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Oetker Collection: Crafting a masterpiece guest experience

What makes a masterpiece? Ask someone about Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and they could tell you its brilliance lies in the technique: skillful shading that marries space between tones and colors. Pose the question to a fan of Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, and they might say that it’s all in the grand finale. Perspectives can differ, but masterpieces are alike in that they’re memorable, emotive, and uniquely impact their audience. The audience plays an important role in a masterpiece; before a grand work can be revered, it has to be experienced.

10 March, 2023
 ·  5 minutes
Oetker Collection: Crafting a masterpiece guest experience

At Oetker Collection, ‘masterpiece’ and ‘experience’ go hand-in-hand. Each of its luxury hotels is seen as a work of art, aiming to deliver elegance and comfort every step of the way. Behind the scenes, technology contributes to that ambition: Adyen’s single platform unifies payments, secures guest data, and streamlines operations.

Adyen has been working with Oetker Collection since 2019. Its newest property, The Woodward Hotel in Geneva, since its opening in the fall of 2021.

Focusing on The Woodward, we spoke to Oetker Collection’s Sophie Beyrand, Head of Business Applications, and Christos Andreopoulos, Vice President of Information Systems & Technology. We wanted to learn what it takes to deliver a superior guest experience and how integrated payment systems are helping to deliver the results.

The challenge

Balancing innovation and elegance

Adding one new hotel every year, with ambitions to expand globally, Oetker Collection is set on delivering a consistent, secure, and seamless guest experience for each of its unique hotels worldwide.

The challenges it faced were too familiar to the hospitality industry: fragmented payments due to working with multiple partners and third-party agencies, increasing security standards, and the integration of their payments into a new property management system (PMS).

For Oetker Collection, this meant balancing the need for efficiency and security with a personalised gusst experience. Modernising its payment technology was a crucial first step.

“It's not about staying ahead of the competition. It's more about us innovating and finding a solution for future challenges. For us, we mustn't stay static. We have our eyes set on the future,” said Christos.

The solutions

From many players to one platform

Handling payments across multiple systems, agencies, and third parties is a common pain point for hospitality businesses. By centralising these payments, operations can become connected and affordable. Oetker Collection saw the potential in unifying payments. That's why The Woodward, among Oetkers’ other hotels, runs on Adyen's unified payments technology.

Guests can expect a reliable and consistent payment experience at any of Oetker’s hotels. They can pay however they want, from any location, at any time. Oetker’s partnership with Adyen allows it to offer the most relevant payment methods for guests, without the need for additional contracts or configuration.

With Oetker’s payments unified across channels, staff at The Woodward have also experienced the benefits of a single platform. They spend less time on reporting and more time on reviewing quality data insights on guest preferences so that they can better cater to those needs.

Equipping staff with the right tools

Adyen’s payments technology integrated with Oracle’s OPERA PMS provides all the tools that hotel staff need. This includes handling reservations, checking guests in and out, assigning rooms, managing inventory, accommodating guest needs, and performing accounting and billing functions.

Sophie says a fast and supported integration with Oracle OPERA was critical to the success of The Woodward before its opening.

OPERA PMS provides clearer communications through a hotel's entire operation. Telephone operators and front desk clerks can quickly locate guests at their own or at other properties. Guest satisfaction increases with timely and accurate messaging and locator services.

It centralises all payments for the hotel, reduces staff overhead and provides employees with all the information they need to efficiently meet guest needs.

Improving security and the guest journey with tokenization

At The Woodward, a guest’s personal details are safeguarded from the minute they book to the moment they complete their stay.

With tokenization, replacing guests' sensitive data with unique identifiers, called tokens, guests can buy drinks, purchase postcards, and book spa treatments without presenting their card, entering a code, or signing a bill. The Woodward can then only access these encrypted tokens through their PMS, reducing the risk of data breaches and fraud.

While The Woodward was no stranger to prioritising security, the improvement is significant. So much so that it's already implemented this technology in seven of its hotels.

With Oetker's plans for global expansion, protecting guest data across the different partner systems and countries that support their guest experience is crucial in maintaining compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Tokenization helps Oetker Collection reduce risk while staying compliant in countries and regions where regulations may differ.

"It's always important to keep innovating in the hotel industry. When you see something that will enhance the guest experience but also improves the security, then it's a win-win situation," says Sophie.

And the benefits of tokenization are twofold: the guest experience is enhanced while data is kept secure throughout the entire guest journey.

Innovating for a new era of guest experiences

Luxury hospitality is constantly evolving. Crafting the guest experience to drive return visits comes down to the little details. Much like standing before a masterpiece, it's about creating the 'wow' factor that guests will remember. As The Woodward shows, aided by the right financial technology solution, hotels can better face the challenges of keeping up with digital-savvy guests and better optimise the day-to-day running of their business.

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