THE GREYHOUND COACHING INN
The Greyhound Coaching Inn in Lutterworth invested in a Genius Hub in Summer 2018. Last winter was their first winter controlling the temperatures in each room of their hotel from their computer at reception. This family-owned 18th century coaching inn is set in the heart of Lutterworth and has been sympathetically restored by Robert Eggleston to provide a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere to all of the guests. The avenue between the two main buildings is a little oasis and a wonderful place to enjoy a pint after a days work or a bite to eat between visiting some of the local attractions.
Being a Grade II listed hotel it was difficult for Robert to make changes to it to save energy and improve the guest comfort. There are 33 en-suite bedrooms all decorated to a high standard and full of charm and individuality. This meant that there are lots of thick walls for the wireless signal to have to navigate through and this has not been a problem for the reliable mesh network that the Genius Hub uses.
As the project manager for this installation I revisited this hotel 6 months after the installation to listen to the feedback from the staff on how they found using the system and what the guests thought of it. This hotel has a mix of heating in the rooms from wet radiators, wet towel radiators, electric convection heaters and fan assisted radiators – there aren’t many other types of heating you can put into a building really! The Genius Hub had no problem controlling all of these and bringing together all of this control to the front desk.
Here are some of Robert’s responses to my questions on how the first winter has gone.
Why smart heating controls?
“The unique times we use the different rooms in the building and it’s a Cinderella of the business. The expectations are now much higher of guests than they were 10 years ago. The rooms were all stables in our stable block, the walls are 12 inches thick, so we struggle with the heating in that part of the building. It’s also difficult because the sprawling nature of the building, and there are even solid concrete floors too!”
“The Genius Hub sounded like a good idea and would fulfil a desperate need to get on top of a big problem of the expense of heating and the lack of control in the rooms. We have very powerful boilers and there was no control, just a programmer next to the boilers and a single wall mounted thermostat in various parts of the building. We had to have the whole system on for just one person. We were always concerned about the comfort of the guests. Often before Genius Hub was installed we would not want to have the whole heating on in the middle of winter, so we’d use portable electric heaters on a quiet Sunday night and this was all ad hoc. The electric portable heaters were always a concern for us too with them being a fire hazard.”
Why did you choose Genius Hub?
“The savings were never the main appeal, it was getting in control of the situation that we were not in control of. Using electric convection fan heaters was not good enough.”
Was there anything you were concerned about?
“Would it work for me in this hotel? I could have phoned up one of the existing customers but choose not to. I was also concerned about what the after sales service would be like with the support desk.
I can now say that YES it works really well in our hotel and the support desk has been brilliant, Especially April who has always been on hand if ever we had a question.”
How was the installation?
“Painless, the staff were not unduly bothered. There were no issues with the staff and we didn’t have to apologise to any of the guests, the whole system went in like a normal change over of the rooms.”
Would you recommend Genius Hub?
Yes – definitely. I think that most of the staff would too as they enjoy the control they now have of the rooms from reception!
“The comments from the guests now are that the rooms are nice and warm where as we never used to get that before. It’s always warm when we walk into reception now whereas before it would be cold during the day. The boilers used to be turned off from 09:00 – 17:00, now they are being managed by the Genius Hub so they only come on when heat is really needed, now we can just leave it and we can forget about it, before we had to continuously turn the boilers on and off. Before, it was requiring so much effort to keep on top of it and a lot of management was required. I don’t have to buy any wood for the fires any more too and this is a big saving. We also are happy to report that the electric fan heaters are no longer being used!”
As a project manager, it is always a pleasure visiting hotels who’ve had the system installed as I find each time I go back the staff are always welcoming, friendly and pleased to tell me how well they have been getting on with the system. Despite some times having had the Genius Hub thrust upon them by the owners of the building it doesn’t take long for everyone to see the benefits and enjoy the savings.