Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites is an independently owned 262-room historic property with 12,500 square feet of meeting space in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 2018 it completed a full renovation of its guestrooms, meeting space and common areas. The property benefited from a large increase in area tourism with new market segments and international guests. These factors made it clear to management that Lord Nelson’s legacy property management system (PMS) did not provide the functionality the hotel required and triggered its search for new hotel software.
Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites is a locally owned historic independent that wanted to keep its historic heritage but move property operations into the 21st Century. “We took time to make the right decision,” says Kathryn Buttle, Lord Nelson’s Assistant General Manager- Revenue. “We wanted a cloud-based PMS that supported the specific hotel software modules we needed on one platform. Maestro’s suite of fully-integrated modules on a single-image database was ideal for the unique way we do business.”
Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites installed Maestro’s Front Desk, Sales and Catering, ResWave Online Direct Booking engine, Mobile Housekeeping, SMS Messaging for guest and staff communications, Digital Registration for remote check-in, Travel Agency accounting, and Yield Management to optimize rates and occupancy all on the Maestro Web cloud-based system. They also recently added the integrated Online Payment Portal and are considering expanding to Maestro’s Loyalty Module and Business Analytics.
“We recently discovered an unexpected benefit with Maestro,” Buttle saiys. “The property was hit with a power failure during a storm. When the power went out, the Maestro Web cloud-based system enabled us to continue operation using our tablets and mobiles. We ran our hotel on iPads. Maestro’s Mobile Housekeeping module even kept our housekeepers doing their job with tablets.”
System selection guidelines for independent operators
“I recommend that independent operators take time to list all the factors they need to make the right decision. They should bring their teams together to understand how each department does business,” Buttle says. “We began by listing the modules we wanted and reviewed each department’s processes. Our evaluation list included six PMS companies. We had numerous calls with each company and arranged multiple demonstrations over a six-month period. I worked with our IT manager to balance our property’s needs with what each system offered.”
The property told vendors the issues it had with its current system, and explained what functionality was non-negotiable. “We created a firm baseline for functionality we had to have. We asked each company specific questions about processes and interfaces. We described our tasks and asked how their system handled them. We focused on the most important modules to our operation. For example, we are a 40-percent group property, so an integrated, full-function Sales and Catering system was essential.”
“Since we are an independent property, professional training and support were principal factors in our decision process,” Buttle adds. “In addition, we wanted a cloud-based system to simplify our infrastructure requirements. Based on our functionality requirements and system evaluation we selected the Maestro PMS suite of modules on the Maestro Web cloud platform. It has been a good decision for our operation.”
Maestro’s Sales and Catering System also proved itself to Lord Nelson’s operation. “We use an outside caterer,” Buttle says. “Maestro’s Sales and Catering system is flexible enough to let our third-party vendors update their event covers, menus, and billing details to keep our operation running smoothly. Our system installation and training went very well and Maestro’s support is excellent. Maestro online Live Chat Support lets our staff get answers to system use questions in real-time to be more productive. Plus, if we request an enhancement, Maestro evaluates our request and tells us when they can deploy it at our property.”