Plum, a wine-on-demand appliance, recently deployed its in-room self-service wine-by-the-glass technology at the London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills. The luxury hotel is using the guestroom technology to offer wine brand J.Lohr and Newton to their guests, both of which are California-based companies. The entire hotel, all 225 guestrooms, have a Plum unit installed. This is the first hotel in the Los Angeles area to deploy Plum's technology.
Hospitality Technology reached out to the London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills to learn why they decided to implement this guestroom technology and what types of benefits they hope to gain from it. We interviewed Piero Procida, Director of Food and Beverage, who was primarily involved with creating the Plum relationship and the installation of the devices at the hotel.
HT: How did you hear about Plum?
Procida: We found out about Plum through one of our Northwood Investor Partners. We met with Plum one-on-one and reviewed the entire program and location on site. We felt it was a good system for our guests.
HT: Why did you think this guestroom tech would appeal to your guests?
Procida: As a luxury boutique property, we are always looking for ways to be unique. Most of our guests appreciate a fine California wine, but they don’t necessarily want to buy a whole bottle. Many of our guests are on the move, and this enables them to also enjoy a glass without having to wait on delivery. It can also act as an excellent tool for quick and easy guest recovery with a simple authorization from the front desk.
HT: What was the installation process like?
Procida: The system itself is very user friendly and easy to use. The challenging part was from an operational standpoint. It took a lot of planning, in terms of room placement, when you have a hotel running at full occupancy. It took about six days to get all the Plum devices installed in the 220 guestrooms. Programming of the devices happened on-site and used the hotel Wi-Fi. That made it easy; once Plum was in the rooms all we needed to do was plug in the system. The installation also came with training for the team. Housekeepers and managers are all trained on how to clean and change out bottles.
HT: How are you helping make guests aware of this guestroom tech?
Procida: The system itself turns it on as a person approaches it. The display screen lights up and gives information on the system. This means there is no need for separate in-room collateral. We are also looking into perhaps printing some information about Plum on the room keys. However, this might not be necessary since the system speaks for itself and tends to intrigue guests when they walk into the room.
HT: What have been some guest reactions?
Procida: Very positive overall. This is a nice feature very few hotels are offering and many of those hotels that do offer a similar technology do not have them in all the guestrooms like we do. Guests are charmed not only by the technology but also by its ease of use. Additionally, the wine brands we serve speak to the guest. Plum uses Argon gas to preserve the wine which allows us to offer high end wines in the dispenser. When these high end brands appear on the light up display, guests recognize that they normally would have to buy a bottle of this brand of wine. So being able to purchase just one or two glasses in their guestroom becomes a very attractive proposition.
HT: Which wine brands are you currently showcasing in the Plum device?
Procida: We were very selective in choosing our first set of wines. JLohr, was introduced to us by Plum as a brand that has already been proven to work very well at other hotels. JLohr was very supportive and eager to work with us, and they are also a name our guests recognize. This was important to us. We wanted to offer not only a high quality wine but also one which people know and to which they can relate. The Plum system allows us to showcase two bottles of wine. J.Lohr Hilltop Cabernet was our choice for our red. We are also offering Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay as our white. Newton was equally supportive when we presented the idea to them. Both brands are doing very well for us.