Sofitel and Ibis Choose Sony Pro Bravia 4K Panels
Recently the newly built Sofitel Darling Harbour and newly refurbished Ibis King Street Wharf hotels undertook a major technology review, assessment and refresh. One part of this incredibly comprehensive process included both hotels purchasing over a thousand of the very latest Sony Pro Bravia 4K flat screen panels.
Sustainability and Projects Manager, Schwartz Family Company Paul Briggs focus for a lot of people was on the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, because it is the first new build luxury international hotel to open in Sydney this millennium. To launch a ‘new era’ hotel we needed new era technology, and that meant aspects such as being able to Chromecast to the TV. Also with the location next door to the International Convention Centre a lot of our business is meetings and events based, so we need the absolute best screen technology for this audience. With the Ibis King Street Wharf, the hotel is next to Sydney’s newest urban area – Barangaroo – and therefore it hosts lots of corporate travellers who need to use the screens as part of their business. In such locations it is essential to upscale technology. When our research and evaluation was complete it was clear the best panels available on the market were the Sony Pro Bravia 4K.”
The hotels, owned by the Schwartz Family Company as part of a portfolio of 12 hotels in NSW, ACT and Victoria, purchased a combination of Sony Pro Bravia 7000 series 4K panels and 8000 series 4K panels.
Director of the Schwartz Family Company, Dr Jerry Schwartz added, “Technology has never been more important for hotels, and given the Sofitel represents the new generation of hotels in Sydney I was determined that we should introduce industry-leading technology throughout the hotel. In terms of the television, it is an essential component of the guest experience and guests want to be able to incorporate it fully into their stay. They demand amazing picture quality, top-class functionality and connectivity with their own devices, and so we needed to find a product that could deliver this and set a new benchmark for the luxury hotel sector. To be one of very few hotels in Australia to offer 4K panels with capabilities to Chromecast, mirrorcast, stream and Google Platform makes a real statement – and the response has been fantastic.”
In choosing the Sony Pro Bravia panels the Schwartz Family Company wanted to create a point of difference with their new technology offering, a point Briggs was keen to expand upon saying, “There is very limited 4K availability within hotels to date, and with our corporate and conference guests needing to use the panels for presentations and other work-oriented projects, and with our leisure guests wanting to broadcast Netflix and other applications to the screen, we needed to ensure that our TV technology could meet these requirements. The Sony TVs have many features that our guests would be used to at home and in a ‘smart’ era, our panels need to mirror the expectations of our guests.”
Both Sofitel Darling Harbour and Ibis King Street Wharf hotels have to switch between mid-week corporate environments to weekend leisure scenarios. So while mid-week, many guests will look at the panel as part of their work environment, they also need to function as a crucial ingredient of their entertainment package in the evenings and on weekends. The Sofitel Darling Harbour, in particular, caters for a considerable amount of meetings related to business and so the panels need to have a capability for Chromecasting as executives work on presentations in their rooms or deliver presentations in the conference rooms.
Briggs continued, “When you open the first new-build international hotel in over 17 years – as is the case with the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour – you have to offer a quantum-leap in terms of facilities and technology. When the last new-build luxury international hotel opened in Sydney in 1999, people were just getting used to Google, there weren’t smartphones and TVs had a handful of channels. The world has changed dramatically and it was essential for the Sofitel to reflect this. The Sony TV panels offered us a great opportunity to provide a market-leading consumer-focused TV technology that would highlight our position as Sydney’s first new-build luxury international hotel this millennium.”
For Briggs and his team the features of the Sony 4K panels was key but just as important was their quality and functionality as he explained: “The TVs performance has been excellent, with the panels providing enhanced depth, detail and texture, along with the advantage of 4K clarity and its advanced brightness, colour and detail. In many large hotels, TV technology is specifically designed to match the environment, but that often limits their functionality. We wanted to go beyond the obvious TV and wanted a product that would meet the requirements of modern-day travellers, both corporate and leisure. If you are able to Chromecast a programme from your smartphone to the TV screen at home, why shouldn’t you be able to in a hotel? Hotels are all about meeting and exceeding the expectations of guests – that’s what we set out to do and I believe both the Sofitel and Ibis have exceeded these goals. The design of the panels is also an advantage, with the panel being very slimline that maximises its space effectiveness while minimising issues with cables.”
According to Paul Briggs the emphasis for the Sofitel Darling Harbour and Ibis King Street Wharf hotels, now and in the future, for travellers is for TVs to be an integral part of their hotel experience as he concluded, “This could mean editing videos they have produced for social media on the screen or simply watching their preferred streaming service. We wanted a technology that can adapt to what millennials and others want and the Sony Pro Bravia 4K panels are superior to most others in their category.”
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