Case Study - Kensington Close Hotel

Safeguarding Elegance: WatchGuard Adds the Finishing Touches to Refurbished Kensington Hotel

Nestled around the corner from High Street Kensington, the stylish Kensington Close Hotel exists to offer each and every guest the highest possible service and guarantee a relaxed, bespoke experience.

Following an extensive £45m refurbishment in 2012, the 4 star deluxe hotel now boasts 708 modern guest rooms and 12 flexible meeting rooms which seat up to 250 delegates. It also now features a stunning private garden with a built-in spa, full length swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, treatment rooms and fully equipped gymnasium.

But with this new development came a host of new challenges for the IT team, who were now faced with a far larger and more complex network to secure, alongside growing expectations from their tech-savvy clientele.

Unfaltering Service to Rooms and Conferences

For Kensington Close, seamless and secure bandwidth to the increased number of bedrooms, conference rooms and across the guest Wi-Fi network has become an essential part of the hotel’s offering.

High Speed Internet Access (HSIA) for conferences is now the norm, with rooms in the hotel being booked with in excess of 50 Mbps of uncontended bandwidth. Having looked at a variety of different vendors, for Fahyaz Khan, IT Manager at Kensington Close Hotel, the main challenge was finding a solution which offered the best possible performance and throughput with all the security features switched on.

“The ease of management and visibility was also a deal breaker for us,” noted Khan. “We need to be able to see where the pressure points of the network are, where bandwidth is struggling and where attacks are likely to affect the service we provide.”

WatchGuard Check-in

With a powerful throughput capacity and eight Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports for connection with WatchGuard Access Points, the Firebox M440 immediately established faster service and more structured defence for the hotel.

Because it’s rich in independent ports, the Firebox M440 is an excellent platform for defining different network segments and ensuring consistent bandwidth throughout. Khan comments, “Being able to supply secure, reliable, high capacity Wi-Fi to guests, visitors and meeting rooms at speeds far greater than 54 Mbps has been transformative.”

The new Policy Map feature in WatchGuard Dimension™, which comes standard on all M440 appliances, also provides excellent visibility to the traffic in each segment.

“We now have the visibility to pinpoint very quickly where there is excessive traffic, by AP, Wi-Fi user, wired user, by protocol or port. Moreover, logging and viewing with Dimension was very easy to get operational without having to tweak or customise the process as is often the case with reporting systems.”

“What really impressed was the ease with which the WatchGuard appliances just slotted into our network and the thoroughness of the support we received thereafter,” Khan concluded. “The benefits we’ve seen reflect a well thought out and mature solution to our evolving requirements.”

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