Known for its secluded, resort-style campus, Hyatt Lodge Oak Brook has been a longtime destination of choice for corporate conferences and meetings, wedding receptions, and family getaways alike. Situated outside of Chicago in the heart of Oak Brook, Illinois, the hotel and attached conference center offer 218 guestrooms and a combined 47,000-square-feet of event space.
“I couldn’t imagine being in our current climate of increased expectations without Everstream," said Robert Brand, General Manager of Hyatt Lodge.
To sustain multiple groups at once and maintain repeat business, properties like the Hyatt Lodge and others throughout the hospitality industry must excel at providing an exceptional guest experience — and, increasingly, high-capacity network connectivity is a critical component to succeeding.
In fact, free WiFi remains at the top of guests’ technology demands, reflecting the importance of robust networks and connectivity to the hotel experience, according to HTs' 2021 Customer Engagement Technology Study.
In late 2019, a frustrated Hyatt Lodge found itself in search of a new fiber network service provider.
“We had a slow, intermittent connection that would drop or disconnect frequently, causing guests to lose what they were working on,” said Robert Brand, General Manager, Hyatt Lodge. “It was difficult and challenging, and we needed to make a change.”
SEPARATE NETWORKS PROVE CRITICAL
Whether traveling for business or leisure, a single hotel guest brings an average of three devices — a laptop, smartphone and tablet, for example — along for the trip. And that’s per person.
“It’s expected for business travelers to carry multiple devices. But today’s leisure travelers often are families of up to five per room who also have up to three devices each,” Brand explained. “We’re more connected than ever and travelers want the same experience when they’re away from home.”
Guests expect access to a high-speed, high-capacity network that can accommodate this device usage, including conducting video calls, streaming and sharing online content, responding to emails, and browsing the web — often simultaneously and with no delays in service.
“The expectations of our business clientele have increased as Zoom meetings have become the norm,” Brand continued. “Meeting guests and those hosting semi-virtual meetings have brought greater requirements, too. We have held several meetings of 30 to 50 guests in a ballroom area that used to seat 300 — and they all need large projector screens and connectivity.”
Without an adequate network, it can be a challenge to meet these new requirements and could mean a loss in future revenue if customers take their business elsewhere. To balance guest expectations with their business operation needs, hotels and resorts have separate networks for each audience.
Hyatt Lodge upgraded from a 100 Mbps circuit with another provider to a 1 Gbps Dedicated Internet Access connection with Everstream — a tenfold increase — to use exclusively as its guest network for Wi-Fi across the property, including in the Lodge’s ballrooms and banquet space along with the conference center. The circuit was installed in the summer of 2020.
“Everstream has made it so much easier for us to handle the increased demand,” Brand said. “Guests report being very happy with the connectivity and speed available, and complaints about network access have reduced to nearly zero. Any issues are typically user error and corrected quickly.”