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Choosing the Best Telephone System for Hotels

This article will give you an overview for choosing the best phone system for your hotel, and profile some of the best manufacturers and phone system providers supplying the hospitality industry in the UK.A hotel requires a unique type of internal and external communication network, and although some smaller hotels and guest houses can use basic business telephone systems, there are a number of useful innovations and modern applications that enhance the guest experience and the operational ease of the hotel. These applications enable hotels to offer guests standard phone based services such as wake up calls, reminders, and the ability to make external calls that are automatically connected to the hotel billing system, as well as to customise the phones in each room to suit personal preferences. On the whole a modern phone system can enhance the communication process for hotel staff both internally and externally, handling more calls efficiently and improving overall customer service.

What Small Business Phone System do you Require?


With the advancement of mobile phones, and the fact nearly all guests will now own one means the function of hotel telephone systems has changed. This actually means choosing the right phone system is even more important with guests expecting a level of service that matches the overall experience of your hotel.

Hospitality Phone Systems

Telephone systems for hotels, also referred to as hospitality phone systems, will normally have the same functionality as a business telephone system but with additional hotel specific features and applications. Additional features can include front desk telephones that communicate guest-specific information (e.g. check out times, special requests) directly to the receptionist, enabling him/her to manage these requests directly from a touch screen handset. Personalisation can also be added, with called id meaning reception can answer the phone knowing exactly what guest they are speaking to. A high quality telephone system for hotels can best be seen as an extension of a computer network operated by handsets rather than keyboards. This means guests can make requests using their in-room handset, whether to extend their stay or to order food. Well known manufacturers that specialise in telephone systems for hotels include Mitel, Cisco and NEC and we will cover these three main providers below.

Ericsson iPECS Hospitality Phone System

Ericsson LIP-9071

Ericsson iPECS LIP-9071

Ericsson's iPECS phone system is specifically design for hotel and hospitality users. With more than 80% of hotel staff mobile the iPECS are designed for users on the move, incorporating Wifi, DECT and smartphone capabilities for staff to use wherever they are throughout a hotel or venue.

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The iPECS features are not only exclusive to hotel staff, guest room IP phones also include personalised greetings and voicemail which can welcome visitors with key information. Touch service keys can also make it easier for guests to make certain types of requests and to improve the overall quality of their stay.

Mitel Hotel Telephone Systems

Mitel Mivoice 8568

Mitel 400 Hospitality Package

Mitel communications solutions allow hoteliers to focus on managing guest experience and hotel operations. Mitel’s technology has the flexibility to adapt to guest and staff requirements with a minimum of management overhead. Mitel's MiVoice also enabling support of traditional and IP communications.

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With almost 30 years of experience in providing business telephone systems, Mitel has a very large hotel client base that has enabled them to develop a range of products designed to suit any size hotel. This approach allows hoteliers to benefit from IP communications whilst protecting investment in traditional telephony. MiVoice Business has a range of embedded hospitality features including:
  • Voicemail
  • Auto attendant
  • Recorded announcements
  • Record a call
  • Music on hold to provide a simple, easily managed solution

In addition, they maintain relationships with many other hospitality technology partners to ensure your systems are compatible. The Mitel MiVoice 5505 Guest IP Phone is the ideal solution for users who need to deploy IP phones to guest rooms. The MiVoice 5505 phone includes the following features:
  • Guest programmable options (e.g. alarm, multiple language settings volume and ringer control)
  • Supports up to 3 extension handsets for guests in a suit of rooms
  • Voicemail and message-waiting features

Cisco Hotel Telephony

Cisco 8851

Cisco Hospitality Phone Systems

Cisco is one of the world leaders in telephony systems and has a number of very advanced hotel telephone systems that seamlessly integrate call accounting, voicemail and hotel property management systems. Cisco have a range of handsets ideal for both hotel reception staff and for room guests.

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Cisco Unified Communications solutions (Cisco Connected Hotel) and Cisco 7900 series IP phones can offer an unrivalled guest experience and functionality. Cisco 2800 Series Integrated Services Routers provide access to public switched telephone networks (PSTN) allowing guests to make local and long distance calls using their Cisco IP phones.

NEC Hotel Telephone System

NEC UT880

NEC Hospitality Solutions

The NEC XN120 Hotel telephone system uses MyCalls Call Management Software to run call monitoring reports for each room. The NEC XN120 comes with the 'room status' feature, so rooms can be set as available for booking or ready for cleaning, which is seen and actioned upon by the receptionist and the staff immediately.

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The XN120 handsets allow guests to set their own wake up call from their room, or receptionists with system handsets can manage wake-up calls for specific rooms.This is just one useful feature among many and is just one reason why the XN120 phone is a perfect fit for hotels.

Different Types of Hotel Telephones

In principle hospitality phone systems don’t differ hugely from regular business telephone phone solutions. The differences occur with individual systems and often the solutions listed above will include specialist features and functions that are designed with hotels in mind and benefit tasks being carried out in the hospitality sector. Some suppliers will also design phone handsets exclusively for guest rooms which may be limited in functionality and only dial internally.

Modern hotel telephone systems will usually either be a PBX or VoIP system. PBX phone systems are considered to be more traditional and although more reliable their wired installation and maintenance costs can often add up.

VoIP phone systems are considered the more advanced of the two systems with systems hosted in the cloud meaning you can save on space whilst also relying on crystal clear call quality and modern features.

Hotel Phone System Features

  • On screen information with front desk handsets
  • Wake up alarm calls
  • Externally calling
  • Ease of Use for guest room phones
  • Room to room functionality
  • Voicemail

Small Hotel Phone Systems

The requirements for smaller hotels differ slightly from major chains. Usually the differences are related to the size of the system needed. The core features listed above are normally just as useful to small guesthouses as they within large international hotels but the system can still differ. In the past PBX systems may have been more suitable for small hotels but now VoIP systems are just as, if not more beneficial.

Choosing the Right Hotel Telephone System Supplier

Designing and implementing the right hotel telephone system is not a job for an inexperienced service provider. Experts in areas such as IT, telecommunications, and logistics are essential to ensuring a hotel’s telephone system installation runs smoothly, and only the top telephone system dealers in the UK should be contacted. The best way to be sure you are using the most reputable authorized dealers in the UK, with manufacturer trained installation and repair engineers, is to use an established hotel telephone system comparison website. Such sites can provide system reviews and connect you to many of the top telephone system designers/installers for your hotel.

Next Steps

If you are interested in hearing more about telephone systems for your hotel, then fill out the form at the top of this page and a select group of excellent suppliers will get in touch with you.