Norwich hotel ensure app-y days for its customers

Maids Head Hotel have invested in iPads for guests to use in their rooms. Linzi Rawson, sales manage

Maids Head Hotel have invested in iPads for guests to use in their rooms. Linzi Rawson, sales manager.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

It has laid a claim to being the oldest hotel in Britain with a proud history stretching back to the early part of the 12th century.

However, the Maids Head in Norwich has also just joined an exclusive set of five hotels around the world - the others being in the Maldives, Dubai, Vienna and Bath - to invest in the latest digital technology for their customers.

The £80,000 outlay has equipped all of the Tombland hotel's 84 bedrooms with an iPad loaded with the latest version of a guest services app developed by London company iRiS Software Systems.

Hotel sales manager Linzi Rawson said: 'The idea came from our owner David Chaplin who installed an earlier version in one of his other hotels, The Gonville in Cambridge.

'Guests will find an iPad in their room which has been personalised to them. The system gives them the opportunity to reserve a table in the restaurant and order their meal, order drinks at the bar, book taxis, check airport departure boards, browse the internet, get the latest information on events and culture in Norwich and days out in Norfolk and much more.'

She added that the app would also soon include the environmental control switch for bedrooms in the older part of the hotel, once a new heat pump-based heating and cooling system had been commissioned.

General manager Christine Malcom said: 'We are very excited about our new app. The old information folders have been removed from the bedrooms and guests now have the latest technology to plan their stay at the hotel.

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'We are proud of our heritage but are very keen to meet the expectations of guests in the 21st century. The iRiS app, combined with our new heating and cooling system in the old part of the hotel, bathroom refurbishment in the newer part of the hotel, and improvements to our public lounges and toilets is all part of ensuring that the hotel combines a contemporary feel with its wonderful heritage.'

Felicia Nekmouche, account manager at iRiS Software Systems, said: 'We're very happy to be working with the Maids Head Hotel on this project to bring cutting edge hospitality technology to the oldest hotel in the UK. Our solutions will enable guests to enjoy the hotel's unique surroundings in the most modern and convenient way.'

The latest investment comes less than three months after the hotel invested in an electric car charger for its guests and staff.

The Maids Head is also the first hotel in Norfolk to have invested £300,000 on a hi-tech energy efficient capillary heating and cooling system.