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Intellicom Ireland

18th Century Offaly Hotel chooses Intellicom for 21st Century Communications solution

Cian Maher, CTO of Intellicom and Sharon Grant, Proprietor, Doolys Hotel. Declan Brady, Intellicom, Sharon Grant, Doolys Hotel, Fearghal O'Sullivan, Doolys Hotel and Cian Maher, Intellicom

As part of an extensive refurbishment of the hotel, the 270 year old Dooly’s Hotel in Birr selected Intellicom to deliver its 21st Century communications services to every room in the historic building. A primary requirement of the project was the installation of a robust WiFi service in every area of the hotel, including guest bedrooms, to ensure reliable internet connectivity for guests and visitors. As part of the project, which has now gone live, Intellicom also delivered a new fully-managed cloud-based PBX, reception switchboard and installed VoIP telephones in all public and staff areas, Melba’s night club and in all guest bedrooms.

One of the oldest hotels in Ireland, Dooly’s is a vibrant element of Birr heritage, “Preserving the integrity of the building and its heritage was very much on our minds when we began this extensive refurbishment, said Sharon Grant, proprietor of Dooly’s Hotel. “Our business guests will typically be starting and finishing their working day with their laptop and also have a smartphone and it’s rare now that we would have any guest without at least one smart device requiring internet connectivity. The investment in the refurbishment and in communications with Intellicom is already delivering benefits as we see repeat business increasing and our bar and restaurant guests staying longer.”

Mid-way between the Battle of the Boyne and the American War of Independence, Dooly’s Hotel in Birr first opened its door to guests as a coaching inn. Having played a key role in many aspects of the heritage of Birr and Offaly; undertaking a refurbishment project that included bringing the latest communications technology to every room in the building was a big step for the owners who were keen to preserve the integrity of the building and business. Intellicom, a voice and unified communications specialist, was on hand to identify and deploy the ideal 21st century communications solution to this beautiful 18th century Offaly landmark.

Operating as a coaching inn since 1747 and acknowledged as one of the longest operating hotels in Ireland, Dooly’s Hotel, a 17 room boutique hotel which stands proud on Birr’s town square, holds a special place in the memories of many generations of Offaly people who celebrate significant events there. An extensive refurbishment of Dooly’s was planned which would touch on every room and public area in the building, in Coach House style, they were bringing fittings, decorations and services right up to the demands of the hotels’ 21st century guests.

Their requirements also included the replacement of the existing telephone system throughout the hotel, in all guest bedrooms, a switchboard at reception and handsets in the staff areas of the hotel. While guests’ use of in-bedroom phones has reduced significantly with the arrival of mobile phones, it remains an important and private connection for guests to access hotel services from their rooms. “We didn’t need a phone system with all the bells and whistles but we did need one that was flexible, reliable, a long term solution and at low-cost.” Sharon noted.

Melba’s Nightclub at Dooly’s, which hosts regular high profile DJ nights, is also now WiFI enabled and Intellicom’s solution has also enabled the hotel to offer credit card facilities in the Club. Melba’s Nightclub was named after Dame Nellie Melba, the famous Australian Soprano who once, when staying in the hotel, sang out of an upstairs bedroom in Dooly’s Hotel.

Their research into possible partners to deliver the communications solution for the hotel led them to Intellicom, a business that lists many international companies among its client list but for Dooly’s had a particular local connection that appealed. Intellicom’s CTO and co-founder, Cian Maher and a number of the technology support and development team live in the Birr area and the company has maintained and grown an office in the town since it was founded in 2005.

“Dooly’s is very much part of the fabric and heritage of Birr and we were delighted to work with them, said Cian Maher, CTO of Intellicom. We were keen to deliver a communications and internet solution for the hotel that would enable them to continue to deliver the great service to customers that they are renowned for in the area. Their requirements were very specific but given the nature of the building we were acutely aware of the potential challenges it posed.”

The solution proposed and ultimately deployed for Dooly’s Hotel included the installation of new cabling and network infrastructure to support the new Cloud based telephone system and a managed WiFi network throughout the hotel offering customised welcome pages at sign on. The reception area now includes a VoIP based telephone switchboard which Sharon remarked was “extremely neat and very easy for all staff to use”. With anticipated low-use of in-room handsets, Intellicom recommended going with a basic handset that was robust but at a lower cost and functionality specification than would be deployed in many of their other business customers’ premises.

“It’s been a tremendous success for the business, Sharon said. “The refurbishment and the new internet and telephone systems have brought a great boost to business for us. We have noticed that those coming in for a quick coffee are staying longer to enjoy some food, our repeat guest numbers are well up and feedback has been excellent. It’s a great addition to our business and the close attention to detail in designing and delivering the solution and the excellent customer service from Intellicom is something that really made it a success.”

Our next step is that we will be looking to enhance our marketing using the data that the new WiFi management system provides. This will give us the insight to how and when the WiFi is used, by what type of devices and for how long and we can see how specific marketing initiatives and offers to guests are succeeding. It really puts us in the driving seat for moving the hotel and business forward.”