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Situated next to the snaking Dnipro River — Europe's fourth longest — the elegant, five star Riviera House Hotel enjoys an enviable position close to the central business district and the historic city center of Kyiv, Ukraine's capital. Built in 2007, this stylish, intimate hotel offers a selection of 65 guest rooms, as well as the use of several conference rooms and the luxurious Elixir Spa Deluxe. And as guests bask in the heart of this storied city, they can also enjoy signature pan-Asian cuisine at Riviera House's acclaimed restaurant KAMA, taking in panoramic views of the old town as they dine.

In 2018, Riviera House made an important decision to refocus on luxury, in order to create a world-class hotel that would be truly deserving of the coveted five star designation. While reshaping the look and feel of the property was one obvious way to create a unique guest experience, the hotel also looked for other ways to increase revenue and income, developing additional strategies, from boosting the hotel's Wi-Fi capabilities and growing hospitality customer touchpoints, to encouraging positive word of mouth and improving customer engagement.

KAMA Restaurant at Riviera House

Meeting Guest Expectations

In today's world, Wi-Fi connectivity is more than just an add-on for hotel guests — it's an expectation and, often, a priority. Indeed, many travel sites explicitly state the quality of Wi-Fi at each hotel and most arriving guests are either already online or ask for network access codes within mere minutes of checking-in. With the average traveler carrying three devices — from phones and tablets to laptops and more — hotels, especially those ahead of the curve, are therefore realigning Information Technology (IT) budgets to focus on providing the required infrastructure. And if the wireless network isn't up to scratch, revenue — putting it simply — takes a hit.

In 2018, Riviera House's Wi-Fi setup was showing its age. The legacy wireless network was designed for a bygone age, one of simply sending emails and accessing basic services, and could not meet the streaming and video calling needs that have become commonplace. With this in mind, the hotel planned to build a more reliable and adaptable network for both guests and staff, keeping everyone happy and making the property more secure.

Since the hotel also planned more conference room space, the new network infrastructure would also need to be able to accommodate a high number of guest devices on any given day, without impacting overall performance. Dedicated bandwidth and increased speeds here would make it possible to host more business meetings and events in the hotel, while also smoothing online check-in and in-room services.

Fast, Secure, Uninterrupted Wireless Services

With this ambitious modernization and value creation plan in place, the hotel's IT team prepped itself for a complete overhaul in 2018. And, after analyzing and considering a range of different options, just as other major renovation work was beginning, the team decided on a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) Business Wi-Fi Network, supplied by Huawei. Today, as a major player in Ukraine, Huawei is trusted for its reliable products and excellent after-sales service.

Huawei proposed a Wireless Campus Network Solution to address the hotel's network issues, including the FusionServer Rack Server, CloudEngine S-Series Campus Switches, a USG6000 Series Next Generation Firewall, and the AC6000 Series WLAN Access Controller. The hotel also chose AP4000 Series Access Points (APs) with built-in high-density Smart Antennas, which help to slash 80% off installation times.

And then again, in 2020, the hotel added high-performance indoor settled Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) AirEngine 5700 Series APs. The AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 series comfortably meets customer requirements across industries, in both indoor and outdoor wireless network deployment settings. With an efficient, industrial design and innovative Internet of Things (IoT) card slots featuring a removable cover, Huawei's AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 products are equipped to meet the fast-changing requirements of terminals and applications in the digital space.

Driving Business Growth as an Added Benefit

Since renovating the property and achieving five star status, the hotel has been able to deliver a seamless, reliable Wi-Fi experience to every guest. Indeed, such an improved wireless solution also goes hand-in-hand with a growing number of positive online reviews that explicitly praise the hotel's Wi-Fi. Guests now enjoy high-speed Internet access and are able to watch videos or browse social media to their heart's content, across the entire property, from rooms and the restaurant to the bar and even the hotel terrace. Hotel staff are also empowered by the new network, which provides smooth, trouble-free operations even with multiple devices concurrently connected.

The Huawei APs are now installed in the hallways of all guest room floors, as well as in back office areas, covering all 65 guest rooms, the KAMA bar and restaurant, and the Elixir Spa Deluxe. To support business meetings, the hotel's four conference rooms now equip up to 100 delegates with world-class Wi-Fi, featuring high bandwidth, low latency, and broad coverage during meetings.

"The Huawei solution has allowed us to achieve our aims in many ways," commented Ihor Papusha, Riviera House's IT Director. "We are satisfied with the equipment's quality, knowledgeable approach, and excellent response from Huawei's support team."

In terms of further business expansion, Riviera House's marketing team can also now use the new network as an effective promotional tool, advertising event and conference services to potential clients. In addition, Huawei's Campus Network Solution supports emerging technology trends and applications, such as Virtual Reality (VR), livestreaming, and multi-use apps, building a solid technical base for future digital transformation. The network is, quite simply stated, effectively future-proofed and equipped to handle the higher bandwidth requirements of coming years, with no need for expensive, time-consuming upgrades.

And as we enter the era of data, the new Wi-Fi network also allows data to be gathered and converted into accurate, actionable customer insights, enabling data-driven Wi-Fi marketing. The hotel can use this information to generate revenue while strengthening brand loyalty. By enhancing its infrastructure, the hotel has achieved full connectivity, allowing it to enrich the guest experience, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately, boost revenue. Five star, indeed.

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