with property General Manager, Edward Villafane, to get a first look at some of the new tech experiences at the Inn, and how the property was able to pull it off so elegantly.
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Q: Tell us a little about yourself and the Inn. How would you describe your role and duties?
A: The Inn at Windmill Lane is a unique property. We have tried, successfully, to create an atmosphere where our guests feel as though they are visiting the home of a good friend rather than staying at an Inn. As the General Manager, I play the role of the good friend. My day, aside from the real operation details of running the Inn, is spent conversing and assisting our guests with their plans and details of their day. Getting to know each of them makes my job so rewarding.
Q: One of the chicest additions to the Inn is how you are reinventing room service. You are essentially offering high-end takeout from neighborhood restaurants, for guests who prefer to dine in, and then plating those dishes to add your brand's personal touch. Tell us more. How has it been going so far?
A: Many of the restaurants are difficult to get into during the peak season. Partnering with local restaurants has allowed us to be able to offer our guests that chance to order in from their favorite hard-to-get-in restaurants. We have great relationships with the local restaurants and since we pick up the food we are not dependent on their delivery service. We are still collecting data, but the feedback from our guests has been tremendous. We do anticipate that during the Winter months this concept will be even more appreciated!
Q: And you are using Incentient in-room technology to offer this service. How does it all work?
A: Incentient's in-room technology is set up with a description of each restaurant and a link to open up their latest menu. Our Guest Relations team places the order for the guests and we also pick it up and deliver it to the guest’s room as if it came directly out of our kitchen on a tray with china, glassware and silverware.
Q: Additionally, you have a new collaboration with high-end retail store Intermix to provide guests with bespoke shopping services. As part of this collaboration, Intermix arranges for personal shoppers for the Inn's guests. The one-stop shopping service includes transport arrangements and hotel guestroom delivery. Guests will also receive a $50 gift card to Intermix upon arrival. How is this tech-enabled solution aiding your business?
A: We try to create a personal experience for our guests and Intermix shares that same quality by offering an opportunity for personal shopping. It is a win-win for both operations. Convenience is the key! Guests can have someone do the shopping for them while they enjoy the beach!
Q: Many guests prefer to shop online while relaxing in the privacy of their own suite or cottage, you are also offering this experience on the new iPad software. As a whole, how are guests and staff using this in-room technology?
A: We are a small property yet, Incentient technology is used by most of our guests on a daily basis. They are able to order food from local restaurants, read the daily newspapers, request items to be brought to their room, request car transportation or use of our House Car. They can also learn about our property by taking a virtual tour on our iPads through Incentient technology, as well as learn about area attractions and shopping. Our Guest Relations Team uses SmartTouch to respond to all the guest requests and our Housekeepers also use it to assist with guest needs. With a limited staff, Incentient technology assists us by allowing guests to have access to our staff 24/7 without a busy phone or a long wait on hold.
Q: What have been reactions from guests?
A: The reaction has been very positive. With so many guests already accustomed to using an iPad in their daily lives, guests feel comfortable with the technology and love having it at their fingertips.
More about the Inn at Windmill Lane:
Tucked away in the luxurious Amagansett, NY, The Inn at Windmill Lane offers first-class accommodations and exclusive amenities. The property features seven individual suites in its main building, three private gated cottages in a perfectly-landscaped garden and its newest accommodations, the 21 House, an immaculate 3,800 square foot four bedroom private home. Guests are invited to indulge in the Inn's many amenities, including daily gourmet continental breakfast, a fleet of bikes, fitness room, 24-hour concierge services, beach transportation/parking passes, beach amenities and luxury SUV shuttle services. The Inn revealed interior design upgrades, new amenities, and ultra-luxe service elements this summer 2015.