We invite YOUR hotel, motel, Bed & Breakfast (B&B), resort, or hosptality property to get a room telephone quote from us the next time YOU need replacements or spares hotel phones, or when they are ready to upgrade to new hotel motel room phones.
Hotel Trivia and Information:
A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning or climate control. Additional common features found in hotel rooms are a telephone, an alarm clock, a television, a safe, a mini-bar with snack foods and drinks, and facilities for making tea and coffee. Luxury features include bathrobes and slippers, a pillow menu, twin-sink vanities, and Jacuzzi bathtubs. Larger hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a restaurant, swimming pool, fitness center, business center, childcare, conference facilities and social function services.
Hotel rooms are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room.
Some hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. In the United Kingdom, a hotel is required by law to serve food and drinks to all guests within certain stated hours. In Japan, capsule hotels provide a minimized amount of room space and shared facilities.
Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal, Budapest, Hungary
The word hotel is derived from the French hôtel (coming from hôte meaning host), which referred to a French version of a townhouse or any other building seeing frequent visitors, rather than a place offering accommodation. In contemporary French usage, hôtel now has the same meaning as the English term, and hôtel particulier is used for the old meaning. The French spelling, with the circumflex, was also used in English, but is now rare. The circumflex replaces the ‘s’ found in the earlier hostel spelling, which over time took on a new, but closely related meaning. Grammatically, hotels usually take the definite article – hence “The Astoria Hotel” or simply “The Astoria.”
Types of Hotels:
Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following;
* Upscale Luxury:
o Examples include Conrad Hotels, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Dorchester Collection,and JW Marriott Hotels
* Full Service:
o Examples include Hilton, Marriott, Doubletree, and Hyatt
* Select Service:
o Examples include Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn
* Limited Service:
o Examples include Hampton Inn, Fairfield Inn, Days Inn, and La Quinta Inns & Suites
* Extended Stay:
o Examples include Homewood Suites by Hilton, Residence Inn by Marriott, and Extended Stay Hotels
o Examples include Marriott Vacation Club International, Westgate Resorts, and Disney Vacation Club
* Destination Club
Hotel management is a significant career. Larger hotels may operate with an extensive management structure consisting of a General Manager which serves as the head executive, department heads that oversee various departments, middle managers, administrative staff, and line-level supervisors. Degree programs such as hospitality management studies, a business degree, and/or certification programs prepare hotel managers for industry practice.
Hotel Astoria and a statue of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia in front, in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Some hotels have gained their renown through tradition, by hosting significant events or persons, such as Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam, Germany, which derives its fame from the Potsdam Conference of the World War II allies Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and Joseph Stalin in 1945. The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai is one of India’s most famous and historic hotels because of its association with the Indian independence movement. Some establishments have given name to a particular meal or beverage, as is the case with the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, United States where the Waldorf Salad was first created or the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, Austria, home of the Sachertorte. Others have achieved fame by association with dishes or cocktails created on their premises, such as the Hotel de Paris where the crêpe Suzette was invented or the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, where the Singapore Sling cocktail was devised.
Hôtel Ritz in Paris, France:
A number of hotels have entered the public consciousness through popular culture, such as the Ritz Hotel in London, through its association with Irving Berlin’s song, ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’. The Algonquin Hotel in New York City is famed as the meeting place of the literary group, the Algonquin Round Table, and Hotel Chelsea, also in New York City, has been the subject of a number of songs and the scene of the stabbing of Nancy Spungen (allegedly by her boyfriend Sid Vicious). The Waldorf Astoria and Statler hotels in New York City are also immortalized in the names of Muppets Statler and Waldorf.
Chicago’s Magnificent Mile has hosted many skyscraper hotels such as the Allerton Hotel
Many hotels can be considered destinations in themselves, by dint of unusual features of the lodging or its immediate environment:
Some hotels are built with living trees as structural elements, for example the Costa Rica Tree House in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica; the Treetops Hotel in Aberdare National Park, Kenya; the Ariau Towers near Manaus, Brazil, on the Rio Negro in the Amazon; and Bayram’s Tree Houses in Olympos, Turkey.
The Null Stern Hotel in Teufen, Appenzellerland, Switzerland and the Concrete Mushrooms in Albania are former nuclear bunkers transformed into hotels.
Shoe hotels are hotels built into a giant shoe. The idea was inspired by the “Old Woman who lived in a shoe” myth. The largest such hotel is currently in Hokkaido, Japan. The most popular shoe hotels are modelled after a woman’s platform dancing shoe.
The Cuevas Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (named after the author) in Guadix, Spain, as well as several hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey, are notable for being built into natural cave formations, some with rooms underground. The Desert Cave Hotel in Coober Pedy, South Australia is built into the remains of an opal mine.
 Capsule hotels
Capsule hotels are a type of economical hotel that are found in Japan, where people sleep in stacks of rectangular containers.
Ice and snow hotels:
The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, and the Hotel de Glace in Duschenay, Canada, melt every spring and are rebuilt each winter; the Mammut Snow Hotel in Finland is located within the walls of the Kemi snow castle; and the Lainio Snow Hotel is part of a snow village near Ylläs, Finland.
Garden hotels, famous for their gardens before they became hotels, include Gravetye Manor, the home of garden designer William Robinson, and Cliveden, designed by Charles Barry with a rose garden by Geoffrey Jellicoe.
Some hotels have accommodation underwater, such as Utter Inn in Lake Mälaren, Sweden. Hydropolis, project cancelled 2004 in Dubai, would have had suites on the bottom of the Persian Gulf, and Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida requires scuba diving to access its rooms.
Other unusual hotels:
RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California, United States
* The Library Hotel in New York City, is unique in that each of its ten floors is assigned one category from the Dewey Decimal System.
* The Burj al-Arab hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, built on an artificial island, is structured in the shape of a boat’s sail.
* The Jailhotel Löwengraben in Lucerne, Switzerland is a converted prison now used as a hotel.
* The Luxor, a hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, United States due to its pyramidal structure.
* The Liberty Hotel in Boston, used to be the Charles Street Jail.
* Built in Scotland and completed in 1936, The former ocean liner RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, United States uses its first-class staterooms as a hotel, after retiring in 1967 from Transatlantic service.
* There are several hotels throughout the world built into converted airliners.
Principe di Piemonte, Viareggio (Italy)
Some hotels are built specifically to create a captive trade, example at casinos and holiday resorts. Though of course hotels have always been built in popular destinations, the defining characteristic of a resort hotel is that it exists purely to serve another attraction, the two having the same owners.
In Las Vegas there is a tradition of outdoing rivals with luxurious and extravagant hotels in a concentrated area known as the Las Vegas Strip. This trend now has extended to other resorts worldwide, but the concentration in Las Vegas is still the world’s highest: nineteen of the world’s twenty-five largest hotels by room count are on the Strip, with a total of over 67,000 rooms.
In Europe Center Parcs might be considered a chain of resort hotels, since the sites are largely man-made (though set in natural surroundings such as country parks) with captive trade, whereas holiday camps such as Butlins and Pontin’s are probably not considered as resort hotels, since they are set at traditional holiday destinations which existed before the camps.
 Railway hotels
Frequently, expanding railway companies built grand hotels at their termini, such as the Midland Hotel, Manchester next to the former Manchester Central Station and in London the ones above St Pancras railway station and Charing Cross railway station also in London is the Chiltern Court Hotel above Baker Street tube station and Canada’s grand railway hotels. They are or were mostly, but not exclusively, used by those travelling by rail.
A motel (motor hotel) is a hotel which is for a short stay, usually for a night, for motorists on long journeys. It has direct access from the room to the vehicle (for example a central parking lot around which the buildings are set), and is built conveniently close to major roads and intersections.
World record setting hotels:
Historical Hotel Savoy in Florence
In 2006, Guinness World Records listed the First World Hotel in Genting Highlands, Malaysia as the world’s largest hotel with a total of 6,118 rooms. Similarly, the Venetian Palazzo Complex, in Las Vegas, has the most number of rooms. It has 7,117 rooms followed by MGM Grand Hotel, which contains 6,852 rooms.
see also List of largest hotels in the world
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest hotel still in operation is the Hoshi Ryokan, in the Awazu Onsen area of Komatsu, Japan which opened in 718.
The Rose Tower in United Arab Emirates is the tallest building used exclusively as a hotel. Originally, the tower was to be 380 m (1,250 ft) high, but design modification reduced it to 333 m (1,093 ft).
Hotel rooms as an investment:
Some hotels sell individual rooms to investors. Timeshare is an example of this kind of investment. The buyer is allowed to stay in the room without charge or at a reduced rate for a given number of days each year. The investor is paid a share of the takings for the room. Rooms can be sold on a leasehold basis, sometimes on a 999 year lease. Room owners are free to sell at any time.
Living in hotels:
A number of public figures have notably chosen to take up semi-permanent or permanent residence in hotels.
* Actor Richard Harris lived at the Savoy Hotel while in London. Hotel archivist Susan Scott recounts an anecdote that when he was being taken out of the building on a stretcher shortly before his death he raised his hand and told the diners “it was the food.”
* Inventor Nikola Tesla lived the last 10 years of his life at the New Yorker Hotel until 1943 when he died in the hotel room.
* Millionaire Howard Hughes lived his last few years in a Las Vegas hotel.
* Egyptian actor Ahmad Zaki lived his last 15 years in Ramses Hilton Hotel – Cairo.
* Larry Fine (of the Three Stooges) and his family lived in hotels, due to his extravagant spending habits and his wife’s dislike for housekeeping. They first lived in the President Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where his daughter Phyllis was raised, then the Knickerbocker Hotel in Hollywood. Not until the late 1940s did Larry buy a home in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, California.
* General Douglas McArthur lived his last 14 years in the penthouse of the Waldorf Towers, a part of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
* American actress Elaine Stritch lived in the Savoy Hotel in London for over a decade.
* Fashion designer Coco Chanel lived in the Hotel Ritz Paris on and off for more than 30 years.
* Vladimir Nabokov and his wife Vera lived in the Montreux Palace Hotel in Montreux, Switzerland from 1961 until his death in 1977.
* British entrepreneur Jack Lyons lived in the Hotel Mirador Kempinski in Switzerland for several years until his death in 2008.
Hotels have been used as the settings for television programs such as the British situation comedies Fawlty Towers and I’m Alan Partridge, the British soap opera Crossroads, and in films such as the Bates Motel in Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho and The Dolphin Hotel in 1408, a short story by Stephen King which was adapted into a 2007 film.
Another is Tipton Hotel, a fictitious hotel in Disney’s “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” When the show later became a spinoff into “The Suite Life on Deck,” the Tipton evolved into the SS Tipton, run by the same company.
(via Dunia Kegelapan / Wikapedia)
While it’s difficult to protect your home from professional thieves, most home burglaries are done by amateurs. These thieves are more easily thwarted if you employ some of these simple security precautions:
Plan to “burglarize” yourself. You’ll discover any weaknesses in your security system that may have previously escaped your notice.
Lock up your home, even if you go out only for a short time. Many burglars just walk in through an unlocked door or window.
Change all the locks and tumblers when you move into a new house.
For the most effective alarm system, conceal all wiring. A professional burglar looks for places where he or she can disconnect the security system.
Your house should appear occupied at all times. Use timers to switch lights and radios on and off when you’re not at home.
If you have a faulty alarm that frequently goes off, get it fixed immediately and tell your neighbors that it’s been repaired. Many people ignore an alarm that goes off periodically.
A spring-latch lock is easy prey for burglars who are “loiding” experts. Loiding is the method of slipping a plastic credit card against the latch tongue to depress it and unlock the door. A deadbolt defies any such attack. It is only vulnerable when there is enough space between the door and its frame to allow an intruder to use power tools or a hacksaw.
If you lose your keys, change the locks immediately.
Before turning your house key over to a professional house cleaner for several hours, make sure the person is honest and reputable as well as hardworking. Check all references thoroughly. If the house cleaner is from a firm, call your local Better Business Bureau to check on the firm’s reputation.
Instead of keeping a spare key in a mailbox, under the doormat, or on a nail behind the garage, wrap the key in foil — or put it in a 35mm film can — and bury it where you can easily find it if you need it.
Don’t leave notes for service people or family members on the door. These act as a welcome mat for a burglar.
If the entrances to your home are dark, consider installing lighting with an infrared detector. Most thieves don’t want to be observed trying to get in a door.
Talk to your neighbors about any suspicious people or strange cars you notice lurking about.
To keep your tools from being stolen, paint the handles. Thieves avoid items that are easy to identify.
Trees located near windows or shrubbery that might shield a burglar from view can be major flaws in your home-protection plan. Consider your landscaping plan in light of your protection needs.
Ask for credentials from any sales-person who requests entry to your home. Ask that their ID be pushed under the door. Many professional burglars use this cover to check out homes. If you’re doubtful, check with the person’s office before letting him or her in.
Do not list your full name on your mailbox or your entry in the telephone book. Use only your initial and your last name.
If someone comes to your door asking to use the phone to call a mechanic or the police, keep the door locked and make the call yourself.
Dogs are good deterrents to burglars. Even a small, noisy dog can be effective — burglars do not like to have attention drawn to their presence. Be aware, however, that trained guard dogs do not make good pets. Obedience training and attack training are entirely different, and only the former is appropriate for a house pet.
(via Alarm Fix)
Is VoIP Really Worth the Trouble?
Get answers to your biggest voice over IP FAQ and hear how VoIP can improve communications and flexibility in your business. (1:54 min)
Voice over IP FAQ provides answers to questions that small businesses frequently ask about Voice over Internet Protocol (IP) and unified communications. Our Voice over IP FAQ explains the differences between VoIP and unified communications, the benefits for small businesses, and the equipment you’ll need.
Voice over IP FAQ: What is VoIP?
VoIP technology enables you to make and receive telephone calls over a broadband Internet connection instead of over a traditional phone line.
Voice over IP FAQ: How Does it Work?
With VoIP, voice traffic is converted into data packets and transmitted over the public Internet and/or over a private IP network. When you call a landline or cell phone number, the data packets are converted to a regular telephone signal before they reach the party you’re calling.
Voice over IP FAQ: How is it Different from Unified Communications?
VoIP refers to a basic Internet-based telephony system. Unified communications is more advanced. Among unified communications’ many advantages are sophisticated call center features; conferencing that combines voice, data, video and desktop sharing; and presence—the ability to instantly determine the availability of others within your company.
Voice over IP FAQ: What Equipment Do I Need?
For a basic VoIP system, all you need are a broadband Internet connection and a VoIP-enabled phone; a traditional phone connected to an adapter; or a computer with VoIP software.
Many businesses are now using VoIP and unified communications on their own private networks. Telephony systems residing on private networks have better security and quality than those that operate strictly over the public Internet. With VoIP or unified communications on a private network, you can prioritize voice over other types of traffic on your network, to ensure the best possible audio quality.
Voice over IP FAQ: What Are the Benefits?
Reduced local and long-distance charges
One network to manage for both voice and data, instead of two
Reduced travel costs–thanks to online conferencing—easy-to-use video calls, and other collaboration tools
Easily make adds, moves, and changes to the small business phone system as needed
Employees have more ways to stay connected and customers can reach them more easily
Take all of your phone system’s features with you for use at home, at the office, or on the road
Source: Cisco small business VoIP FAQ
Hosted VoIP Service
If you’re looking to make the switch to VoIP you are going to come across a myriad of different solutions. One of the most popular being hosted VoIP.
What is Hosted VoIP?
Hosted VoIP is a service provided by a third party that gives you all of your phone system features and voice calling capabilities without having an actual VoIP phone system at your office. The only part of the system that you actual see are your VoIP Phones at your desk.
The hosted VoIP service provider, as they are commonly called, hosts your phone system functionality from their data center (or one that they lease from a data center provider). You are able to access your Hosted VoIP service via the internet, where you can configure users, extensions, menu’s, etc. The type of features you can get and the rates you pay, depend on the service provider.
Who Uses Hosted VoIP?
Hosted VoIP service from companies like Nextiva is used by companies of all sizes and industries, but is most popular with the small or micro-enterprise, typically 25 seats and under. Hosted VoIP service is a popular option for these companies because of the low up-front capital investment and predictable monthly billing.
If your company is looking to make the switch to VoIP with a limited budget, hosted VoIP would make great sense. Also, if your company lacks the staff or current knowledge required to manage your own VoIP system, hosted VoIP is probably they best thing for you!
How to Select Hosted VoIP Service?
Going about selecting hosted VoIP service for your company can get a little confusing. Today there are literally hundreds of different hosted VoIP providers who all look, sound and feel the same.
That’s because of a little known secret that most of these hosted VoIP services are running off of the same platform! That’s right, they may have different names, colors, packages and locations, but they are probably running off one of three popular platforms.
What does this mean for you? Well, to start, it means that things like price, features and VoIP phone choices should be pretty much the same across the board.
(Hence the confusing part of choice a provider.)
This makes the customer experience, the sign-up process, support systems, service level agreements and customer reviews the most important aspects of choosing a hosted VoIP provider.
Customer Experience – Before selecting any hosted VoIP provider you should take the time to call into their office. Be prepared with questions about the companies history, expertise, service level agreements and levels of support. Get a feel for how the sales professional answers the questions by listening to his tone of voice, directness of answer and other clues that might expose a weakness in your experience as a customer.
Support Systems – Things do go wrong and when they do, what matters most is quick, transparent assistance from technical support. Before purchasing hosted VoIP services make sure you find out what standard turnaround times are for support, local availability and even TEST OUT THEIR SYSTEM by submitting a ticket.
Service Level Agreements (SLA) – Like support systems, your hosted provider’s service level agreement is a commitment to ensuring you have a great service experience. Every hosted VoIP provider should have an SLA in place, typically something that guarantees the service will be up more than 99% of the time.
Customer Reviews – Most of the major hosted VoIP providers have a number of reviews of their service on various websites. In addition to this or if your provider is not large enough to have online reviews, ask for customer references. Then call them. Seriously, you can very often avoid disasters by speaking with real customers who have real experience with a company.
The Next Steps
After reading this, if you are ready to take the next steps in purchasing hosted VoIP service, you best bet is to write down everything you think you need, then contact up to five providers of hosted VoIP service. Once they contact you back, use the advice above to evaluate the best option for your company and then follow that providers lead.
(via Garrett Smith)
Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) has provided businesses a new means of communication. It has moved phone calls off traditional phones lines and onto the internet. VoIP can be more cost efficient than legacy options and can help call centers provide better customer service.
According to what IP telephony professional Itay Rosenfeld wrote in Telecom Reseller, it seems like VoIP is taking over the world. In reality, research found that 143.2 million people and businesses subscribed to public switched telephone network (PSTN)-style VoIP services in 2012, with the majority located in the United States, France and Germany.
Firmology said that with a premium VoIP system, call center employees can gather customer information before the call is even answered. They can see who’s calling, what services the customer has previously used and any issues experienced. Call activity is logged automatically in CRM and notes are updated if taken.
With these great innovations, it’s a surprise more companies are not making the switch, said Rosenfeld. One main reason is because there’s been a lack of access to emergency services like 911. Businesses love saving money but not losing access to the fire and police departments.
According to Fox affiliate WXIN, however, some areas in the U.S. have new high-speed systems that allow emergency officials to make phone calls, send text messages or distribute emails to people subscribed to the IP-based system.
But what about reaching officials? Rosenfeld reported that there’s a new option that supports phone capabilities from a single IP-based interconnection and provides access to emergency services. Whether a company uses cloud communications, VoIP or SIP trunking, this new option connects emergency calls via the PSTN. It also creates access in locations where cell coverage is poor or where a phone number is needed that’s not tied to a specific provider or place.
VoIP has emerged as the new standard for enterprise communication, and vendors (such as Telephone Magic Inc.) offer the media gateways and other solutions to ensure seamless and reliable integration of IP-based communication regardless of an organization’s size or its current telecommunications environment.
More of the same:
These scams pop up like dandelions in the springtime. Pass along to seniors.
Beware of “Free Medical Alert” Scam. Potentially fraudulent calls have been made to homes in Norwalk and as far away as Texas.
The Norwalk Police Department advised local residents to be on the lookout for a possible telephone scam that has been reported recently in Norwalk and in other communities across the country.
I became aware of the possible scam after a message was left on his home answering machine on Thursday.
It is a sad fact that there is no shortage of people out there who looking to take advantage of others, particularly senior citizens. This apparent scam targets seniors directly with promises of a ‘Free Medical Alert System’, something that sounds similar to a legitimate product often advertised on television. Remember never to give out personal information over the phone to someone you do not know or trust. If you may have been a victim of this scam, please notify our local police.
The calls in question involve a prerecorded message in which the potential victim is told they have received a “Free Medical Alert System” and is then asked to disclose personal information.
A warning from the Stephenville Police Department of Stephenville, Texas about these calls describes them in detail:
The potential victim is called and a prerecorded message tells them that they have won a “Medical Alert System” and to hold on to provide Shipping Information. The message then tells the potential victim to press a number to speak to a representative. The call then either disconnects or puts the potential victim on hold to music. Next, the representative picks up the line and they give a sells pitch over the product. Finally, the representative then attempts to confirm personal information including the shipping information.
The calls are coming from (209) 676-3148 and may show up on Caller ID as a legitimate bank or business.
Detective Bill Maloney of the Norwalk Police Department said, “I would advise anyone that is solicited by phone to look into any company they are considering doing business with. Make sure you have any proposals in writing, and do not give out any financial information to strangers over the phone.”
Detective Maloney added, “With regard to this particular series of calls about ‘Medical Alert Systems’, people have every reason to be cautious. There have been numerous Do Not Call complaints about this particular telephone number around the country. A local resident was recently victimized by a similar, but likely different call.”
Area residents who worry they may have been a victim of a scam may contact the Norwalk Police Department at (203) 854-3000 or the Darien Police Department at (203) 662-5300.
(via Bob Duff)