High Tech Touch for Historic Guesthouse: Latin America’s First Hotel to Put an iPad in All Rooms

Share Article

A turn-of-the-century guesthouse in Panama’s old quarter has chosen the iPad as a way to help its guests get up-to-date information in a country developing too quickly for paper-based travel guides to keep up.

Our mission is to give our guests a rich experience, and we find that because we can give them a lot of little insights with media on the iPad, it makes their entire experience much more rewarding

Canal House (http://www.canalhousepanama.com), located in Casco Viejo, Panama City’s colonial old quarter, is perhaps the first hotel in Latin America to include an iPad in every room. The reason, say the owners, has less to do with a desire to be on the cutting edge than it does with simply keeping its guests from missing out on the best of what the country has to offer.

“We’re not particularly techy,” says co-founder, KC Hardin, “but Panama is undergoing such rapid change that it is almost impossible to keep our guests informed with traditional guidebooks, and at the same time there are so many fascinating aspects to this country that you really need to curate them for people to be able to take it all in.”

To give its guests current, curated information, Canal House installed an iPad in each of its rooms, pre-loaded with Canal Houses’ proprietary guide book that that the staff is able to update in real time. In addition, each iPad is loaded with travel apps, local music, films and books of historic interest, many of which are out of print and would be otherwise hard for guests to find.

“Our mission is to give our guests a rich experience, and we find that because we can give them a lot of little insights with media on the iPad, it makes their entire experience much more rewarding,” says Manager Olga Quelquejeu. The response from guests, she says, has been extremely positive. “Guests are initially sort of pleasantly surprised,” says Quelquejeu, “but after a day or two they start to realize how much thought has gone into selecting the content and exploring it becomes a part of their daily routine.” Quelquejeu notes that, because Casco has free public wi-fi, “we have a lot more opportunities to use the iPad outside the rooms that we are only now exploring.”

About Canal House: Canal House is located next to the Interoceanic Canal Museum in the heart of the 300-year-old Colonial district, alternately referred to as Casco Viejo and Casco Antiguo. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Casco Antiguo is in the midst of an energetic revitalization, but still retains the boisterous flavor of an authentic Latin American old quarter. This location -- walking distance from all of Panama's key government ministries and a five minute drive from the Panama Canal -- makes the property ideal for business travelers brought to Panama in connection with the Canal expansion or other government-related business. The Canal House is owned by Conservatorio S.A. (http://www.conservatoriosa.com), a development company dedicated to the revitalization of Casco Antiguo.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Olga Quelquejeu
Visit website