Set in 58 acres of parkland at the end of a magnificent sea loch, the Torridon Hotel and Inn boasts one of the most spectacular and idyllic locations in the country. As the only hotel in Scotland to win the coveted Automobile Association’s Hotel of the Year twice, the Torridon has attracted a number of high-profile guests and the location for several films and a TV series. Although originally built as a shooting lodge for the first Earl of Lovelace in 1887, the modern hotel has moved with the times and in keeping with the idyllic setting boasting green credentials including a biomass district heating scheme.
With 18 guest rooms, multiple public recreational areas and a famous whisky bar; the hotel blends the dual requirements of customer services along with privacy to ensure that guests are both catered for without feeling intruded upon in what is for many is a tranquil country retreat. When the hotel underwent a major refurbishment in 2015-16, senior management opted for what was at the time a well-regarded analogue CCTV system. “In comparison to modern video quality, the system looks pretty poor,” explains Dan Rose-Bristow, managing director of the Torridon. “The camera system we opted for included a separate video management and storage system which also incurred an additional licence fee. Over the years, that particular system has failed several times and in addition, when we wanted to add more cameras, there were more software charges. With hindsight, this was an issue we didn’t want to repeat again.”
Discreet yet secure
With an all-inclusive and high-resolution system the main focus, Dan also had other criteria around both the installation and physical appearance of the cameras. “Parts of the building are nearly 150 years old, which means we needed to be very careful in terms of where we installed cameras and running any additional cabling,” he explains. “The system needed to be as least intrusive as possible as to not cause guests any discomfort yet still provide the level of security we required.”
With criteria set, Dan contacted a number of locally recommended security installers, including Ness Tec, a certified and highly regarded Mobotix partner that had experience of working in similar environments. Ness Tec also had expertise in carrying out the installation of new structured cabling that would replace the older coaxial cabling and separate power connectors.
“We looked at a number of options and had several CCTV installers come on site, carry out surveys and make proposals,” he explains. “What impressed us about the Mobotix solution offered by Ness Tec was the quality of the images, the ability to use fewer hemispheric cameras to discreetly cover larger areas and the fact that all the software we needed came without any additional licencing costs.”
Ness Tec conducted a full site survey and identified that complete site coverage, including thermal imaging cameras in the car park area and key entry points to the site could be achieved with just 20 Mobotix cameras. The whole project from site survey through installation, to final sign-off including all structured cabling work took just two weeks.
“The project went pretty smoothly and the new image quality is extremely good while the cameras themselves are discreet and incredibly reliable,” explains Dan. By using Mobotix hemispheric technologies, large internal rooms could be covered by just a single camera instance and installation simplified with Power-over-Ethernet (POE), which is made even more reliable via a single uninterrupted power supply via the POE connection. The focus on reliability went further still as each camera is able to independently record footage onto its internal flash memory card in the event of a major site issue.
The facilities team at the hotel use the Mobotix MxManagementCenter software to manage the cameras from multiple locations. This software has an unlimited number of camera connections and requires no additional fee. All recordings are stored securely on a Synology NAS server and are accessible via MxManagementCenter through secure connections to any authorised playback devices such as standard PC or laptop.
“The new system has met our expectations and the Mobotix software is powerful enough for what we need yet still easy to use,” adds Dan. “The whole system has proven incredibly reliable and overall the professionalism shown by Ness Tec has delivered us a modern video security system capability that helps to protect our guests, staff and property.”