The world’s first ‘super boutique hotel’, The Londoner, has been opened in the heart of London’s West End by Edwardian Hotels. As well as meeting rooms, The Londoner is home to one of the UK’s best-equipped ballrooms in a basement that digs six floors beneath the ground.

Part of Myriad Audiovisual Sales Ltd, Visual Systems was called in to design and deliver audio solutions, including Sennheiser Digital 6000 wireless microphone systems, SpeechLine Digital Wireless and MobileConnect system for assistive listening.

The Londoner's Ballroom ‘When we were approached by the Edwardian Group, we felt that it was once-in-a-lifetime project,’ says Visual Systems Director, Ray Sappal. ‘After looking at the requirements – and especially the hotel location in the heart of theatreland, a very RF-congested area – we knew right away Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 would offer the best performance and a no-compromise approach when it comes to RF robustness, sound quality and workflow.’

‘My role is to evaluate all technology for the group to ensure we purchase the correct product for the job in question,’ says Edwardian Hotels Technical Consultant, Nick Kalsi. ‘I worked closely with Visual Systems to ensure we had the best available in the market. I visited a number of audio suppliers, including Sennheiser in Marlow, and I have to state that I was very impressed not only by the products but also the in-house technical team. It made my job very simple to include Sennheiser in my recommendations, as I was comfortable knowing the products would work well and we had support from the manufacturer.’

The Visual Systems team deployed 14 channels of Digital 6000 in The Ballroom, which has been equipped to host events of any calibre, including theatre premiers and corporate gatherings.

‘With Digital 6000 serving major theatrical productions, it made complete sense to deploy it in the place which is living and breathing the West End across its entire facility,’ Sappal continues. ‘With its high channel density and bullet-proof signal reliability, The Londoner got the best and latest in digital wireless technology.’

Apart from theatre, TV and movie premiers, Digital 6000 will also be used for live music shows and entertainment, further serving Edwardian Hotels’ vision of a high-quality urban resort in the heart of London. ‘I would say that The Ballroom space is the best equipped ballroom in London, if not in the UK,’ says Sappal. ‘Apart from Digital 6000, we have also delivered state-of-the-art laser projection systems, four large electric screens, as well as motorised trusses with over 50 moving lights.’

There is also a dedicated broadcast infrastructure with hybrid fibre optical cables. ‘As we didn’t know how long Covid was going to go on for, we designed the whole ballroom space so that it can be used for hybrid events. This means that you can stream an event not only within the hotel, but also externally through a dedicated platform,’ Sappal adds.

Dedicated broadcast infrastructure at The LondonerAs well as Digital 6000, the Visual Systems team installed Sennheiser’s SpeechLine Digital Wireless system in the two largest meeting rooms. Designed for speech applications, SLDW features Dante support for IP networks, as well as management via the Sennheiser Control Cockpit software, with the latter also offering full control of the Digital 6000 wireless microphone series.

Another technology that proved its worth instantly, and even more so due to the Covid health and safety regulations, is Sennheiser’s assistive and personal listening solution, MobileConnect. ‘Because of Covid, we thought MobileConnect would be perfectly suited. The beauty of the system is that each person can use their own mobile devices like smartphones or tablets to stream live audio content via the existing Wi-Fi,’ Sappal explains.

MobileConnect Stations make event audio available throughout B2 ballroom, B2 pre-function spaces and anywhere within the hotel if connected to the hotel Wi-Fi, even in B3 meeting rooms for ballroom event overflow. This means that the hotel does not need to issue dedicated assistive listening devices, with each visitor using their own personal device. Additionally, MobileConnect Manager software can be used as the single point of administration for all MobileConnect Stations, providing a centralised approach to the hotel technical team.

The Londoner, in the heart of London’s West End ‘We were able to bring the team to Marlow for a demo and training, just to make sure everyone felt comfortable using each system and can take full advantage of the extensive features offered by MobileConnect, SpeechLine, Digital 6000 and the Control Cockpit software,’ says Inesh Patel, Business Development Manager – Business Communication at Sennheiser. ‘We also sent a demo kit to the hotel’s Mayfair site, with Sennheiser Technical Application Engineer Joe Mahoney doing onsite training.’

‘One great thing about all these systems is that they can all be controlled centrally via the Control Cockpit software, which means the team can digitize their A/V management workflow and have a smooth and efficient experience,’ says Sappal. ‘While for many hotel chains technology is more of an afterthought, this is not the case with Edwardian Hotels, as we have not come across any other brands that invest so heavily into technology than this group does.

‘The collection of spaces The Londoner offers is simply unmatched, and we are pleased that Visual Systems could complement this unique facility with the absolute best in audio technology, thanks to Sennheiser. This project really did feel like once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we are proud that we were part of it.’

‘We, as a group, invest heavily into technology, and hence we always aim to be one step ahead to ensure we cater for any requirements our clientele may have,’ concludes Edwardian Hotels Commercial Development Director, Iype Abraham. ‘The Londoner Hotel is the newest member to our group, hence we wanted to make sure this was a unique hotel not only for the architecture and interior design but for the technology used throughout the complex; it had to be the best in its class.’


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