Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Norfolk First for Maids Head Hotel Norwich

Maids Head Sales Manager, Linzi Rawson with the new iRiS app 
Guests at the Maids Head Hotel in Norwich now have the latest iRiS guest services paper free app in their bedrooms. The iPad based system, a first for a hotel in Norfolk, gives guests the opportunity to reserve a table in the restaurant and order their meal, order drinks at the bar, book taxis, check airport departure boards, browse the internet, get the latest information on events and culture in Norwich and days out in Norfolk and much more.

The app will also soon include the environmental control switch for bedrooms in the older part of the hotel, when the new heat pump based heating and cooling system is commissioned.

Christine Malcolm, General Manager, the Maids Head Hotel said: "We are very excited about our new iRiS guest services app. The old information folders have been removed from the bedrooms and guests now have the latest technology to plan their stay at the hotel, and order food and drink and other guest services from the comfort of their room. We are proud of our heritage and claim to be the oldest hotel in the UK, but are very keen to meet the expectations of guests in the 21st century. The iRiS app, combined with our new heating and cooling system in the old part of the hotel, bathroom refurbishment in the newer part of the hotel, and improvements to our public lounges and toilets is all part of ensuring that the hotel combines a contemporary feel with it's wonderful heritage."      

"We're very happy to be working with the Maids Head Hotel on this project to bring cutting edge hospitality technology to the oldest hotel in the UK. Our solutions will enable guests to enjoy the hotel's unique surroundings in the most modern and convenient way." said Felicia Nekmouche, Account Manager at iRiS Software Systems.

The Maids Head Hotel claims to be the oldest hotel in Britain, based on the hotel’s site being used continuously for hospitality since the early 12th century.

Now privately owned by the Chaplin family, who also run The Gonville Hotel in Cambridge, the Maids Head has 84 bedrooms and caters for a wide range of corporate events in its historic meeting and reception rooms. An ongoing programme of refurbishment and renovation includes the installation of a hi-tech capillary heating and cooling system in the oldest part of the hotel – a first for Norfolk.

Private ownership has also meant a return to a policy of local purchasing for food and drink. Visitors to the bar and restaurant can sample Maids Head Ale from Woodfordes and Winbirri wines from Surlingham.

Norwich historian Walter Rye, who also owned the Maids Head from 1889 to 1895 considered it to be: “the oldest Norman site in the city after the Castle”.

Historian Rev. Francis Blomfield explained that the hotel was built on the site of a house owned by the early Norman bishops. It was this house that became a guest house for visitors to the Cathedral. This eventually became the Murtel Fish or Molde Fish Tavern, the predecessor of The Maids Head. The tavern is first mentioned in Norwich records in 1287. John Paston recommended the Maids Head as good place to stable a horse in a letter dated 2nd November 1472, confirming the change of name.

iRiS Software Systems – London based iRiS Software Systems Ltd is an award-winning interactive guest services application creator, providing apps designed for hotels, cruise lines and restaurants. The iRiS applications are designed to improve the guest experience, increase revenues and reduce costs, improve communications between guests and staff and provide a smart marketing tool. Both tablet and mobile phone applications are available.