100Mb/s or bust

Daffodil Hotel

By anyone’s standard, The Daffodil Hotel & Spa in Grasmere enjoys a stunning setting – close to the shores of the lake and a backdrop of the picture postcard villages and central Lakeland fells.

The hotel itself is quite a landmark; in a previous life it was known as the Prince of Wales, and then briefly as the Thistle Grasmere and The Waterside, it is quite an imposing building and the first building one sees when arriving at the village from the south.

Server Support Kendal

The vision of two Lake District hotelier families, the property was acquired, and a major multi-million-pound programme of re-building, renovation and refitting was undertaken, the result being a 4-star contemporary hotel that is setting the standard in the national park.

Given its close proximity to Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, the new name for the hotel was a given and, in the summer of 2012, The Daffodil Hotel & Spa was re-launched.

With contemporary interiors, lake view restaurant and indulgent spa, this is a venue where nothing has been overlooked – and that now also includes the IT and server support.

“iTek were approached in late 2013 by the team at The Daffodil to discuss their IT support and we were appointed by them early in the New Year.” Says Ben Mitchinson, MD of iTek Computer Solutions.

“At the time, the hotel was still ‘bedding in’ a little after the refurbishment and had been relying on an internal member of staff to manage their servers, Wi-Fi, EPoS and back-office systems. It had quickly become apparent that there was a need for an external resource who could provide dedicated support and provide robust and secure IT systems across all areas of the business.”

The system iTek inherited was incredibly complex and included servers that took care of all back-office systems, anti-virus, corporate and guest Wi-Fi, the EPoS system for bar and restaurant, room key ‘cutting’ and a booking system that is fed-into via various websites as well as being used by reception staff.

“Straight away we became heavily involved in the support of the existing IT systems. It soon became apparent that there was also a need to replace the outdated server infrastructure and migrate to new a system as the previous one was starting to fail.”

A combination of extensive planning and having contingency plans in place meant the new system was implemented quickly and without hitch. By working alongside the current operations, the iTek team were able to implement the new hardware and software with minimal disruption.

“It turned out to be a quick process and one which we deployed over a weekend (during their staff Christmas party); the hotel closed early one day and left us to it. Without doubt the key to the success was all in the planning and scheduling. Having a close relationship with the client meant everybody was on the same page throughout.” adds Ben.

All of the hotel’s IT now runs on the new server infrastructure which are monitored and maintained remotely from iTek’s offices is Kendal. “We rarely have to visit The Daffodil these days, which is a great shame as it’s a lovely part of the world to go to!”

In our age of constant connectivity, the broadband and Wi-Fi expectancy of the hotel and guests is understandably high with full coverage across the venue, high speeds and bandwidth taken as a given.

Being in the very heart of the Lake District, Grasmere isn’t the easiest place for standard broadband to access, with shared and aged cabling merely compounding any decent capacity.

The only solution that would deliver the requirements of the hotel and visitors was for a dedicated high-speed fibre line to be installed, a considerable investment but one which was seen as business critical to The Daffodil.

“Whether on holiday or staying for business, guests’ expectations are for robust, fast and reliable Wi-Fi across the venue. Grasmere is very rural and relatively remote, but guests still want connectivity that matches the premium standard of the accommodation.”

iTek worked on a consultancy basis with The Daffodil to specify the requirement and negotiate preferential rates for installation and lease of dedicated fibre with BT, with the new line being installed in 2018.

“It’s a perfect solution for The Daffodil, a system on which they are the sole user. We undertake monitoring and maintenance to make sure everything is working – after all, the hotel doesn’t want poor connectivity to be the reason for poor online reviews.”

With impressive 100Mb upload and 100Mb download speeds the broadband has never been subject to outage and never slows-down, no matter what capacity is asked from it.

“Working with the team at The Daffodil Hotel & Spa has been a great experience for all of us at iTek. It’s truly a wonderful venue and we’re delighted that they can concentrate on running the hotel and ensuring that their guests are happy without ever having to wonder if their IT is going to let the side down.”

To find out more about The Daffodil Hotel & Spa, please visit: www.daffodilhotel.co.uk

    Request a Quote  
    T: 01539 898125

    Talk to one of our consultants,
    or use the form and we will be in touch.

      Request a Quote  
      T: 01539 898125

      Talk to one of our consultants, or use the form and we will be in touch.