glh. launches free one-click Wi-Fi for hotel guests

glh. implements fast, free unlimited BT Wi-fi after independent research found that Wi-Fi is as important to hotel guests as a good night’s sleep

(London, 3 February 2014) glh., the London-based global hotel subsidiary of the Singapore-listed GuocoLeisure Group, has teamed up with BT Wi-fi to launch its fast, free unlimited and one click to connect Wi-Fi service for all guests and visitors across glh. properties (see Notes to Editors).

Demand for Wi-Fi in hotels is rising, with Thistle guests using over 1 billion minutes of Wi-Fi in 2013. A report by BDRC Continental 1 found that guests consider free Wi-Fi as important as a good night’s sleep. Combined with the rapid explosion in smartphones use, predicted to reach 2.4bn by 2015, the role of reliable Wi-Fi has never been more crucial to hotel guests. As an owner/operator, glh. has taken the lead in upgrading its Wi-Fi service becoming BTs biggest user of free wi-fi 2. glh. now offer free fast and unlimited Wi-Fi in all bedrooms, lobby areas and meetings to any visitors to glh. hotels.

Mike DeNoma, CEO of glh. said: “No registrations, no limitations and no fine print, just fast, free unlimited BT Wi-fi. Investing in cutting edge BT technology to ensure that anyone visiting our hotels has access to free, fast, and one-click to connect Wi-Fi is a long-term investment in customer loyalty 3. Strong, unlimited Wi-Fi across our properties is what keeps our customers connected.”

“As the first suppliers of public Wi-Fi in the UK over ten years ago, BT was the ideal partner for glh. in this initiative. BT Wi-fi is the largest Wi-Fi network in the UK with a rich history of driving innovation in the world of technology. BT understands the intricate challenges of installing Wi-Fi in a heritage hotel building as opposed to a modern office building. Together with BT Wi-fi we have installed [2800] antennae across our hotel portfolio - a significant investment in providing a great service to all our customers”

Erik Raphael, Director, BT Wi-fi said: “The rise in popularity of smartphones and Wi-Fi enabled devices means that consumers want to be abletoget onlineanywhere. glh. is revolutionising the modern hotel industry and technology will continue to play a key part in differentiating the discerning hotel guest’s experience. We’re delighted to be playing a fundamental role in improving the experience for their customers.”


Notes to Editors

glh. owns the Thistle brand across the UK, and in London the Group own owns The Tower, Charing Cross, The Grosvenor Hotel (Victoria), The Royal Horseguards and The Cumberland. Last year glh. announced 2 new brands – Clermont (5*) and Amba (4*) – as well as two new significant hotels in Malaysia and Singapore.

glh. is the largest owner-operator hotel company in London with over 4,000 hotel rooms and over 10% of the fully functioning London hotel rooms. In total glh. has 8,279 bedrooms and 337 meeting rooms across 36 Hotels in the UK.

Clermont Singapore will form part of the integrated mixed-use development Tanjong Pagar Centre, Singapore’s tallest building at 290 metres, due to open in 2016. Clermont Kuala Lumpur will be situated within the iconic Damansara City on a prime freehold site in Damansara Heights, part of a mixed development to open in 2016

Mike DeNoma, CEO glh.

An American citizen, Mike DeNoma moved to the UK to take up his new position in 2012. Before joining glh. Mike DeNoma was chairman, president and chief executive of Chinatrust Commercial Bank, one of Asia's first international Chinese financial institutions. Previously, from 1999 to 2009, DeNoma was chief executive of the Global Consumer Bank at Standard Chartered.

Earlier in his career he was the founder and chief executive of two nationwide companies in China and held senior executive positions with Hutchison Whampoa, Citibank and PepsiCo after starting his career at Procter & Gamble.

A devoted family man and keen ultramarathon runner, DeNoma regularly competes in athletic challenges to raise money for disadvantaged children.

[Full biog and photographs available on request]

Erik Raphael, Director BT Consumer devices and BT Wi-fi

Erik joined BT Wi-fi as Director in December 2013.  Immediately prior to this he was Directorof BT Consumer Devices, which includes the BT Home Hub, BT TV STB and BT home connectivity and landline phone portfolio. He now combines the responsibility for BT Consumer Devices with BT Wi-fi.

BT Wi-fi is the largest Wi-Fi network in the UK with over 5 million hotspots including at premium partners such as Starbucks, glh, Hilton Hotels, GAME, John Lewis and Fenwick.   BT Wi-fi is also a fundamental part of the BT broadband product offering with every BT Broadband customer getting free unlimited access to these hotspots plus an additional 7m overseas through BTs partnership with fon.

Finally, BT Wi-fi also delivers Wi-Fi service to a number of major mobile network providers to complement their existing network, and manages a series of in and out bound roaming agreements with carriers from across the world.

Erik is a former Philips consumer electronics marketer with a wealth of experience across marketing and commercial in the UK, China and Holland before joining BT in 2008.

1 BDRC Continental GB Hotel Guest Survey 2013

2 According BT Wi-fi data usage,  glh. is the biggest use of free Wi-Fi minutes

3 Since upgraded Wi-Fi in our hotels some months ago we have seen customer loyalty amongst business customers growing by 13% (BDRC report).