UK hotel chain the City Inn Group has opened a new frontier in the hotelier industry, putting an iMac inside every room of its hotels in Manchester and London.

Hotel guestrooms are equipped with an iMac (including access to iLife, high speed internet access, a full suite of Office software, and the ability to video conference using the in-built iSight camera). Each iMac also functions as a TV, radio, DVD and CD player, providing guests with the ultimate, integrated entertainment solution.

City Inn, in partnership with software solutions provider DirectStreams, has developed a bespoke solution that takes the high quality functionality of iMac and tailors it for use in the hotel environment. All standard rooms will have a high definition 20-inch screen.

Customers can load files from a USB stick, work on them and then export them to the stick once again. There's no security problem to consider, because the Macs are equipped with Faronic's Deep Freeze software, which deletes anything saved to the machines and returns them to their original state when the Mac's shut down.

Guests can access 38 television channels, 23 radio stations and a DVD/CD player, with an extensive library of music and film, available at the guest services desk.

There's no charge for use of the iMac, internet access or the DVD/CD library.

Huw O’Connor, managing director of City Inn said: “City Inn is a new innovative brand; our entire offering (buildings, interiors, restaurants, bars and customer service) has been developed from scratch in an attempt to provide the customer with a stylish modern alternative to the typical chain hotel.

"It is increasingly the case that neither the modern home or the modern office can function efficiently without a computer and we believe, that in the future, the same may well be said about the hotel room."

O’Connor stressed: "With this solution we have taken an outstanding piece of kit from one of the world’s foremost technology providers to give customers what they should rightfully expect; an in-room entertainment/multimedia capability that is equal to that which they will have in their home or in their office."