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  • Writer's pictureAnu Metsallik

Case Study: The Impact of HotelBuddy on Eliminating Long Check-In Queues and Enhancing Guest Experience at Metropol Spa Hotel

Located in the dynamic Rotermanni district in Tallinn, Estonia, the Metropol Spa Hotel enjoys a prime spot that puts guests just a short stroll from the historic Old Town, key attractions, shopping centers, and the port.

Home to 137 comfortable rooms and suites, the hotel also boasts a spa and wellness center, conference facilities, and a welcoming bar and restaurant. Its interiors reflect a sleek northern elegance, equipped with modern amenities to guarantee a restful stay, whether you're here for a soothing spa escape, a leisurely weekend city break, or on a business trip.

Metropol Spa Hotel Junior Suite
Metropol Spa Hotel is a modern spa and conference hotel

Interview with Kristiina Viirpalu, the Sales & Marketing Manager at Metropol Spa Hotel and Metropol Hotel 

Q: What was the main challenge Metropol Spa Hotel faced that led to implementing HotelBuddy?

A: Our biggest issue was managing the long queues at the reception desk, a common scene during the busy summer months. The wait time for our guests could stretch to 20 minutes or more, which is particularly problematic given our significant Finnish clientele, who often arrive simultaneously due to ferry schedules.

This not only strained our reception staff with repetitive tasks but also impacted guest satisfaction. Implementing HotelBuddy allowed us to streamline the check-in process, offering a more efficient and pleasant arrival experience for everyone involved.

Q: Why did Metropol Spa Hotel choose HotelBuddy's self-service solution?

A: Our choice was influenced by a few key factors. Primarily, our commitment to supporting local businesses led us to seek an Estonian solution, and HotelBuddy fit this criterion perfectly. Additionally, the availability of a free trial and the ability to have customer support in the local language were significant pluses that aligned with our operational needs.

Moreover, HotelBuddy provides a smooth, all-encompassing system that elevates the entire guest experience, seamlessly integrating with the hotel’s existing infrastructure, thereby eliminating the need for hardware modifications, door lock changes, or additional app downloads from our guests, enhancing overall usability and guest satisfaction.

Q: How did HotelBuddy's solution integrate with your existing systems?

A: Initially, we encountered some hitches when syncing Hotelbuddy with our PMS, Infor, primarily because we were pioneers in this particular combination of systems. Despite these early challenges, the effort to resolve them paid off, ensuring a seamless operation that now benefits both our staff and guests.

Q: What improvements have you noticed since implementing HotelBuddy?

A: Since we started with HotelBuddy in September 2023, we've already observed significant operational improvements, although we expect to see the biggest impact in the upcoming summer season. Already, the workload on our receptionists has lightened, with an increasing number of guests opting to bypass traditional check-in processes altogether. The ability for guests to enter their information online and the introduction of mobile room keys have not only streamlined operations but have also been well received by guests, including those who are elderly and find this technology both new and exciting.

Beyond just improving efficiency and reducing costs at the reception, we've been testing HotelBuddy's Housekeeping module for minibar postings and are now looking into the latest Webshop module, which will allow us to extend our spa services and offer gift cards to a broader audience beyond our hotel guests. This move towards integrating more services into one comprehensive system is a testament to our ongoing efforts to refine operations and enhance the overall experience for everyone we serve.

HotelBuddy Housekeeping module
HotelBuddy Housekeeping module

Q: Can you share any quantifiable metrics related to reduced reception hours, decreased manual errors, or increased revenue?

Since the adoption of HotelBuddy, we've observed a month-over-month increase in its usability. This progressive uptrend demonstrates the system's growing effectiveness and our guests' increasing comfort with utilizing its features.

We have an average of 58% of guests saving their personal data online, eliminating the need for paper registration cards at arrival. Additionally, 32% of guests complete the full online check-in process, exploring room upsells, extra services and making payments digitally. About 16% of guests use their mobiles for check-out and bill settlement. Financially, this has translated into over 3600 euros from extra services and more than 3000 euros in room upgrades. 

Guest reviews from Tripadvisor and
Guest reviews from Tripadvisor and

Q: How did your staff adapt to the new system, and what training was provided?

A: The transition to HotelBuddy was smooth, thanks to comprehensive training sessions and support from a project leader who was in close contact with the HotelBuddy onboarding team. This thorough preparation piqued the interest of our receptionists, who were eager to embrace a system that promised to ease their workload. The positive reception from the staff has been a testament to HotelBuddy's user-friendly design and our hotel's commitment to embracing innovative solutions.

Q: To whom would you recommend HotelBuddy, and why?

A: I recommend HotelBuddy to any hotel looking to modernize their guest services. It offers guests the freedom to interact with the hotel in the manner most comfortable for them, whether that's through direct human contact or via digital channels. This flexibility enhances the guest experience, projecting the hotel as an innovative leader in the industry. Furthermore, for hotels with a significant number of repeat corporate guests, like ours, HotelBuddy serves as an invaluable tool to strengthen these relationships by streamlining their stay, aligning perfectly with the needs of today's travelers.

Metropol Spa Hotel Junior Suite
Junior Suite at the Metropol Spa Hotel

Metropol Spa Hotel


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