Intercontinental Hotel Group Upgrades Locking System for Phoenicia Beirut Property

The Intercontinental Phoenicia Beirut in Lebanon has completed the installation of VISIONLINE, VingCard Elsafe's wireless RF-online system, and Signature RFID, its contactless electronic door locks with NFC cell phone compatibility. The 446-room landmark property of the Middle East was first built in 1961, reopening again in 2000 after some years of closure for restoration. Located on the famous Corniche boardwalk and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the grand hotel property sits adjacent to Beirut's downtown business and banking districts and, over the years, has hosted important world gatherings, such as the 14th Arab League Summit and Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

"With its unique mix of history and modern elegance, our property appeals to a diverse collection of experienced travelers and amateur adventurer-seekers," says Mazen Salha, chief executive officer of Société de des Grands Hotels du Liban, owner of the Phoenicia. "With such a diverse collection of guests comes a diverse selection of needs and an increased demand for security. In order to meet these needs, we chose VISIONLINE and Signature RFID by VingCard, for the highest level of security, efficiency and reliability available today."

Introduced to the market in 2006, VISIONLINE by VingCard offers a cost-effective solution for properties like the Intercontinental Phoenicia Beirut to facilitate reliable wireless two-way communication from standalone electronic door locks to their host security and PMS systems. Unlike off-line standalone locks, VISIONLINE by VingCard provides total security control from one central location, utilizing RF-online communication capabilities that eliminate the need to travel to each guestroom to perform tasks such as reprogramming individual locks, remotely cancelling guest and staff keycards with one click, or identifying and changing low batteries, as well the need for a guest to return to the front desk to change a room or extend his or her stay. By centralizing these functions, the Intercontinental Phoenicia Beirut can expect to increase the overall productivity of hotel operations and the overall security. Also, VISIONLINE by VingCard components communicate with multiple rooms at once, reducing the number of network components required for installation when compared to other online technologies.

"By upgrading to VISIONLINE, our staff can operate more efficiently, maintaining our property's classic appeal while modernizing for the new generation," says Salha. "VISIONLINE's unique security features like automatic SMS or e-mail maintenance alerts, downloadable audit trails and low battery alerts, allow our staff to spend less time on maintenance and more time on customer service, strengthening our reputation throughout the industry."

Built on the ZigBee Standard ISO 802.15.4 high-security open platform, the only wireless, highly-secured and open standards-based platform to address the unique needs of low power monitoring and access-control network applications, VISIONLINE offers increased reliability and performance at an affordable cost. Operating on a reliable and secure platform like ZigBee also enables smooth interface and integration opportunities for other online devices such as safes, energy management and mini bars.

Complementary door locks
To complement the VISIONLINE system, the Intercontinental Phoenicia Beirut also chose Signature RFID contactless electronic door locks, which offer highly reliable security features and provide unprecedented convenience and ease-of-operation for hoteliers and hotel guests alike. The Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) locks allow for contactless guest room entry and are compatible with next-generation NFC cell phones. Additionally, by utilizing a sealed exterior, Signature RFID protects components of the electronic locks on exterior doors of the property's villas and suites against the environment, to maintain the highest level of security.

Additionally, Intercontinental Phoenicia Beirut is fully equipped to provide user-friendly and intuitive guest interaction, including NFC cell phone compatibility, while decreasing the overall workload of the hotel's management and staff.

Upon completing installation of Signature RFID, the Intercontinental Phoenicia Beirut might choose to offer remote check-in to hotel guests with NFC-compatible cell phones, which would allow guests to skip the check-in line and instead use their NFC-enabled cell phones to unlock the guestroom door. Signature RFID is a secure open-platform system compatible with the three leading RFID ISO standards (ISO 14443A/MiFare, ISO 14443B, ISO 15693) and the new NFC transaction platform for cell phones.

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