Case Study: De Vere Hotels

Case Study: De Vere Hotels Group and MLR Networks

Powerline Sockets prove ideal for MLR Networks’ difficult networking installation of De Vere’s new ‘Chambre Unique’ rooms

De Vere logo

The De Vere Hotels Group is a British company with a strong heritage and contemporary values driven by a desire to set a benchmark for excellence in hospitality. Their portfolio spans 71 luxury properties across the UK, including De Vere Hotels & Resorts, Village Urban Resorts, De Vere Luxury Lodges, De Vere Golf and De Vere Venues.

As part of a continued drive to offer the best experience for their customers, De Vere Hotels & Resorts were keen to introduce a new style of premium room upgrade in selected hotels; the ‘Chambre Unique’, offering new multimedia technology such as Sky TV, Wireless Bose sound and Smart Theatre TV; letting guests connect their smartphones and tablets to surf the web or play downloaded content on the new Smart TV box. 

De Vere Chambre Unique rooms

The Business Challenge

In each room, we needed a new high speed Internet connection capable of streaming HD video.The new room upgrades were to be ‘soft refurb’ only; so we couldn’t cut into walls and ceilings for new cabling. And as these rooms had to be on sale as soon as possible; there was no time or budget for making good or additional building work.” said Neil Cryer, IT Project Manager from De Vere Hotels.

De Vere Hotels turned to its existing cabling installer; MLR Networks to provide a networking solution that would give them the extra connectivity needed without causing any additional building work or disrupt the normal operations of the hotel. Downtime had to be kept to a minimum, so work had to be scheduled at the same time as regular maintenance works in the hotel where possible.

The Solution

MLR Networks, with partner Power Ethernet, came up with a quick and simple solution which would provide Internet connectivity in the required rooms using Power Ethernet’s innovative Powerline Sockets. This patented device incorporates a four port, high speed Ethernet switch as well as a filtered 13 amp socket and simply replaces the existing electrical socket in each room.

Click for a detailed view

At the electrical distribution board a second Power Ethernet Socket was installed on the same ring main and once configured by a MLR Networks’ engineer, a secure Local Area Network (LAN) was up and running, providing high speed Internet access through the new Ethernet ports in each bedroom.

An initial pilot was undertaken in six bedrooms at De Vere Mottram Hall in Cheshire, for six weeks to prove the technology would work for De Vere Hotels.

Following on from the successful pilot, the technology was rolled out to a further 22 rooms at De Vere Mottram Hall and then rolled out to ten bedrooms at De Vere Belton Woods and in 48 bedrooms in the De Vere Grand Hotel Brighton, which were undergoing the ‘Chambre Unique’ upgrades.

Key Benefits

  • The Power Ethernet Sockets provide an ideal networking solution for ‘soft refurb’ scenario, as no renovation work is necessary.
  • Fast and robust Internet access capable of streaming HD Video in each room with minimal disruption and no mess.
  • As no rewiring is needed, Power Ethernet Sockets’ installation can fit into the same time slots that regular maintenance works occurs hence downtime keeps to a minimum.
  • The flexibility of the Power Ethernet technology allows the solution to be implemented across single and three phase electrical boards.
  • High value, low investment cost of providing multimedia services in each room up and running in a matter of hours.
  • As the solution is built into the wall, the installation is discreet, theft and tamper-proof and looks aesthetically pleasing.
  • Eliminates cost of “making good” the décor.
  • There is limited loss of revenue as the hotel’s normal operations are not noticeably disrupted by the installation.
  • The Power Ethernet Sockets can be configured to allow up to 4 separate VLANs for each unit, therefore allowing the installation of services such as IP Voice telephony, Wireless Network devices, high speed internet access and any other future network base system.
Neil Cryer, IT Project Manager from De Vere Hotels said: "We’ve worked with MLR Networks for more than 25 years, so I knew that they have the combination of networking, cabling and electrical expertise to meet our requirements as well as work within our deadlines. We are very impressed of how quickly MLR Networks installed this new technology and got it up and running with little disruption or downtime. Our hotels were able to start offering the fantastic new ‘Chambre Unique’ services in a matter of days and we are very happy that our customers can now enjoy a state of the art multimedia experience where they have the freedom to surf the web, listen music, watch a HD movie, or access the internet whenever they wanted."
Dave Ashdown,Project Engineer from MLR Networks said: "The Power Ethernet Sockets are a great fit for De Vere Hotels; it’s a fast, robust and reliable networking solution which helped us solve all the challenges we had in providing internet access for the ‘Chambre Unique’ rooms.We knew the rooms had to be on sale as soon as possible, so we managed to fit into the hotel’s normal routine maintenance to minimise disruption, spending only two days at Belton Woods."