The Bonnington Hotel & Residences JLT upgraded its wireless network to deliver a seamless Wi-Fi connectivity experience to all business and leisure guests across its hotel rooms and public areas
As a leading 5-star hotel, the Bonnington used Aruba’s Wi-Fi solutions to achieve 95% improvement in coverage and 85% improvement in performance allowing guests to enjoy seamless high speed connectivity across its premises.
Although the Bonnington provided Wi-Fi to its guests prior to the Aruba implementation, it did not meet the standards that guests – and particularly business travelers–had come to expect from a 5-star hotel.
Opened in 2008 and located in the heart of the bustling and ever growing Jumeirah Lakes Towers community, the luxurious 5 star Bonnington Hotel prides itself on providing guests with unparalleled service and genuine hospitality.
The beautifully designed 40-story hotel features 188 rooms and 20 suites, 272 deluxe serviced hotel apartments, 5 outstanding restaurants and bars and 4 fully equipped conference suites. The hotel also boasts a unique Leisure Deck on the 11th floor complete with infinity pool, state of the art gym, pool side bar and restaurant, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna as well as a ladies hairdressing salon.
Need for improved coverage and seamless connectivity
At the heart of the hotel’s wireless connectivity shortcomings was the Wi-Fi infrastructure that pre-dated the opening of the hotel. With a 24mbps leased line, the Bonnington offered guests a 1 mbps free connection or 4 mbps for a nominal fee. However, with the old Wi-Fi infrastructure, guests struggled to get those bandwidths due to the performance drop introduced by the wireless portion of the network. Exacerbating the problem was the fact that coverage was poor and there were quite a few dead spots. This was especially true in the guest rooms as the APs were located in the corridors rather than individually in each guest room.
Aruba Wi-Fi meets modern needs
Precedence were very professional and thorough during the testing phase but what surprised me the most was the direct involvement of Aruba employees. They met with us on several occasions, reviewed all configuration options and suggested solutions that allowed us to meet all our technical requirements without exceeding our budget.
Mr. Dilhan Devaditiya, IT Manager at the Bonnington
Faced with increasing customer dissatisfaction with the spotty Wi-Fi and sluggish speeds, it was evident to Mr. Dilhan Devaditiya, IT Manager at the Bonnington, that if the hotel wanted to stay competitive, it was imperative that he addressed the Wi-Fi infrastructure.
The Aruba Advantage – Proven Track Record and Exceptional Service
With over 13 years of experience in the hospitality sector at leading hotels all across the APAC region, Mr. Devaditiya had worked with just about all the leading Wi-Fi vendors. Between his experiences, and Aruba’s proven track record in the hospitality sector, he was convinced that Aruba would be able to offer the Bonnington the best solution.
However, not wanting to take a unilateral or hasty decision, Mr Devaditiya sought buy-in from a decision making group that included the CEO, Director of Operations, Group Director of Finance & Procurement, GM and Director of Purchasing. In a process that took close to four months, four leading vendors (including Aruba) were invited to conduct POC testing and submit proposals.
Aruba Outperforms the Rest
While the Aruba solution did outperform the competition, the decision to go with Aruba boiled down to two key criteria. For one, unlike the other vendors, Aruba and it’s partner Precedence Technologies LLC worked very closely with the Bonnington team during the consulting phase. “Precedence were very professional and thorough during the testing phase but what surprised me the most was the direct involvement of Aruba employees. They met with us on several occasions, reviewed all configuration options and suggested solutions that allowed us to meet all our technical requirements without exceeding our budget.” said Mr. Devaditiya. Secondly, the compact and aesthetic design, blended in nicely in the rooms – a consideration that was important for a 5 star hotel.
Fast, Smooth, Non-disruptive Deployment
Once the Bonnington team had agreed on moving forward with Aruba, Precedence deployed the Aruba Wi-Fi infrastructure across 11 floors of rooms, suites and public areas. The deployment included two Aruba 7210 Mobility Controllers of which one was used purely for redundancy; 208 Aruba AP-103H Access Points, one for each room/suite; and 15 Aruba AP-205 APs for the public areas including the lobby, meeting rooms, bars and restaurants. “We were extremely surprised by the ease of deployment. Not only was the new infrastructure up and running in little under three weeks, but the deployment took place during one of the busiest times of the year without any hassle or inconvenience to our guests. This again is testament to the quality of Aruba’s product and service and the professionalism and planning of Precedence,” said Mr. Devaditiya.
Although the Aruba solution has only been in place for three months, Mr. Devaditiya couldn’t be happier with the results. The obvious beneficiaries have been the guests – coverage has improved by 95% and bandwidth by 85%. As a result users can now seamlessly connect anywhere in the hotel using one of three SSIDs. The Bonnington IT team is also reaping the benefits – for one, the Aruba interface is extremely user friendly and the entire staff was able to get comfortable with the system with minimal training. Secondly, the ability to centrally manage the entire network has significantly reduced the strain on IT resources.
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