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The current CEO, Ismo Mäkinen, started managing Kultahippu hotels in December 2011. A small hotel with, at that time 30 rooms (now 72 rooms), and Ismo started a major renovation of the hotel. The website and various aspects of marketing were also improved. However, at the same time, the hotel grappled with the use of old and outdated technology for managing bookings and check-in processes. hen COVID-19 struck, the hotel experienced a significant downturn, resulting in a dramatic drop in the number of guests. This unfortunate circumstance led to substantial layoffs of hotel staff. Ismo stepped in and did everything from welcoming guests, cleaning hotel rooms, to making breakfast – everything that was required to keep the hotel live. There were very few guests, but during this slower time, Ismo was able to focus on building new relationships and contacts with the Asian market. A couple of Singaporean travel agencies were approached, and one agency decided to send two test groups of tourists to Hotel Kultahippu. The hotel received great guest feedback and that was really the start of a new era for Hotel Kultahippu. During the slower pandemic time, Ismo also reached out to Planet to discuss solutions to improve the guest journey even further.
Planet was approached, and after benchmarking and negotiations, Planet’s furture-proven PMS Hotsoft was implemented in 2015. During Covid, staff were laid off and Planet helped to implement Online Front Desk, a self-service check-in where guests could experience a safe and smooth check-in/out process. Planet's innovative hotel booking system, serves as the central hub for managing reservations. It facilitates a seamless guest journey, encompassing the booking of hotel rooms as well as check-out processes. Additionally, it offers fully integrated TV and Wi-Fi solutions, further enhancing the guest experience. The integration of Planet's payment solution with the PMS will simplify and streamline the payment process, as well as enable guests to book and pay for hotel rooms and packages via the hotel’s website.
CEO, Hotel Kultahippu
The Hotel Kultahippu achieved remarkable results. The unified PMS provided a holistic view of the business, and the hotel staff experience a much smoother day-to-day business. During the years the relationship between the hotel management and Planet employees has strengthening and all the time working with a common goal – find solutions and technology that empower staff to give excellent guest service and for guests to have exceptional experiences. Planet also help the hotel to find a better billing process and further integrate with OTAs, so everything is charged directly into the PMS. The hotel has expanded and today it consists of three buildings, 67 hotel rooms and five apartments. All the marketing efforts and relationships with Singaporean travel agencies started to scale. Starting with two pilot tourist groups a couple of years ago, Hotel Kultahippu is now fully booked in the 2023 winter season expecting around 150-170 tourist groups. Also for 2024 approximately 50% of all rooms are sold out. From an exceedingly difficult situation during COVID-19 where staff had to be laid off, the hotel now has 14 full-time employees, and during winter that increases to 20 employees. The partnership with Planet and the team is strong and continues to be so. Ismo recommends Planet to other hoteliers.